Late July and August are often known as the “dog days” of summer – high temperatures, slow pace, and a certain lethargy often sets in. Unless you run a seasonal business that benefits from summer tourism, you’re probably finding that your business is having a slower time of year during this season; the phones aren’t ringing as often, foot traffic has slowed, major clients might be out of office on vacation and not returning your calls. So what should you do? How can you make the most of even a “slow” time of year and ensure that your business can bounce back with bigger sales and better results after summer is done?
Sales Strategy Checklist
Here are a few things to do during the dog days of summer to keep your business on the right track for future growth:
Re-evaluate Your Sales Process
What works, and what needs improvement, in your current sales process? Take some time to re-examine every step of your sales process, from intake of new inbound sales leads to outbound cold calls, to sales demos, to ROI calculations, and more. Where are the points in your process that achieve the highest conversion rates? Where do you attract the most interest from prospects, and where do you tend to lose the most deals? How can you fix the parts of the process that need help – for example, do you need to re-write your sales call script, or enhance your online demo with more details or updated features? Now is a good chance to go back to the drawing board and reimagine a sales process that works more efficiently for your buyers and for your business.
Rank Your Clients
Especially if your business is a professional services firm, now is a time to dream big and ask yourself – if you had to “fire” some of your clients, who would they be? Which of your clients are not the right fit, or not offering a big enough budget to be worth the trouble? And conversely, which of your clients are your superstar clients who you love to work with, and who you would love to clone? What do you like or dislike about each client? What makes them the right fit (or not) for where you want your business to go next? How can you get more of the best types of clients and gradually part ways with the rest?
Sometimes when business is good, business owners don’t spend enough time on marketing and prospecting – they’re too busy dealing with the daily press of existing clients and sales deals. But when you hit a slow spell, like late summer, it can be a good time to reflect on what you need to do differently to go find your next round of sales opportunities. If you could wave a magic wand today – if cost and time were no objects – what would you do differently in your marketing? What is a new lead generation tactic that you would like to try? Is there a new client or industry sector that you want to sell to? Could you go back to a former client for repeat business or upsell opportunities? Sometimes there are opportunities out there which are right in plain sight, but you haven’t made time to reach out to them. Take time now to re-center your sales and marketing efforts and figure out a few objectives that are most important to you.
The dog days of summer might be slow for your business, but that’s a good opportunity to take a step back and think big thoughts about where you want your business to go next. Don’t let your business get defined by responding to the daily rush. Don’t assume that your sales process is perfect; chances are good that you can achieve bigger results by making some changes. And most of all, don’t let yourself get lulled into complacency – take time to chart your own course based on the top priorities that are most important to you and your business growth.
Dog with Hose Photo via Shutterstock