AHHHHH the summer is coming! Prepare to make no sales, because everyone is busy!!!
Seriously guys, Mean Coach isn’t buying it.
When I was a Cutco manager, July was the best month of the year. And the week of 4th of July? The highest sales week ever. Do you know why? Because we told everyone it would be. Sure, there are some challenges to the summer, but there are challenges to every month. It all depends on what you decide to focus on.
January is a bad time to sell because it’s right after Christmas. January is a great time to sell because it’s right after Christmas and people have their New Year’s Resolutions. February is a bad time to sell because of the bad weather. February is a great time to sell because people are in a good mood because of Valentine’s Day. March is a bad time to sell because of spring break. March is a great time to sell because of spring break. I could go through for literally every month. And June and July are no different.
I think the core reason behind summer sales slumps have more to do with us not executing the basics than customers and their issues. But when we are a little sloppy, it highlights the customer’s issues. Here is an example that has hit home for us.
In our home, we have a little job chart. The kids do their jobs, get their magnets. The magnets get exchanged for quarters or TV time. But the last month or so my husband and I can’t even. So we stopped tracking, rewarding and executing the basics of what creates an environment for our kid’s success. And they have also since stopped filling out their planners. And yes, our 4 and 7-year-old (now 5 and 8 year olds) have planners. Duh.
So Haley hasn’t had to turn in tokens for TV time in weeks. Now she acts like we have cut her arm off if we tell her this is her last show. And Zoey my straight O perfectionist woke up this morning with no show and tell prepped. THESE KIDS! They don’t want to be responsible anymore! What’s wrong with them! Right?
Or… was it a lack of execution of the basics.
Before we lead our customers or our team, we must first lead ourselves. The lack of structure in the summer is the root cause of this sales slump. Just like the lack of structure in our home has affected the behavior of my kids.
So, Step 1 to having a great sales summer is to plan to. Take some time right now and set your goals, team and sales. Block off your schedule for the times you are working or not. Adjust everything based on what’s going on. Set your appointment goals and circle them. This way you can offer them to customers and team members. We know that offering a choice of two times increases appointment setting. If you don’t have these times in your schedule and you pull a sloppy “when is good for you” don’t be surprised when they say “after the summer.” It’s totally cool to block off extra time for fun. Even if you have less time to work, if you plan it you can still totally kill it. This is always the key to sales consistency.
Step 2 to having a great summer is to make a list of reasons why customers WILL buy in the summer. I’ll get you started with a few that come to mind, but you will want to brainstorm this with your team. One is that people are in good moods because it’s the summer. A second is that since their kids are home they are more likely to set up playdates. Families are in town so it’s a great opportunity to do group appointments. When you communicate with customers, cite these as reasons why your schedule is filling up quickly, and it will. Here is an example, “I’m setting up 3 appointments this week and I thought it would be a great time because we can talk and the kids can play together since they are home and I bet you could use the adult interaction. How does that sound?”
Step 3 is to have a mitigation plan for the obstacles of the summer. Yuck, big business words. Basically what I’m talking about is to make a list of the obstacles, and then be creative in making workarounds. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me every year, shame on me. So let’s say it’s harder to have someone host a class because they personally tend to travel a lot in the summer. Be creative. Offer appointments via webcam. Have a summer themed something that kicks up the fun factor. Take the reasons in step 2 and explain them to the customer. Be prepared with multiple times if they are busy at certain times. If your normal product line doesn’t make sense in the summer, take 5 minutes and look at life from the customer’s eyes, but they don’t own your product. You can explain to people when scheduling that you will help them stay sane during the summer, which is of high value to them.
Step 4 is to walk through these steps with your team. In your coaching calls this week, get ahead of the summer. Plan June AND July. Set goals. Make sure your team has goals. Then have a team meeting where you brainstorm the reasons people will buy, and to keep tight on the basics. Things won’t go perfectly but customers are way more receptive than you think.
I’ll just wrap up to give you alternative scenarios to the doomsday ones in your head where “no one is home,” “no one wants to buy” and “everyone is on vacation.” Truth- most people can’t afford to vacation for 8 weeks straight. Get a grip. Schedule them for a different week. In our home, here is our schedule. Charlie and I both work full-time so for us, it’s not summer. The kids will be going to karate camp most weeks, one-week hockey camp, and one-week science camp. We will spend one week on vacation, and we are hoping to visit my aunt but I’ll be working most of the day and my kids and her will be exploring. Other than those 2 weeks, it’s business as usual in our home.
When I sold Cutco, we sold a lot on the morning of 4th of July. Why? Because people were home. So our reps would just throw it out there. “Hi, well I could meet with you the morning of 4th of July since most of the stuff isn’t until the afternoon and a lot of people have the day off.” Before you panic, think about it. It makes sense and it serves customers. Think about the reasons customers will schedule and buy, they are often the same reasons you have decided they won’t.
Ok, quick recap- set goals, block off your schedule, adjust your communication to address obstacles in advance. So pretty much the same as every other month. 🙂
Thanks for checking us out this week. If you liked these tips on selling in the summer, you can register for one of our free trainings at http://bit.ly/2FGRjIL.
Have a great day!