Summer is officially here, and—let’s be honest—it doesn’t have a reputation for being the best time of year for sales. After all, the beach is calling. People are on vacation. Businesses are more relaxed. However, just as with that other notoriously tricky time of year for sales, it is still possible to connect with people and make valuable progress in your sales efforts. The summer sales slump has become accepted because people love an excuse to get out of doing new business activities!
Wise salespeople know that any seasonal lull only creates greater opportunities for those who persist—because there is often less competition and 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 things you can do for agency sales during summer here. Here are additional ideas about how you can use your time 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 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 permit 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.
- 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 efforts. How easy is it for prospective clients to find your agency based on the problems they need solved? How compelling is your agency’s website relative to others? Is it clear to a visitor what makes your agency unique and whether you can solve their problems? Are your demonstrated business results easy to find in case studies? Is your site as functional as it is beautiful? Is the navigation simple and intuitive?
Take control of the bottom line
- If you have not reconsidered your agency’s approach to RFPs, think about possible alternatives, and formalizing your minimum criteria to determine whether an RFP is 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 an 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 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.
- Remember, most people will be checking their emails on a mobile device, particularly in summer when they are more likely to be out of office. Be sure to think mobile-first by keeping your subject line short and your email copy succinct.
- 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 how your agency’s approach to culture and diversity may impact your new business efforts. Determine whether this 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 that consider different approaches to evolution and the services that will be in demand for “agencies of the future.” Do any of them make sense for you?
- What are Agencies Doing to Win New Business?
- The “Agency of the Future” or Bust: A Look at Data, CX, and Tech
- Agency Reinvention and Positioning for Adaptation
- 6 Agencies Taking An Off-the-Beaten-Path Approach To Their Business
- The In-House Agency Trend and Your Best Path to New Business
- How To Use The Small Agency Trend To Your Advantage
Clearly, there is no shortage of things to do this summer to keep your agency new business on track. Most importantly: continue to plug away at your ongoing new business outreach activities. If you have more time available, pick a few tasks, delegate, and get your work done so you can get outside and enjoy the summer!
This post was updated for accuracy and relevance on July 31, 2019.
- Tips and Insights for Better Agency New Business Emails
- How Agency New Business Has Changed in the Past 10 Years
- How Culture Impacts Agency New Business
- What Agencies Should be Ready for in 2019 (New Biz Perspective)