According to research done by AYTM, over 60% 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. This summer, you can use these social selling tips to avoid a summer slump.
Set (or reset) your goals for the summer.
The summer marks the halfway point for the year. This 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 your closed sales. Try setting goals for actions you will take along the way, things like prospecting attempts, social media connection requests, or referrals given. These are vitally important goals, too! Remember: You can’t control your prospects, but you are always in charge of your behavior.
Do some extra pre-call planning and research.
This one is simple. 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. Use your time wisely!
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 during some 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? See what happens.
Use a reverse-timeline to create a sense of urgency.
In the summer, vacations and distractions can postpone decisions. Try looking at when your prospects expect results and then do a reverse timeline to create a sense of urgency. For example, if they want a big marketing campaign for the holidays, you will need to start working on it by at least October. Then 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 backwards from desired results often leaves less time than prospects expect. You can talk about this timeline in the abstract in your social posts, and in more specific terms in one-on-one conversations.
Take the conversation offline.
Take advantage of the nicer weather and longer days. Suggest that you and your prospect take the conversation offline. After all, face-to-face is the best way to communicate. You can use the extra time you may have in the summer months to swing by in person or set an appointment on the patio of your favorite restaurant. In the summer, many prospects will welcome the right offer to move from email, phone, and social media to a person-to-person meeting.
Write some long-form posts on LinkedIn.
If you’re looking at a summer slowdown, 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.
Think summer themes and summer needs.
Depending on your industry, summertime can bring its own unique issues and challenges for your prospects. Maybe their business slows down or picks up? Maybe they are more stressed … or more relaxed? Maybe there are specific needs that only arise for them during the summer months? Make sure you talk about those topics in your social media posts and interactions.
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. Keep track of the results!
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 out to all our profiles at the same time. Most email marketing tools let you schedule announcements in advance, too. You can even 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.