Summer is officially here, and let’s be honest, it doesn’t have a reputation for being the best time of year for sales. The beach is calling. People are on vacation. There seems to be a general lack of momentum. However, just as with that other notoriously tricky time of year for sales (the holiday season) it is still possible to connect with people and make valuable progress in your sales efforts. In fact, these seasonal lulls create opportunities for salespeople who persist, because there is often less competition from other salespeople, there is less going on, and sometimes fewer gatekeepers.
Summer is an atypical time, and anything can happen. In other words, it's no time to be sitting on the sidelines waiting for Labor Day to arrive before you buckle down.
We wrote about some things you can do for agency sales during summer last week. Continuing that theme, here are a bunch more ideas for how you can use your time effectively to support agency new business — even if your prospects are on vacation.
How to use the summer months productively for agency sales:
Be mentally prepared
- Are you are working a four-day week or taking off early for the summer months? Good for you; it’s summer, after all! Don’t forget to work harder, work smarter, and keep your head in the game while you are at the office. When you give in to “head trash” and make excuses about why you won’t make much headway, you allow yourself to make less of an effort.
- Use your most productive time of day to your advantage. If you work most effectively in the morning, schedule your most difficult or unliked tasks first so that you can power through and get them out of the way. Applying a "worst things first" approach will improve productivity and keep you on track to achieve your goals.
Stay goal oriented
- Assess your annual goals and do the math to determine where you are in relation to meeting those goals for year-end. If you need to make strategy adjustments or double-up on your efforts, now is the time.
- Make a quick plan with some stated summer goals and the steps you need to take to reach those goals.
Get your house in order
- Reassess your agency website and SEO from an agency new business perspective to make sure you are not undermining your new business efforts. How easy is it for prospective clients to find your agency based on the problems they need solved? How compelling does your agency website appear relative to other agency websites in the Google SERPs? When on your site, is it clear to a visitor what makes your agency unique and whether they can help a business like theirs solve the problems that they have? Are your demonstrated business results easy to find in case studies?
Take control of the bottom line
- If you have not recently reconsidered your agency’s approach to RFPs, think about possible alternatives and about formalizing your minimum criteria to make an RFP worth pursuing.
- Determine whether your agency’s compensation model is still effective, or if it's time to think about other options that might be more favorable?
Make better use of your human resources
- Be strategic in the tasks you delegate to summer interns. While some agency new business activities may be appropriate for an intern, many are not. For example, interns should not be doing direct outreach to executives at your prospective client companies. Instead, task them with research and other behind-the-scenes work to support lead generation efforts conducted by more seasoned team members.
- Do you have new business professionals on staff at your agency? People in new business roles at agencies face unique challenges, which is why they tend not to last very long in them. It doesn’t have to be that way. Summer presents a good opportunity to revisit your agency new business hiring process, compensation structure, onboarding, and oversight.
- Whether or not you have an in-house agency new business team, outsourcing can help you reach your agency revenue growth goals faster. Learn how to determine if its a good time for your agency to explore outsourced new business support.
Improve your agency’s ability to sell
- If you don’t have a formalized new business plan in place, do it now. It will help you stay organized, better track your sales KPIs, and use your new business resources more effectively to close more new business.
- Optimize your existing email setup and create additional emails as needed. Summer is a great time to evaluate and improve your email subject line performance and your email opening lines. Clean up your email lists to focus on engaged subscribers, segment your lists into sub-groups for more personalized messaging (such as: by service type, industry, company size, geography, lifecycle stage, etc.). Think about what email lead nurturing campaigns you might also be able to set up in support of your agency’s lead generation efforts.
- Strengthen your sales skills to close more agency new business. For example, in this post, we offer some tips on questioning strategy for agency new business, and we talk about common agency sales mistakes to avoid here.
- Evaluate your agency’s vulnerability to common agency new business challenges, including positioning, ability to attract and retain talent, and offering the wrong services. Make plans and take steps to address these issues as needed.
- Take stock of your agency new business from a diversity perspective and determine whether it is something you need to address and where it falls on your list of priorities. Make a plan as needed.
- The need for agencies to evolve is constant. How should your agency adapt next? Here are some posts to consider the best approaches to evolution for agency new business and what services will be in demand for “the agency of the future.” Which make sense for you?
Clearly, there is no shortage of things to do this summer to help keep your agency new business on track. Pick a few tasks, delegate, and get to work so you can get outside and enjoy the summer!