If you’re anything like us, you probably can’t wait for summer. To finally emerge from the gloom of winter and get that extra boost of vitamin D. And the thought of sitting in a sunny beer garden enjoying a glass of wine (unless it’s lunch time, of course, in which case it would be a sparkling water) is enough to make anyone feel more positive and optimistic.
And we don’t think we’re the only ones that gets the ‘summer vibe’ either… In general, the warm weather and prospect of holidays can make people come across as more upbeat and cheerful.
Regardless of the reason, capitalising on this ‘feel good vibe’ can actually be a great thing if you happen to work in sales.
That’s because there is a general perception that it will be harder to generate leads and follow up sales opportunities in the summer months because many decision makers are ‘off on their jollies’.
However, despite this belief we don’t all go on holiday at the same time. Some people will avoid the peak season like the plague – so in reality, taking your foot off the pedal in the summer can actually have an adverse effect on achieving your longer-term sales goals.
Summer holidays have always been considered a marketing dead zone. It’s a time of year when marketing teams re-group, reflect and revise strategies – ready to hit the ground running when all the key decision makers return refreshed from their break. But this can be a great time for sales executives to cut through with relevant products and services to get themselves on the radar early. Also, don’t forget that with less attention and effort being given to marketing campaigns and lead generation activity, a proactive salesperson can take advantage because, the likelihood is, your competitors are going to be less enthusiastic.
So, harness the happy vibe and don’t be deterred in your sales efforts. Instead, think of ways to promote your products and services to maximise awareness and steal the march. Here are a few ideas you might want to consider to jump start your efforts.
Get out there and network
Keep an eye out for things that are happening locally and ways to promote your business. You could sponsor and event that is likely to attract potential prospects. Golf is a particularly appealing social business activity – and offers great networking opportunities. So take advantage of the warm weather and get out on the golf course or out and about round the local area.
Festivals and Shows
You may want to take your business or products ‘out of store’ to festivals or shows by taking a stand or exhibitor space. Or perhaps you can look for ways to generate awareness through sampling to visitors who will be exposed en-masse to your product or brand.
Plan an event
Why not plan an event and invite customers and prospects to come along? Enjoy some refreshments and network with one another. Make sure you give people a positive interaction with your business and offer something of value – engaging speakers on subject matters that are relevant to them or incorporating interactive activities can provide attendees with the chance to learn something new.
Offer summer gift vouchers or incentives.
Vouchers and incentives can be a great way to bring in more customers. Encourage existing customers to share them with a friend or family member and alongside word-of-mouth marketing, it can help you to grow your customer base and drive new sales opportunities. You don’t necessarily need to discount your products either - you can think of ‘added value’ incentives. There are also a host of different voucher sites that you can use – but it’s worth doing your homework as commissions paid can vary significantly.
Promotions or competitions
Look for key dates in the summer calendar (National Biscuit Day, Cycle to Work Day, National Fish & Chip Day… you get the idea) and run your own version of a competition or promotion along a ‘national’ theme. Alternatively, create your own promotion – at M3, we celebrate M 3 O’Clock – dropping a specially designed 3 o’clock’ cake and coffee to a prospect at 3pm – it’s a great way to make a memorable introduction and offers them a welcome afternoon pick me up!
Use Social Media
Make sure you maintain a strong social media presence across the summer because it can really help you stay visible to your network and prospects – and remember to post regular relevant content and also look to try new social networks, too. For example, if you only use LinkedIn and Facebook, why not consider Pinterest, YouTube or Twitter to help generate more leads?
We hope that provides you with a few ideas to get the ball rolling and heat up your summer sales this year. However, feel free to get in touch if you want more ideas tailored to your business – our door is always open.