Summer is a time when many businesses experience a slump in sales, as your clients’ focus turns to family, the great outdoors, and summer vacation. The solution? Your existing customer base. We all know that the most profitable source of business is retention and expansion of our best customers.

Now is the time to turn to those customers with the right questions: “Are you happy with our work? What other needs do you have, where we can knock the ball out of the park?

Easy for me to say! But getting time on your client’s calendar – that’s the hard part.

Not any more.

Do Something Different

  • Try Thursday afternoons or Friday mornings. As the week winds down, decisionmakers may be ready to step away from the day-to-day details, relax a little, and chat about their concerns and needs.
  • Don’t forget food. A no-fail way to open the door: bring an extra coffee (Ryane’s trick) or ice cream (works for Guy). You’ll be surprised at how well food, delivered to your client’s desk, works to start the conversation.
  • Work events. Yes, events. Invite a client to accompany you to a workshop in your area of expertise, or a networking event full of your client’s potential customers. It’s a great way to get your client thinking about her business – and what she’d like to do differently or better.
  • Propose special projects. Summertime is often viewed as a more relaxed time of year – with more downtime. That means more capacity for special projects. Write that proposal, and pitch it to the clients who really need a little extra help this summer.

If all else fails…

Get On Your Own Business

Do the dirty work. No marketing plan? Create one. Sales process broken? Fix it. Talk to your CPA, reach out to your bookkeeper, and get your books in order already (you’ll be happy you did, come tax time). Measure margins by project, product or service line, to set yourself up to increase profitability from this day forward.

Summertime may become your absolute favorite time of year.

May 22, 2013