Summer is typically a good time to schedule your business slow down. The kids are out of school, people are away on holidays, and it’s just a generally slower time of year. Go ahead — kickback and relax while the sun is shining and the days are unstructured because September will be here before you know it.
There is one exception to the business slowdown rule: sales. You can completely forget about sales and expect to have a busy fall. So while you may want to forego your traditional sales routine, here are 6 savvy summer sales tips to help you fill your funnel for the fall:
#1: Start Planting Sales Seeds Now — Decide what you want to be busy doing in the fall and start reaching out to prospects now. It means you have to do a bit of planning about what you want your fall season to look like, but better now than August 31st when you can guarantee everyone has disappeared for their last bit of summer fun.
#2: Design Your Sales Funnel — Create an easily repeatable process of taking targets through the sales process, from the initial contact to the signed contract. How are you getting that initial meeting? Are you asking your network for referrals? Reaching out via social media? Sending out a sales kit?
#3: Schedule Regular Sales Sessions — Pick a time to focus on sales. Depending on your sales cycle and fall ambitions, it could be as little as an hour a week before the kids are out of bed. The key is that you spend that time effectively and focus on getting projects lined up for the fall.
#4: Target Your Dream Prospects — Don’t be shy about going after the business you want. Chances are your competitors are taking it easy for the summer so your dream prospects aren’t receiving very many pitches (if any at all). During their summer slowdown, they are probably working on their fall budget so get on their radar before they commit to a particular direction.
#5: Perfect Your Sales Pitch — Be ready with a complete package based on your research of their company. It may take a sales call or two where you ask your prospect a ton of questions to fine-tune your proposal (complete with A, B and C options for them to choose from), but it’s far better to take it a step at a time than go in with a shot-gun approach and get blasted out of the water.
#6: Fill In Your Sales Forecast — Keep track of where you are at in terms of your fall commitments. The best sales tactic is to be able to tell prospects (quite honestly) that they need to commit because your time is filling up. Some will dilly-dally regardless, but at least you have given them fair warning that they will have to wait once they do decide.