Date: 07/06/2018 | By: Nigel Dunand

How to Build a Sales Plan that Withstands Summer Sales Slumps

By rethinking your summer sales plan, you can use a slower market to your advantage. Follow our guide to building a sales plan that withstands summer slumps and turn these notoriously slow months into productive and profitable opportunities.

1. Use LinkedIn for Referral Opportunities

Find potential clients that you think fit your ideal customer outline and see who you have in common. You will find that you have friends or professional connections with these valuable prospects. Use LinkedIn to generate referrals by contacting these existing contacts and asking for an introduction to the potential clients. Sales messages via referrals are less likely to be ignored and these prospects typically move quickly through the sales funnel and have a high close rate.

2. Resume Contact with Potential Clients

Contact potential clients that were not able to commit earlier in the year, either because of a lack of funding or an existing contract with a competitor. Speaking with your potential clients halfway through the year lets you assess their yearly company budget.
Schedule client review meetings during the summer and find out what the clients like about your business approach and if there is room for improvement. If the client is thrilled with the way you have handled their account, you may be able to get additional business from them through referrals or a bigger budget allocation.

3. Apply the Monkey’s Paw Approach

There is a sales tactic called the “Monkey’s Paw” method. Put simply, this involves getting the client to agree to a small sale up front. Once you prove the usefulness of your product or service, you can discuss a larger upsell to meet the needs discovered.
By establishing even a small relationship with the client, you keep your products or service at the forefront and leave an opportunity open for later contract renegotiations. Get the sale started this year and charge the customer less, and then try for the larger engagement next year.

4. Participate in Sales Contests

Staying motivated is hard for salespeople during the summer slump. With most businesses holding back from spending the yearly budget, salespeople start to lose their edge. Participate in company-wide sales contents to keep your focus during this slow selling period. Follow daily updates to see how you compare to other salespeople in the office to activate your competitive instincts, pushing you to work harder to make the sale.

5. Be Ready to Close the File

The summer sales slump gives you the opportunity to contact previous prospects to see if they are still interested in your product or service. Many times we may get an indecisive or unclear answer from those prospects. When you hear the answer, “Let me get a proposal and I’ll be in touch after my boss gets back from their holiday”, do you immediately put that down as a probable sale? Counting these responses as anything more than denial is a mistake. These prospects have a fear of letting you down or just flat out saying “No.”

6. Set Clear Personal Goals

Set specific personal goals instead of vague statements e.g. “I will sell £100,000 more than last year.” Once you set your goal, you create an actionable target, then map your personal goals with financial goals. Know how much more you have to sell to reach the next level of sales commission. This lets you draw up a behavioural plan of action to know how much you have to sell on a weekly or monthly basis to reach your yearly goals.
You should understand where you are in the sales funnel at all times and what it will take to get the client closer to the sale. If it is not clear to you, it is not clear to the client. Creating a checklist of talking points prior to calling makes for more productive conversations with prospects.
Using a combination of strategy, planning, prospecting, and training, you can turn around your slump and reignite your selling capabilities. Do not accept that sales are down and nothing will change. Implement fresh tactics to gain a new perspective on how to beat the dreaded summer sales slump.

Learn more about keeping motivated during the unavoidable summer sales slump in this free download – 12 ways to stay motivated and beat the odds through the summer sales slump