June. How did we get here already? 

We all know that we lose about three weeks of productivity from around Dec. 15 until the 10th of January or so. I call it the hibernation period. Some of you deal with it by closing down for a week around the holidays or encouraging everyone to use up their PTO. But I believe we have a much bigger window of risk: summer.

By around June 15, it seems like our work comes to a screeching halt. Between graduations, weddings and vacations, it’s tough to field a team and clients are harder to track down and motivate. Trying to set up a meeting is like an intense game of Stratego with all the moving parts and pieces. Companies shift to summer hours, and everyone seems a little less interested in working late.  

On top of that, trade shows slow down, which means both networking with clients and prospecting gets tougher, if you use that channel. Work feels like it comes to a screeching halt, and many organizations experience a two- to three-month lull over the summer. That’s a big hole to dig out of come Labor Day.

But — if a project or program is well underway, a company can avoid this slowdown. If you’re in the implementation stage, you can keep at it, whether the client is available or not. So it is go time. You have about 30 days, max, to light a fire under your team, your clients and your prospects. Now is the time to:

  • Refocus your sweet-spot prospect list. Find ways to be valuable to them right now and make the connection. Summer is a slow time for meetings but a great time to catch a day game at the Cubs, play nine holes or find a patio bar for an afternoon cocktail. Use summer’s best features to get some face time with clients and prospects.
  • Up your content game. Create helpful, meaningful content and share it far and wide.  Ask yourself, “Am I helping my prospect be better at their job with this content?” And if the answer is no, don’t publish it. 
  • While things do slow down, they don’t shut down. Be diligent about looking for the events and places where you can get some face time (networking events, trade shows, preliminary meetings, etc.).
  • Fall is right around the corner. What groundwork can you lay now to have a huge fourth quarter? Can you reach out to conferences and book speaking gigs? Can you offer customers a discount to plan ahead and deal with the fourth-quarter crunch now?
  • Do some strategic homework on behalf of your clients. Think about their business and how they can surge toward their 2019 goals. Then set up a meeting and share those insights, whether they involve you or not. Prove to them that you’ve got their best interest at heart.
  • Be on the lookout for door-opening projects that will give you visibility throughout the summer. If you can “audition” for a new customer, take the opportunity, so when they come back from their summer slump, they already have confidence in you and your team.
  • Polish off your case studies (with results) and publish them on your site, social, etc., to kick up your sales efforts in the fall.

If you miss the window and summer slows down to a crawl with your clients, then you need to double down and use that quiet time to prep for a considerable biz dev push in the late summer/early fall when you can finally get someone’s attention again.

Don’t waste a minute — you’ve only got a few weeks. Get to it!