There's a rather common belief among selling professionals that business slows down in the summer months. However, this is mostly a self-fulfilling prophecy created by professionals telling themselves that despite strong efforts, the summer months will be tougher. In reality, it's selling professionals that slow down, by working shorter days, and preparing for and taking their own vacations, and falling victim to the following "summer business myths."
1) Fridays are a 'wash.' While some companies offer 'Summer Fridays' off, that doesn't mean that you can't find a way to combat everyone's favorite day of the week. I recommend that selling professionals overcome 'Summer Fridays' by building in a little extra performance Monday through Thursday. Increase your daily goals earlier in the week and you can enjoy those summer Fridays just as much as your clients and prospects. However, even for companies that offer Summer Fridays off, executives, business owners and those that make decisions to buy your services, are often in the office. if you catch prospects on Fridays when their staff is off, you'll find they are often more relaxed and willing to talk. Just alter your approach so it's a little "laid-back" and you might be surprised how prospects are more easily engaged.
2) Don't make prospecting calls, no one's there. Conversely, I believe that summer is the perfect time to make calls, because your competitors are conforming to this myth. I encourage you to seize the opportunity when phones aren't ringing as much. With less inbound calls, people will be more likely to take your call, listen and participate in a dialogue with you about why you're calling.
3) Decision makers 'disappear'. Don't let the assumption that everyone's out of the office stunt your ability to sell. Get to know your clients and prospects and learn about their vacation and travel plans for the summer. This will allow you to navigate through the summer without the mystery of when your contacts will suddenly be MIA and you'll be able to plan accordingly.
4) It's a slow time in the budget cycle. Before succumbing to this myth, remember that there's no way of really knowing how a company is fairing financially. Furthermore, prospects may also be operating on a fiscal year that's different than the calendar year, and they could be more open to sales calls and conversations with new vendors come July 1, if that's the beginning of their fiscal year.
5) Prospects and clients don't care about your vacation. Remember that we're all people. Your vacation matters, too. Be upfront, communicate your schedule and do all that you can to make sure everyone has all that they might need while you're away. While you're at it, schedule a time to connect after your vacation before you leave.
While there might be a slight decrease in the number of available prospects in any given summer week, opportunities abound! Debunk the myths, and remember these are largely conceptual roadblocks that selling professionals create for themselves.
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