It’s summertime, and the living is easy — but the selling is hard. Even the most prolific salespeople aren’t immune to the summer slump.
When prospects are on vacation, calls go unanswered, and LinkedIn connection requests remain pending for days. It’s a rough time for people whose job revolves around connecting.
But the worst thing you can do is panic if you’re in the midst of a summer slump. Instead, check out these 15 tactics to get back on track during a slow season.
Here are a few key takeaways.
Industries with the most significant growth include Leisure and Hospitality (+44.7%), Manufacturing (+13.65%), and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+10.62%). Industries with the slowest growth were Construction and Financial Activities.
Now the bad news. Last summer, global traffic dipped across almost all industries and segments. Unlike in pre-pandemic years, businesses saw less website traffic and fewer qualified leads.
June of 2020 was the month with the most seasonal changes or slumps. The industries that saw the largest dips in traffic were Construction (-12%), Financial Activities (-11%), and Manufacturing (-7.2%).
The data is clear — businesses experienced more deal closings but less traffic last summer than in pre-pandemic years. If you notice these trends with your own business, continue reading to learn the best tips for increasing sales in the summer.
Here are 15 tips to get yourself back on track during the summer. Taking action will improve your attitude and, at best, snowball into a steady stream of sales.
No movement at the bottom of your pipeline? Take some time to refill the top.
Just because people are on vacation during the summer doesn’t mean business screeches to a halt. Paying attention to trigger events and using them as sales openings is a best practice year-round but can be particularly helpful during a slump.
Set up Google alerts for your prospects’ companies to keep abreast of any major announcements. If relevant news is announced — big or small — pounce on the opportunity to send a message connecting your offering and/or expertise to the event.
“I like to call top customers in July to check in regarding the state of our relationship and see if there are other divisions or connections that can use similar help,” Tyre adds.
If your prospects are unavailable, call your customers and ask if they know anyone who could benefit from your product or service. Because you’ll be kickstarting your relationship with the referred prospect with a personal recommendation instead of earning trust from scratch, the deal can close much faster.
Remember that prospect who said it wasn’t the right time a few months ago? Well, it just might be the right time now.
While it’s unlikely that deals in the pipeline for six months or more will close, it doesn’t hurt to give it one last-ditch effort.
Consider sending a breakup email to the prospects you put on ice a while back. This type of message is especially effective at generating responses. Once you get the prospect talking again, you can determine whether the deal is worth pursuing further or if it’s time to purge it from your pipeline.
Of course, you have a quota to hit — that’s the ultimate goal. But if you’re in the depths of a summer slump, it can be helpful to set a few mini goals to sustain a good amount of activity and keep your spirits high.
Maybe you want to make three calls by the end of the day. Perhaps you’re striving to present five demos this week. A smaller goal can keep you pushing ahead — especially when the quota seems hopelessly out of reach. You might find that the big number becomes much more attainable after you soar past a handful of smaller hurdles.
Is no one answering your emails or calls? Draw inspiration from the season to change up your messaging. A bit of seasonal humor can go a long way in grabbing buyers’ interest.
For example, you might kick off a voicemail with “You’re probably on a beach somewhere now, but … ” or, “If you can pull yourself away from the barbecue …” Of course, the more rapport you have with the prospect, the more effective these blips of humor will be.
If the prospect needs a solution in place by [X] date or an upcoming goal they’re at risk of missing, gently nudge them to take action now — before it’s too late.
Sales reps deserve some R&R, so be sure to take some time off from the everyday grind. For maximum vacation restoration, leave your laptop behind and turn your cell phone off.
But just because you’ve cast your go-to tools aside doesn’t mean you have to stop networking. Chat with the people at your hotel, or start conversations with the folks one umbrella over on the beach. You might just find a referral source — or, better yet, a new prospect.
Summer is often a frustrating time to book meetings. One week you’re on vacation. The following week, your prospect is. Add in a holiday weekend, and the back-and-forth scheduling emails can get old quickly.
Every business goes through sales slumps, and it’s the job of sales managers and directors to formulate a company-wide strategy to combat them. Odds are, if you’re having a dry spell, some of your colleagues are too. Approach your manager about levers you can pull to get more prospects biting — discounts, freebies, relaxed contract terms, etc. Be mindful that these options should only be used as a last resort. You should always strive to sell buyers on value, not price or terms.
When business is slow, consult with colleagues in marketing about new collateral. As a sales rep, you’re in a prime position to identify topics that would resonate with buyers. If you provide marketers with the idea, they can bring it to life. And a new piece of content that effectively attracts or nurtures leads means more prospects for you to sell to down the line.
It’s common knowledge that summer is vacation time. But certain weeks are more popular than others.
Although the summer holidays can make outreach challenging, they provide an excellent opportunity to market and advertise your business’ products and services. Draw inspiration from the summer holidays to create advertisements that show prospects how your business can benefit them throughout the summer.
During the summer, your prospects will spend less time in the office and more time on vacation. Whether your audience takes a flight far from home or opts for a staycation, they will spend less time looking at computer screens and more time looking at out-of-home and direct mailers.
Invest in billboards, bus shelters, mailers, and other out-of-home and direct mail advertising to reach your prospects outside their inboxes and keep your business top of mind during their summer vacations.
You might go through a sales dip in the summer, but don’t let your shoulders slump. Come fall, the business will be booming once more. Model your disposition after the weather — the sunnier, the better.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 2022 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.