Selling In A Slow Season
Updated: Feb 17, 2020
The holidays are such a glorious time of year. Over the next few weeks, we’ll spend time with friends and family, enjoying great food, exchanging gifts, and enjoying a more leisurely pace of life. I can’t wait. Unfortunately in sales, this time of year can be a challenge. While it’s certainly nice to slow down, we usually expect when we’re ready to get back to work all of our prospects are too. It doesn’t always work that way. Business ramps up outside of our own expectations.
The fact is, a slow season is here -- and another will likely come in summer. A dip in sales will occur.
How will you still hit your numbers?
More importantly, what can you do to actually build your business when the closing bucket of your pipeline is lite on deals?
Here are some ways to best leverage down days on the calendar so you can set yourself up for more success to follow.
1. Be loud when others are quiet.
No one is expecting it, so why not fire up the prospecting machine big time?
Launch a campaign of informing, educating and helping your prospects get on track for the New Year. Help them solve some of their 1st quarter issues and take advantage of unique business opportunities. Pipe up when everyone else is silent, and it might just lead to uncovering a hot prospect and/or sale!
2. Do a little post-holiday planning and strategizing.
Michal Gerber in his excellent book, The E Myth, makes a great point when he says to spend time working “on” your business as well as working “in” your business.
This means taking a step back and analyzing what worked well last year and what changes need to be made in the New Year.
With the right attitude and action, you can actually transform a slow season into a positive experience. Slower seasons can be stressful, but they can also provide you with some clarity. Look inward during this time so you can re-evaluate some of your internal processes and tighten up parts of the business.
For example, when was the last time you updated your email list? Email marketing databases degrade more than 20% in a year, so use this time to prepare it for the next big rush. It also doesn't hurt to check in on customers you haven't heard from in a while.
The post-holiday weeks can also be a great time to put some social media posts and marketing ideas together. Whether you take advantage of the slower season to put out messages when others are quiet, or you hold off until later, you're in a part of the calendar when you can free your mind up a little more to think creatively.
3. Prepare for the summer dip and next year’s holiday.
The holidays roll around at the exact time every year, so let’s stop acting like we’re surprised by them or powerless against the slow season that follows. That mentality makes things worse than they have to be.
Look at your sales cycle. If it takes you three months to close a deal, then calendar in some time in April and May to ramp up for the summer.
The same goes for September and October. Hit it hard so December and January won't be bleak.
When you properly anticipate a slow season, you can actually be extremely productive during supposed down months and gain an edge on the competition.
Don't think quick fix during slow times; think about creating a long-term approach that lays the groundwork for the seasons ahead. One final note to make: Make sure you’re not creating any slow seasons yourself. For example, if you attend or sponsor a huge trade show or industry conference in the summer, make sure someone in the office is still working hard to secure leads. The last thing you want to do is have everyone so devoted to the event that they take their eyes off the pipeline and actually create a slow season because of it.
Enjoy the holidays with family & friends, and take some well-deserved time off. Just resolve to meet 2020 with a newly energized focus. And, plan ahead! We look forward to working with you in the New Year.