Will Your Prospective Customers Cool Off for the Summer?


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It’s almost that time of the year when you hear the joyous cries of “school’s out”. Already, the backyards are scented with mixed aromas of fresh flowers and sizzling barbecues. Camping gear is being pulled out and dusted clean while golf becomes the most important item for many on the weekend agenda. Yes, that’s right, summer’s here. And for those of us in Canada, we’re saying, “Well, it’s about time!”

For anyone observing the change in the business landscape this time of the year, the contrast between the B2B and B2C markets couldn’t be more striking. Sidewalk sales, “scoop up the savings”, “hot deals” and “everything for your getaway” packages dot the B2C marketplace. On the other hand, the average B2B marketer will insist that it is a slow time of the year; decision makers are taking their annual vacations, budgets are being restrained, we must wait until the fall when business will pick up, and so on and so forth…all lame excuses I say.

Every year, I’m befuddled by organizations that will painstakingly put money, time and effort into lead generation from September to June, and then let all that go to waste in July-August. Why do these companies assume that everyone has the luxury and leisure to pack up, close shop and disappear for 2 months? Be realistic; this does not happen. If it did, the travel industry would only work for these 2 months and then celebrate, not struggle for the rest of the year!

At ALEA, we always caution our clients not to let hot prospects cool their heels for the summer. In fact, this “downtime” may actually be ideal to cut to the chase, take discussions further and close the deal.

So what actually does happen in the summer? And how can you maximize lead generation at this time?

Here’s the typical scenario; of course, there are always exceptions, but the vast majority of B2B companies will see some of these situations every summer:

  • Mid-level executives and managers are taking time off. So, the higher ups think it is important for them to be around the office; now, much more than other times of the year.
  • These decision makers are less preoccupied with regular office meetings and have more time on hand to think about plans for the next quarter, budgets, potential suppliers and business associates (could be YOU!)
  • If you are trying to schedule an appointment, you are up against less competition from other conflicting commitments on your lead’s calendar. Plus, when you do have an appointment, chances are you’ll actually meet the lead at that time. Unlike busier times of the year when appointments can get cancelled even at short notice due to more urgent tasks, summer is a good time for appointment setting.
  • A big part of lead generation is also lead nurturing and monitoring your sales pipeline. If you stay close on the heels of your true leads in the summer, you are more likely to have a bountiful harvest in the fall.
  • Your contact list and leads database can actually grow in the summer. Guess what? The email auto response or answering machine message you get from a primary contact will usually offer you their second-in-command’s coordinates. Don’t be shy to reach out and touch base with these additional contacts at an organization; that’s a valuable lead for you. For all you know, this second in command may actually be calling the shots as far as buying your product or service goes!
  • And lastly; (I absolutely cannot resist this one!) golf, one of my passions, is a great way to solidify relationships through the summer months. Now, don’t go swinging sales hooks all over the place or you’ll just find yourself in the bunker. BUT, chip away steadily and you will land a hole-in-one.

Good luck and have a great summer everyone!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


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