As a salesperson, this is a tough time of year.
In addition to being difficult to move business forward during summer, it’s hard not to hyperventilate or get all crunchy when it comes to YOU taking time off for vacation.
What happens if that elusive buyer is FINALLY ready to roll when you’re out and you’re out of pocket or service?
Your spouse and kids already think your phone is glued to your face and you’re not fooling anyone by working on your laptop under the cover of darkness to try to keep up with emails and customers.
Yes, vacations really freaked me out . . . until I figured out how to make them work for me and leveraged them to gain results with customers.
Four Steps to Make Your Vacation A Success for You and Your Customers:
Plan it early. Start planning your vacation time 6 months out – to help both you and your customers. Part of the difficulty in taking a vacation is the fallout you come back to when you return. Having a date several quarters out gives you the time and motivation to have met your quota or filled your pipeline before you go. Knowing you’ll have a week out and a week or two of catch-up that will impact your numbers should be fuel to get you prepared well in advance.
Use as a Touchpoint. Depending on the arc of your sales cycle, you may start talking to your prospects about time THEY might be out of the office around implementation or key events during the process. It’s a good way to start everyone thinking about what it will look like to work with you down the road. When you’re approaching vacation, reaching out to prospects to talk about when you’re out can help get a bead on their timeline, move things forward, or even expand your reach to other members of the buying committee who have influence or a stake in the decision.
Introduce Your Team. Having a great team is incredibly important to be able to actually relax and unplug when you’re out of the office. Whether it’s a colleague that backs you up or your ops support team, this is a key opportunity to introduce your customers or prospects to the important people that they will be working with. This is another way to give buyers a glimpse into what they can expect when they work with you. It’s an opportunity to strengthen your credibility with customers so they see beyond the “sales” person trying to move the deal forward – to the “team” that they would be taking on.
Get Personal. Talking about vacations can be one of those easy ways to get to know your buyer and make more “human” connections. Talking about destinations, food, or experiences is very relatable for most people. It’s also a break from any of the tension that might exist when talking about timelines, pricing, or competition. Common ground can build bridges and give you more to talk about when you get back.
Try not to sweat vacation time. We all need to unplug and unwind. Put your “out of office” on, back away from the email, dare to shut off your phone. Take time to focus on your family, your health, your mental well being. Get out of the hustle and bustle of everyday busyness if you can and come back refreshed and ready to make things happen.
With a great plan and preparation, you can actually ENJOY your vacation!
Until next time, stop hoping, start SELLING!