Leveraging Social Selling to Avoid the Summer Slump
According to research, more than 60 percent of business professionals will take a summer vacation. At any given moment this summer, a third of your prospects and customers may be away from work. That can make it difficult to keep sales numbers up—and yourself or your team motivated. Here are some tips for your sales teams.
Set (or reset) your goals for the summer.
Summer can be a great time to reset your goals from January, and either move them up to keep pushing yourself or down to be more realistic. If you don’t have written goals, the best time to do that was 20 years ago … and the second-best time is right now.
Don’t just set goals for closed sales. Try setting goals for actions you or your team will take along the way—things like prospecting attempts, social media connection requests or referrals given. Remember: You can’t control your prospects, but you are always in charge of your behavior.
Do some extra precall planning and research.
If things are slow, use that time to be more prepared for the calls you do have. Check out your prospect’s LinkedIn profile. See what that person is talking about on Twitter. Look for common topics or common connections that can give you a referral. Then look up one of those dream clients of yours and start making new connections to help you get in the door.
Stay in touch.
Some of your “unavailable” prospects will stay connected with the outside world via social media: posting vacation pictures on Facebook or updating Twitter about their latest adventures or their down time by the pool. If you are having trouble making contact with prospects and clients when they’re behind their desks, why not try responding (appropriately!) to such posts?
Use a reverse timeline to create a sense of urgency.
In the summer, vacations and distractions can postpone decisions. Try using reverse timeline to create a sense of urgency with your prospects. For example, if they want a big marketing campaign for the holidays, you will need to start working on it by at least October. If they want work started in October, they need to pick a vendor by September. To do that, they need to meet with you in August. Working backward from desired results often leaves less time than prospects expect.
Post blogs or articles on LinkedIn.
Consider writing more long-form marketing content or blog posts (typically 500-900 words) on LinkedIn. Doing this can help you become a voice of authority in your industry and summer is the perfect time to do it. Make sure you are sharing relevant insights, resources and industry news.
Try something new.
Use the extra time to try out some new strategies or tactics. You could use the down time to learn about a new social media channel, record your 30-second commercial on video for your LinkedIn profile, or experiment with cold email prospecting.
Automate your social selling.
There are many online tools, like Hootsuite, that will allow you to schedule your social media posts in advance and automatically share them with your social media accounts at the same time. Most email marketing tools let you schedule announcements in advance, too. You even can get creative with your voicemail and out-of-office message to direct people where you want them, automatically.
Know when to stop.
One of the keys to beating a slump is investing a little bit of time in you every working day—not running yourself into the ground. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself this summer.♦
Jim Marshall is owner and president of Sandler Training of Tampa Bay, which provides sales, corporate and management training to high-achieving companies and individuals. Contact him at 813.287.1500 or [email protected]