Three Summertime Misconceptions Sales Managers Must Overcome
#1 “Most of my team’s most important prospects for new business are on vacation during the summer months.”
Salespeople say this so often that lots of managers who ought to know better sometimes come to believe it. Actually, summer is a great time for your salespeople to reach out to decision makers. Many top executives are in the office while their staff is away. Find a case that proves this (it won’t take long) and then share the results with your team. A side note: My own best month has consistently been July… because in June I start calling top-level decision makers directly, knowing that the rank-and-file players are more likely to be out camping or having fun at the beach during the summer months. Guess who’s more likely to be minding the store? The senior people!
#2 “New business comes from new accounts.”
Most of the salespeople we work with are content to have just one or two active contacts at even their most important accounts. Summer is the perfect time to remedy this state of affairs, broaden the contact network, and, ultimately increase your wallet share. Ask your team, “Who’s three deep and three wide at (insert company name here)?” If you get a blank stare in response – and you probably will – explain that “three deep” means having a professional relationship with one person above and one person below their current primary contact on the organizational chart, and “three wide” means having such a relationship with at least two of that contact’s peers. The stronger the relationships, the more likely you are to generate new business from that account. Some of these folks are going to be receptive to meeting with members of your team. (After all, it may be their “slow season” too.) Use the summer months to go “three deep and three wide” at all your current accounts!
#3 “No one buys anything during the summer.”
Head trash alert! This is a self-limiting belief. If even one of your salespeople operates on this assumption, or says it out loud, your whole team is susceptible to taking it on. If you start to operate on this assumption, the situation is even more serious! Reach out to a Sandler Coach as soon as possible. Worrying about the time of year isn’t going to help your team hit its Q3 quota. We can help your team to transform something they can control: their behavior.
Check out these social selling best practices to learn more about reaching out to decision makers this summer!