It’s officially summer, which means salespeople can finally check out for a few months, slow down their prospecting activity, kick up their feet and relax, right?
After all, your prospects are probably on vacation, checked out of the office entirely, or not really in the mood to talk about why your product, solution or services could solve their biggest problems or pain points. So, why bother trying to call, e-mail or set appointments with them? May as well kick back, sip on a Mojito and soak up the sun.
Go for it — provided, of course, that you don’t mind missing out on a huge opportunity to get a leg up on your competition.
While the assumption that prospects check out for the summer might be true if you were selling or operating your business in Europe where three- or four-week vacations are commonplace, the reality is that most of you are selling to small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States.
Yes, we take vacations here, but not for three or four weeks at a time. In fact, some business owners can’t afford to spend more than a long weekend away from their business. And even if they do take a weeklong vacation, you can be sure that those prospects are in the office the other 11 weeks of summer.
So, why wouldn’t you engage in many of the same prospecting activities during those 11 weeks that you do the rest of the year?
The reality is that while most of your prospects are busier in the summer and do take more vacations this time of year, they’re still thinking about their business and trying to figure out how they’re going to hit their annual revenue targets.
Best of all, it’s likely that your biggest competitors are adhering to the faulty sales theory that prospecting and selling during the summer is little more than wasted time. Ultimately, that opens up a huge window of opportunity for you to step in and work with prospects without the distraction of competing solutions complicating their buying decisions.
Here are two more compelling arguments for prospecting in the summer:
- People are more relaxed and willing to talk: It is summer, after all. If you invest in prospecting in the summer just like you do every other season, you’ll find that it’s easier to get prospects to agree to meetings, lunch or even a round of golf. You can get much more creative about how you network and create relationship building environments that feel less rigid.
- You can position your solution at the front of the pack: Decision-making may be slower in the summer and you may not close as many deals, but by investing time into developing relationships with prospects over the summer months you’ll have the inside track when purchasing decisions are made. The reason? You didn’t take a vacation while your counterparts did.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t take a vacation this summer. I’m just warning you to not buy into the belief that you can punch a ticket to the Caribbean for 12 weeks and come back to the office expecting to pick up where you left off.
Doing that won’t just put you behind the eight ball in September, it could squash your chances of developing a relationship with certain prospects altogether.
Kendra Lee is a top IT Seller, Prospect Attraction Expert, author of the newly released book, “The Sales Magnet,” and the award winning book, “Selling Against the Goal,” and president of KLA Group. Specializing in the IT industry, KLA Group works with companies to break in and exceed revenue objectives in the Small and Midmarket Business (SMB) segment.