7 ideas to heat up summertime selling

Salespeople know summer has arrived when they hear their first customer's "vacation" voice mail. It sounds something like this: 

"Today is the first day of June. I'm currently swinging in a hammock at the beach and will return some time in August. Please leave a message, though I probably won't return your call until October because I'll be replying to over 10,000 emails. Talk to you in the fall. Beep!" 

With customers in and out, summer can be a frustrating time for sales, but it doesn't have to be. If your sales slump during the sunnier months, you may profit best by switching to a new selling mode. With a Yes! attitude, hard work, and some smarts, you can make it your most productive time of the year!

Here are seven ideas to heat up sales during your summer: 

1. Clean up your list. Summer is a great occasion, with selling a bit slower for many sales professionals, to update your contact list thoroughly. It will make your personal marketing and communication efforts more effective the rest of the year. It's no fun, but it rewards bigtime! Quick tip: match your customers' contact info in their most recent email signatures to their info in your contact manager.

2. Send a pre-vacation gift. Set calendar reminders a week and a half before your top customers leave on their vacations. When alerted, send each customer a greeting card with a small, tasteful gift card inside. Wish them loads of fun and a great time with their family. When they return to a jam-packed inbox, guess who will get a response first?

3. Work LinkedIn. Add your top customers to your network. Most will gladly connect with you!Then write each of them a short recommendation — which is like gold to anyone on LinkedIn. Be careful not to sound like a kiss-up! Recommend them to others with specific compliments regarding their strengths. You'll be surprised how many customers will message you back with gratitude regardless of whether they're at the office or on a cruise.

4. Get your blog and newsletter started. If your summers are slow, start writing at your local coffee shop. Crank out the content for your first blog article or newsletter. The new surroundings, slower schedule, and caffeine could be just the thing needed to kick-start these two vital projects.

5. Send a vacation shout out. On your vacation, record a short video for your best customers. Use your exotic surroundings as a backdrop. Just say hi! Tell them where you are, that you hope everything is going well for them, and that you look forward to chatting when you return. Send it before you return, and you'll blow them away!

6. Record a summer video series. Start your own YouTube channel! Then, record a series of videos (3-5) featuring yourself! Shoot the videos at casual settings — your back deck, a restaurant, a cafe, a park. Topics could include featured products, customer interviews, and "did you know?"s. Feel free to add a few personal notes. Send a video every week or every other week using an Outstand Email Greeting with a link to each video.

7. Make the most of holidays. For many countries and cultures, summer holidays are few and far between. In North America, July 4th, Canada Day, and Cinco de Mayo are about it! Whatever summer holidays your customers celebrate, don't miss the opportunity to reach out to them (and stand out from lazy competitors) with an Email Greeting or Greeting Card designed with a colorful image, your personal branding elements, and a friendly message. Your greeting will display that you're the kind of relationship-focused professional who has their act together when others are usually tuned out!