Depending on your business summer is often the slowest time of the year, unless you sell beach balls or sun block. Many business owners prepare for these slower times in advance but the truth is, you need to step away from that frame of mind. As a business owner you should never think of any season as a slow one. Just because people will be busier with leisure and family activities doesn't mean you can't tap into what they need and want this summer and use it to your selling advantage.
Check out these 5 tips to recharge your sales during the laziest days of the summer:
1. Make a firm decision not to participate in a slowdown. Don't allow your employees to buy into this thinking because I assure you that they will make a summer slowdown one of the first excuses if there are any issues with their job performance. Hold a daily meeting to discuss what you are going to do to prosper–not contract—this summer. Set clearly defined goals and list the activities that need to be undertaken to achieve them. Give yourself deadlines for your goals and create a no excuses, no negativity environment. You'll be surprised by what you can achieve.
2. Work your power base. Get out in front of the summer slowdown and let your best customers know you'll be available all summer. Target anyone who has bought from you in the last 90 days through direct mail, phone calls, emails or social media. Get into regular communication with these customers and figure out how to expand your business with them. For example, find out what you can do to assist as they prepare for vacation or to help fill a gap in their absence.
3. Target busy customers who can't take a long vacation. Focus some of your marketing efforts on prospective customers who plan to be around in July and August. Remember that these are clearly busy people who are pressed for time and can't afford a vacation or leisurely summer work pace. Take the initiative by distributing flyers, getting on social media and updating your website to let people know you will be around, too, and can offer something valuable to help them deal with their time constraints. For example, if you're an auto dealer, take that new convertible by the customer's office and let your prospective buyer test drive the car and sign the paperwork there. Or if you're a lunchbox delivery service, let prospects know you can provide food so they don't have to leave their comfortable, air-conditioned offices.
4. Offer a value-added proposition to avoid discounting prices. You will probably need to make even more profit from each sale to compensate for decreased summertime volume. So, figure out creative ways to repackage your products or services to provide something extra, such as a special summer-themed promotion. For example, I took two of my lectures series and packaged them into a Fourth of July special. The value-added proposition: When taken together, the lectures are both more informative and effective.
5. Service is senior to selling and needs to be top of mind. Service should be a year-around commitment, of course, but it is even more important during a summer slowdown when your competitors go into that “living is easy” mode and take their eye off the ball. Show that you are motivated to make things happen quickly and empower employees to accommodate special requests, even if it means opening your business early or letting customers enter your establishment in flip flops or beachwear.
By truly customizing your summer marketing campaigns you can continue to stand out and increase or at least maintain sales all summer long. Once customers notice your are tailoring your business to suit their needs they will quickly become a customer for life.
How do you keep your customers coming back year after year and all through the summer?