Summer isn’t coming, it’s here! And you might be dreading that summer slowdown in sales — that summer slump. We understand. And there are things you can do to boost your revenues during the heat. Take a look at why sales do slow down. Then evaluate your sales plans. Finally, change things up a bit to adjust. Do that, and you’ll come out of summer with more than a great tan. You’ll set your business up for a strong year! Let’s dig a little deeper.
Why Does Business Slow Down in Summer
Many businesses experience a slowdown in the summer, even businesses that aren’t necessarily seasonal. Customers take vacations. They’re gone for a bit, and they’re trying to save funds for that vacation. And even if they are in town, they might be harder to reach, as they’re on the beaches or lakes or trails, spending time with family. Your business is not a priority for them during the fun summer months. So, what can you do about it? First, evaluate your summer sales plan.
Great Time to Evaluate Your Sales Systems
Evaluating your sales team and your sales plan is something you are likely doing monthly, or quarterly. As you evaluate your systems for the summer, ask yourself a few summer specific questions:
- Do you have any products or services that are especially suited to summer activities?
- How did your sales team perform last summer, a year ago? Anything stick out that worked particularly well, or even poorly?
- Look through your customer list. What customers have strong summer purchases? Which ones go dark on you?
- You’re halfway through the year. What do your sales goals look like? Making progress?
Spend time in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Run some sales dashboards and compare each sales rep to the overall average performance numbers: average sale, time to close, new opportunities, etc. Summer might be a great time for some targeted refresher training for reps missing key target numbers.
Summer Sales Tips
Now that you have the lay of the land, you understand why sales are slow and you’ve evaluated your plan, here are some ideas to help you run some summer activities to give your sales numbers a shot in the arm:
- Incentive Programs/Awards to sales reps: Sales reps are competitive by nature. Take advantage of that. Offer a one-night stay at a resort or a day off for the top producing summer performance.
- Contact your best customers: Put together a higher value (not lower price) offering as a ‘thank you’ for your best customers. Customize it if you can, for each client.
- Go wide: Check your sales reports and identify the customers that have purchased a limited set of your products and services. Go back to them with special offers on your other products.
- Get that social media going: Consider a contest or a social campaign. People are travelling. Ask them to post photos of them using your product wherever they are on the globe.
- They have vacation on the brain? Come up with a marketing campaign focused on fun and families.
- Offer buying incentives that help their vacation budgets. Give away travel gift cards, night stays at hotels, or even travel points for any summer purchases.
- Do a soft launch of a new product. Summer is a great time to run a test campaign on a new product or service. Get feedback, make adjustments, then go full speed ahead in the fall. Use summer to catapult new products in the fall and winter.
- Consider doing a sales personality test on your reps. You might discover strengths and weaknesses in each sales rep that will help you point them in a more productive direction.
- Have Fun! Hey, it’s summer after all. Make sure your whole team is enjoying it as much as your customers. Have a party, a getaway, some time off.
The good news is, people don’t really stop working these days. Walk around any tourist area, and you’ll see the workaholics checking their phones and flipping open the laptops. Your customers don’t necessarily stop working. They just rearrange their schedules. There is still a great opportunity to beat the summer sales slump. With a little planning, some creativity, and good old business strategy, you can make this summer a profitable one.