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June 14, 2010 / A10 Clinical Solutions, Inc.

Summer is HOT…and so are SALES

Don’t let summer be an excuse for not keeping up with your sales goals when your clients and prospects have gone on vacation. 

Sometime about now, you will start getting “out of the office” messages as you reach out to prospects canvassing for sales.  This is attributed to people attending graduations, weddings, family reunions, festivals and, of course, the long summer family vacation.

The way you continue to sell when the client is out of the office is a lot different than in the middle of February.  In order to maintain your run-rate for revenue, keep the pressure on despite the season.  Who can afford to have a slow summer in this economy?

Do not regard this time as a break; your client is on vacation, not you.  Start your selling campaign for the summer season in spring.  This means make sure that you contact your prospects around April//May to get a head start of their needs for the year and most importantly uncover their plans for the summer.

One of my prospects and I were talking in May and I asked her, “What are your plans for the summer?”  After she told me her daughter was getting married in Cancun, I shared with her the tennis camp I was sending my son to and discovered she was a big pro tennis fan.  Voila!  I learned something new about her!

Then she told me she was also planning to visit a high-school buddy on Cape Cod after the exhausting planning of her daughter’s wedding.  It just so happened that I spent my college summers waitressing in a popular restaurant on Cape Cod and I called the owner (the owners I worked for were long gone) and told them I was girl that made the “Dita Rita” drink popular in the restaurant in the early ‘80s.  Next thing I knew, the nice owners treated my prospective client and her friend to a VIP dinner during their “girls weekend” vacation.  Now, was that a memorable vacation for my prospect or not?  Didn’t cost me a dime; just a phone call.

Not every client call will go this way; however you can easily find out where your clients will relax during the summer.  If you find out your client is going to Antarctica, and you have never been or had a desire to do so, you can still send them interesting articles about the ice continent or an inexpensive voyage gift, like mittens!  Cute and cheap!

With technology as it is, rarely is anyone 100% contact-free from email.  They may be out of contact with you, but they have some type of touch-point to their offices.  One summer, I was doing my summer email rounds to prospects…and received the numerous typical “out of the office” messages.  Then out of out of nowhere, I received a short note around 11 pm saying, “Please provide me rates for clinical monitoring for a  7-site cardiovascular study – out of office on vacation – but need vendor in place asap. Thanks for the mittens.”   Before she returned from vacation, the contract was signed by me and the client and processed through procurement.

It is inevitable that business will slow during the summer months; however, remain creative, focused and productive in keep in touch with clients indirectly to hopefully enhance their  time away from the office.  If you do so, it will provide you the revenue to reach your year-end goals and perhaps even buy YOU a grand vacation!!!

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