If you are in a sales or business development role at your organization, you are normally on the move: writing proposals, chasing leads and trying to land new business. But sometimes business slows down – especially in the late summer. So why not use this time to do some planning or networking you might not have time for during the rest of the year? Here are some tips to making the most of your slower summer days.
Create a 90-Day or Six-Month Plan
Review the business objectives you made early in the year to see if you are on track and note what adjustments need to be made to areas that need more attention. Using this information, reevaluate your business development plans and set new goals for the next quarter and the remainder of the year.
• Research what useful industry events are coming up in the second half of the year and put them on your calendar to attend.
• Evaluate your current professional memberships. Are they still working for you? Assess whether you need to get more involved, drop certain memberships, or add new ones that might generate some new business development opportunities.
Reach out to Clients with Value-Added Ideas
Now that you have a little extra time, reach out to your client base in ways that add value to your relationships.
• Share success stories and best practices you’ve implemented with other clients and determine how you can help other clients implement new ideas that can help them reach their goals.
• Let clients know about new services you’re offering, or take a survey of what clients need or would like to receive help with.
• Share helpful industry information.
Rekindle Old Client Relationships
Remember the 80/20 rule? It states that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients. There is another “rule” that says it costs ten time as much to obtain a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. If you haven’t worked with a client in the past six months, touch base with them again. You may be able to rekindle new business from old clients.
• Call to ask how they are doing and tell them about any new products or services that may be helpful to them.
• Invite them to lunch.
• Be sure your past clients are still in your marketing database so you can send them newsletters, business updates and holiday cards.
Expand Your Network
Use this seasonal slow time to deepen relationships with the people in your network or add new contacts. This is the ideal opportunity to remind people who you are, learn about what is important to potential clients, and share ideas with other industry professionals.
• Schedule lunches to simply meet and chat. Invite just one other person, or introduce people in your network to each other with a group lunch.
• Attend events in other industries related to yours.
• Learn how you can help others in your network with some of their goals.
Get Up to Speed on Social Media Tools
There are numerous social media platforms you can use for developing and growing leads, as well as keeping in touch. However, technology changes all the time, so it will pay off if you invest some time in learning more about new features offered in the platforms you already use and investigating new platforms.
• Take a class or course that can give you some tips on how to make the most of Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging platforms or Facebook marketing.
• Ask peers about the tools they use and how they are successful using them.
• Create a 90-day social media posting schedule.
The summer slow-down should be viewed as an opportunity to invest your down time in generating new ideas and tweaking your business strategy. Come fall, you’ll be reenergized and ready to implement your new ideas that will hopefully pay off in terms of strengthening current relationships and creating new ones.
Event Transportation Systems (ETS) is always looking for ways to add value to our client relationships. In addition to providing five-star ground transportation for meetings, conventions and conferences, we offer a number of other services to our clients including education, advertising and sponsorship opportunities, and transportation planning consulting. Please contact us prior to your next event.