08 Jul Summertime Marketing
Set the Stage Now for Great Sales This Fall
“Summertime and the living is easy,” wrote Ira Gershwin, in 1943. But that was a different century. Yes, sales may be slower in some businesses during the summer, but if you are slipping off to the beach instead of setting up appointments, you won’t be ready to do business when fall finally rolls around. In today’s world of smartphones and iPads, people will stay connected, even when they are at the beach.
Best Kept Secret. Summer marketing is the best kept secret, because so many companies table their marketing in the summer. If you’re the only one sending a postcard or making a phone call, you have a much better chance to be noticed than in the midst of all the “noise” of September, when people are scrambling to make up for time lost. Plus, while you’ve already got meetings lined up with those larger companies who make budgeting decisions in September, those that are contacting their prospects for the first time in September will likely miss the boat on fitting into that budget. If you have a meeting already scheduled (based on due diligence in the summer), then your prospect can find the budget for your service! Picture that!
Think Non-Traditional. Experiment with a new type of marketing. Try an e-mail campaign or send out postcards (ones that will get noticed). How about contacting your lost / inactive accounts or putting together a seminar invite list? Something new and different will not only catch your customer’s eye, but will have the added advantage of keeping you focused on your business on those days when you’d rather be at the beach. Of course, increase your odds of better ROI by following up on that mailing with phone calls.
Offer a Discount or Trial Offer. To keep the cash flow moving, a little less money is better than no money at all during slow times. A special offer may be the kind of kick start some of your prospects need to make a commitment. Try offering a special “summer trial package” at a slightly discounted price. It could be a great way to attract new business at a time when you and your employees don’t have as much to do.
Don’t Stop Networking. It’s a great time to get out and network. Summer networking events are usually more relaxed and casual, and are a great opportunity to meet new people and get to know them in the relaxed atmosphere of a barbecue or golf outing. If you can’t find enough events to attend, create one of your own. While many people are swamped with parties in December, summer is a wonderful time to thank clients or referral partners with a picnic or other party.
Work With It. Yes, from June through August scheduling an appointment can be more complex. There are vacations to work around, and after 12 noon on Fridays more business people can be found on the golf course than in the office. That just means you need to use a little strategic planning when you phone for that appointment. Be proactive; always ask when someone will be on vacation, and better yet, “when would you like to hear from me next?” gives you the permission you need for a timely follow up call.
“Call me after Labor Day.” It’s only a matter of time until you start hearing those words when you call to set an appointment. Try this in response.
“I’m sure both of our schedules get extremely busy in September. And believe it or not, I’m actually scheduling meetings now for September for that very reason. Take a look at your calendar – do you have it in front of you? (They usually do.) Let’s pencil something in for the second or third week of September. I’ll give you my contact info in case something comes up.”
This is a great technique to set yourself up for a busy and profitable fall season. If you set the appointments now, you’ll be weeks ahead once September arrives and people are again “in the mood” for business.
Amanda Puppo is the owner of MarketReach Inc., specialists at B2B Appointment setting and Lead generation for the M&A universe. www.MarketReach.biz. Reach Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-448-6364.