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Summer Sales Slump?

With there being only thirteen (13) more days of summer, it will soon be time to start evaluating your company’s profitability during this historically slow season.

Recognizing if your company has fallen prey to a slow summer cycle is the first step to potentially overcoming it. Clearly it’s an oversimplification to state that there are only two categories, but you might evaluate your company to determine which of these categories BEST describes the nature of yours:

  • Your business legitimately has a slump season and rather than trying to overcome the impossible, recognizing this fact enables to you to concentrate on maintaining momentum by preparing for your busy seasons, such as updating your tech, investing time in product development, and so on.

  • Your business suffers seasonal slumps, but with some analysis, evaluation, planning, and action, you may be able to change the cycle. If this may describe the nature of your business, consider the following.

Analyze your current summer marketing & sales strategy (as well as your competition’s strategy) in an effort to determine what can be implemented or changed to increase sales & profitability rather than just accept “we’re always slow in the summer,” which is the equivalent of the dreaded, “that’s how we’ve always done it here.” You might find that because you’ve always accepted that summers are slow, that you don’t even have a summer marketing & sales strategy. If that is the case, consider what changes you can make now in preparation for summer 2017:

  • Reconnect with your existing client base to make sure you are meeting their current needs, proactively identifying future needs, and exceeding service level expectations. If there is an opportunity to offer additional products or services that they truly need or would benefit from, now’s the time to expand the scope of your relationship.

  • Servicing your existing client base is, however, the low hanging fruit. It’s much more challenging and time consuming to secure new clients, though your existing client base may prove an excellent source of new business via a referral program.

  • Where are your leads/potentials coming from? It’s okay to start with the obvious: evaluate the efficiency and success of your outside sales department, your outbound telemarketing efforts (ideally warm versus cold calling), your social media presence, and your website (Do you have a clear call to action? Are you spending time on SEO?). But are you utilizing apps (perhaps you might look into SnapApp, AdRoll, etc.), cross promoting & co-marketing, publishing gated vlogs & blogs, speaking at engagements (radio, tradeshows), developing strategic alliances, etc?

  • Look at your product/service line to make sure your offerings have not been stagnant over the last several years. New product development will help keep your company relevant.

  • Consult with your workforce, and not just the management/executive team. Front line workers remain an untapped source of information for far too many employers.

  • Consider throwing an open house, event, or lunch & learn at your facility. Just as you learn a lot about your clients by visiting their facilities, so too they will learn a lot about your products/services by visiting yours. This will help establish your company as an expert in your field, as will answering industry questions on sites such as mosiacHUB, Startup Nation, Quora, etc.

The steps you take now will make a difference in the future.

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