Summertime, And The Sellin’ Is Easy – by Tibor Shanto
For most of us summer is finally here, and as enter the Dog Days of Summer, the pace of business moderates, and it seems like everyone is on vacation. But while many will see this time of year as slack, I say it is a great time to sell for a whole bunch of reasons. The reality is that not everyone is on vacation, it just feels that way, which is a good thing. Average salespeople, (not you because you showed you’re above average by reading this piece), take this as a cue or permission to ease off the gas, up on their intensity a bit, “preserving their energy for after Labour Day when people get back to business and it really counts.”
Thinking ahead though, you know that any easing now will lead to a soft spot in your pipeline down the road; this is the time to engage with buyers, now is the time that they are reviewing their year and formulating their plans for the last four months of the year, and beyond, positioning for the next year. You know that for them to hit the ground running the day after Labour Day, they have to make decisions now, and take action, and make purchases, not Tuesday September 3, but now.
Now is the time to sit with those executives and decision makers who were on vacation last week or in town till mid August. While it is true that there may be a lull here and there, these executives and decision makers are not sitting back enjoying the heat, they are hard at work reviewing, thinking and planning, thinking about what has to change, what has to go, like maybe one of your competitors; or worse maybe you.
Talk to your current clients and they will confirm that they are very much in a look and decision mode, readying for the fall. They’ll also confirm that they are very open to suggestions and broader insights from those they feel have and can help them. They’ll thank you for the call, saying the timing was great.
Whether they are an existing client or one that you have been pursuing, give them a call. As an above average salesperson, you offer a number of things beyond “product”; because you meet and speak with a range of people impacted by your product, you have market expertise they want to tap into. You are a conduit to best practices that buyers want to tap into and you can leverage to open up meaningful discussion with someone actively searching for ways to cement their action plans and decide their purchases.
In that environment, you have a great opportunity to go in and ask some very direct questions, and offer some very specific recommendations. Ask them where they are vis-à-vis their plans, if nothing else it has been a year of change, ask them not only what has changed, but what the impact of that change has been. What has changed forever, and what is just a reaction. What would they do differently, what are their current priorities versus March, still using the same metrics or new? You know what to ask to get them to open up.
Remember to take your time, it is not a race, after all everyone is on vacation, it is purely a two way information session, a chance for a long cold ice tea and some conversation.
You can also exploit the fact that the average salespeople are in “summer mode”, and that many are really on vacation. This just improves the odds of you being one of the few making these calls. Things seem calm on the surface, when in fact they are very active below, plans are being finalized, and decisions are being made. Tools and partners are being selected, and some are being rejected, only to be told when they are back in two weeks, well actually on Tuesday September 3, because the decision maker is going on vacation the last week of August. Why not, he has made his plans, aligned resources, and comfortable that he is ready to roll right after Labour Day.
So with the weekend coming, why not sit down and pick three accounts you want to grow, and three competitive accounts you want to win, and go after them next week. I bet you even know a competitive rep that will be packing up early today for two weeks holiday, call him up, tell him to enjoy.
What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto–Principal-Renbor Sales Solutions Inc., is a recognized speaker, author of the award winning book Shift!: Harness The Trigger Events That Turn Prospects Into Customers, and sought-after trainer; his work has appeared in numerous publications and leading websites. Called a brilliant sales tactician, Tibor helps organizations execute their strategy by using the EDGE Sales Process to create the perfect combination of strategy, tactics, skills to ensure execution. Tibor can be reached at info@SellBetter.ca or + 1416 822-7781. You can read his blog, The Pipeline, with new material three times a week, and follow Tibor on Twitter @TiborShanto.
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