It may be an unpopular opinion that summertime is a great time for sales prospecting. But summertime, despite all the out-of-office responses and intermittent communication, can be a great time for maintaining relationships, gaining solid prospects, and even planning for the second-half-of-the-year rush.
A “Slow Time” Doesn’t Mean Stop Seeking
While decision-making may slow up in the summer, with actual closings being few, it’s still a great time to nurture relationships and build rapport until the time comes to close. In this way, you are investing in these relationships for the day when decisions are finally made. Rather than follow the trend of halting communication, you increase yours, setting yourself up for success by the time decision-makers are ready to commit, post-vacation.
Reasons Why Summertime is Perfect for Prospecting New Clients
Summertime brings with it some struggles in the sales arena, but it also brings opportunity. Here are some aspects of selling in the summer that could change your perspective and technique, and pull you out of “the summertime slump,” to which it’s commonly referred.
- Less selling competition: While many prospects are taking vacations, so are many of your competitors. Take advantage of this by doing more prospecting, while other salespeople are going on vacation and conducting fewer calls and less outreach.
- Likelihood of gatekeepers being present every day slims: Yes, gatekeepers take vacation too. This means an increased likelihood that you’ll actually reach a decision-maker—or simply someone higher up. Along the same lines, key decision-makers often cannot afford to leave the office for long periods of time, especially when gatekeepers and other staff are taking off as well. So, while decision-makers do take vacation, you can bet they’ll be back fairly quickly and will appreciate your persistency and consistency. In fact, we find that every year our most productive days to set appointments is the week of Thanksgiving – a time when your competitors are tapping out.
- Use out-of-office responses to your advantage: Salespeople generally despise receiving the out-of-office automated response. However, these emails can tell you a lot. First, they can tell you when the decision-maker will return, a perfect opportunity to plan for a specific follow up. Second, this email generally gives you information about the individual’s vacation—something to build rapport with. And third, automated responses can lead you to another person in the decision-making funnel via email addresses and phone numbers. After all, there are fewer emails flowing during this time, so you’re more likely to get noticed.
- Potential clients in better moods: In the summer, you’ll find that many people are in better spirits. Summertime and the living’s easy, right? Most people have either taken their time off and rejuvenated, or they’re anticipating upcoming vacation—something to look forward to. The weather’s nice, and there are plenty of fun outdoor networking opportunities and activities to partake in. During this time, prospects are much more likely to take you up on offers for lunch on the patio, a round of golf or a convenient meeting near their place of work.
- Great time for planning for fall and winter: B2B sales can take a lot of time, prolonging the cycle and the sale. Many may think this is a reason to stop sales prospecting in summer, but it’s the very reason to keep pursuing—to avoid even longer waits and lost opportunities later, in the rush.
- Convenient for nurturing existing client relationships: Existing clients breathe life into your business. It’s important that, while you’re seeking new prospects, you’re still focusing on those who have been committed to and fueling your company’s success.
Secure a Summertime Strategy
So, before the summer hits, start thinking strategy, and pinpoint sales prospecting tools to make the process easier, like Staccato Autopilot, which steps in and manages prospecting for you.
Summertime is a great opportunity for networking. Attend happy hours, chambers of commerce meetings, luncheons and open houses. If you, as a salesperson, have new ideas and concepts to discuss with your team, bring them up. Summer is a great time to add products, services or technology solutions to any sales approach.
Most importantly, be persistent and consistent with your prospecting and in your communication with existing clients. Turn that summer slump into summer success.