Overcoming the summertime sales drought: Have you watered your leads?
Just because it's the lazy days of summer, it doesn't mean it's time to put your marketing efforts on the back burner. Contributor Seth Price outlines five ways to step up your lead nurturing during the summer months.
Across industries, summertime brings a notorious sales slump. As people begin fleeing for vacation in May, leaving their inboxes and responsibilities behind, it seems like the out-of-office replies stay up until September. While this is a healthy reset for most people, it proves a challenge for marketers and sales teams looking to maintain a steady stream of new leads and a healthy business pipeline. After all, it’s hard for any product or service to compete with the beach.
Before giving up and packing your own beach bag, try viewing the downtime as a chance to dazzle and delight your prospects when they’re least expecting it. Check out these five ways to capitalize on lead nurturing during the summer.
1. Spruce up automated messages
When the warm weather hits and it feels like you finally have the chance to breathe at work, use some of that spare time to update the language in your automated messages to prospects. Revisit emails, voicemails and texts, making sure they truly capture your voice and the essence of your business. The idea is to make them general enough to be relevant for everyone, but specific enough to make people feel like you’re actually writing or saying it in the moment. Try out a seasonal greeting or signoff, too.
If you use video in your automated emails, all the better. It’s an especially ideal time to record, with long, sunny days that provide fantastic lighting — not to mention a nice tan for your closeup on camera.
2. Use vacation as a touch point
All marketers have felt annoyed at times when following up with leads, especially colder ones. The next time you hit a wall, unable to find one more real reason for reaching out, try using the carefree, vacation-filled time as a touch point and opportunity to show your humanity. Acknowledge that your leads are likely enjoying a much-needed vacation, and you understand that response times may be slower.
Give these timely and honest follow-ups the best chance of receiving a response by ending them with a question. For example, Melanie Piche, broker at the BREL team (disclosure: client), tells her real estate agents to never conclude an email with “Let me know if you have any questions.” She urges them to ask instead, “Have you thought about XYZ neighborhood yet?”
3. Revamp your CRM system
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with your CRM (customer relationship management) software. Especially when business is busy, a marketing technology overhaul is the last thing it feels like you have time for.
Take advantage of the summer sales dip to research other CRM software solutions, and find the one that best fits your needs. It’s the perfect time to test out various platforms to see how they integrate with your other tools and processes. Remember that your CRM should do more than simply serve as a place to store basic lead contact information for later reference.
If you’re pretty pleased with your current CRM, take the time instead to re-evaluate your lead label system. If you’re segmenting by cold, warm and hot, is it specific enough to encompass your lead base? You might take that classification a step further, breaking prospects down by likely timeline to buy and geography.
4. Re-engage with cold leads
It’s okay, you can admit it — we all have low-priority, cold leads we neglect to nurture as much as we should when marketing season is in full swing, fall through spring. It’s difficult to find time to dedicate to this outreach when you’re juggling so many other customers who are closer to hitting the buy button.
Summer months offer the perfect opportunity to check in with your low-scoring leads. Laying the groundwork for these relationships now will ensure a stronger base come September.
5. Inspire fresh content
Customizing the content on your website and in your weekly email newsletter are great ways to entice your leads with fresh information, without pestering them on the phone. Let the weather change and seasonal holidays inspire new angles and ideas. For example, play around with a weekly newsletter roundup of “hot summer picks,” or craft a blog post with actionable tips for those in your field to try out before Labor Day.
Follow these tips, and make sure your leads stay just as hot as the weather this summer.