How to Finish the First Half (of the Year)

The reality: It’s now summertime.

And for some businesses this is the slowest time of the year.
For others this is the busiest time of the year.

On top of that, those of us who have kids are experiencing transition—they are out of school for summer vacation. We all have to balance work and play. Because, let’s be honest, it’s summer break for us too.

So—in the midst of all this— how do you finish the first half of the year strong?

The Slow Song of Summer

Let’s take on the slow summer groups first. If you are in sales, insurance, and many other sales-related industries this is the slowest time of the year. This is when your clients are on vacation, their kids are out of school, people are visiting their vacation homes and they are also on the golf course. (You know they are, I’m one of them and you’re probably one of them too!)

If they’re like me, they’re also on their bike as often as possible. Which means that it is very difficult to reach them and to prospect.

Your competition is also not calling on new customers. They are also taking the summer off.

Here’s the real truth: while few sales are being made during the slow summer months in your industry, you should be prospecting and getting your sales funnel filled up for the fall and winter.

Although it may be hard to pull yourself away from the swim pool– this can be the most successful time for you to prospect and it could make your fall a smashing success. Devote at least part of your summer, maybe even just half of each week or half of the summer, to prospecting and cold calling because no one else is doing it.

I have always prided myself on making sure that I devoted significant time during the summer to prospecting and knocking out my competition while also enjoying the season. This can be done by waking up at 5 o’clock in the morning in Hilton Head while the kids are still sleeping or this could be done by getting up early before you take the kids to the pool. You could work late at night after the kids go to bed, or simply push through a few days of hard work during the week while you take the other two days off to do whatever you want.

You should be working when your competition is playing. This will get you ahead of the game.

The Summer Sprinters

I also want to address our second group—the group that is busy during these few precious months. If you are in a service industry like landscaping, painting, concrete, or construction this can be the most hectic time of year. And we all know that our busiest time of the year means lots of cash, but not much prospecting for new clients.

If you are in a business that prospers during the summer and you are not prospecting, you are going to have a miserable fall.

Keep in mind that all of your competitors are in the same situation. They’re working their butts off and they are not prospecting because they are ringing that register every single day. If you can find the balance to make sure that you have the staff to continue marketing throughout the summer so that your fall can still be as productive– you will be ahead of the competition.

The Right Balance

We’re going to go a little deeper. If you want to finish the first half of the year strong—you need a visual.

I have always showed people this graph where the first two months of each quarter you prospect. For instance, you prospect in January and February and write up new contracts and sign new deals that would start in March. You prospect again in April and May—and you guessed it, that means June is raining with new business. Two months prospecting, one month of pay off. That means the two months in between the quarters shown at the bottom of the graph in red are what we call “valleys” which are dedicated to prospecting and generating new sales opportunities.

However, the goal to success and beating your competition is to follow the blue line that goes straight through the graph.

This blue line depicts level sales and prospecting all year long. No peaks or valleys at all.

If you can manage to continue prospecting through your peaks and continue closing sales through your valleys you will always have sales coming through the door.

Think about it.

  • If I have 4 big peak months during the year where I generate $250,000 in sales I will generate $1 million in total sales for the year.
  • However, if I follow the blue line and generate $100,000 consistently every month for 12 months I will generate $1.2 million in total sales for the year. Which is a 20% increase in sales and a 20% increase in income.

Fact: Most sales people quit prospecting during their peaks.

For me– I have always been successful in business because I follow the blue line in this graph. A lot of people get lazy during the month of pay off, or the “peak”, because the money is rolling in.

Don’t take a rest now, finish the first half of the year strong. Market and prospect now while the world relaxes. If you put in a certain amount of full-throttle effort you will find massive dividends come September.