Selling Energy in the Summer
We’ve almost arrived at the first day of summer! Summer is great for all sorts of reasons: water balloon fights, vacations, flip-flops, popsicles, backyard barbecues, the list goes on.
From a sales point of view, summer is also nice for other reasons—like not slipping on icy sidewalks, not driving in snowstorms, and not coming home from work after it’s already dark.
In the summertime, your sales representatives can put in a full work day and still have plenty of daylight afterwards for ultimate frisbee at the park, relaxing by the pool with a cold drink, or firing up the barbecue for the neighborhood block party.
For those of us in Business to Business energy sales, summer offers a few unique challenges and opportunities. Helping your sales team take on the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities of summer requires some planning and effort on your part. With your help, selling energy in the summer can be a successful proposition for them, and put your company in a good financial position going into fall.
Challenges of Selling in the Summer
Like the Holidays, summer is a time when your sales team's prospects tend to go on vacation, sometimes for weeks at a time. If you don't teach them how to take advantage of the alternate rhythm of summer, the disappearances can cause prospects to drop off their list. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Help your sales representatives be proactive about asking when the people in their pipeline will be gone, and have them plan their schedule and follow-ups accordingly.
Upon their return, prospects will probably be in a better mood, and ready to listen. Encourage your sales representatives to welcome their sales prospects back from a vacation, using it as the perfect opportunity to renew contact and restart the sales cycle.
They can also use summer vacation plans as a good conversation starter and icebreaker, and take advantage of the long, bright summer days to pop in on difficult-to-find prospects at unusual hours, in the early morning or just after closing.
Summer Energy Sales Opportunities
Now that we've gotten some of the challenges out of the way, for those of us working in energy sales, summer presents some great opportunities. If you're lucky, your energy company has some nice, low summer rates, and will allow those rates to be locked in long-term for customers who sign contracts now.
Have your sales representatives focus on finding customers who are coming out of contract, because it's the perfect time to get them locked into a great rate.
Remind your team to remind their customers that if there’s a hurricane sometime this summer, energy rates will skyrocket. Usage rates also typically go up in the summer, so it makes sense for them to get their customers to sign up now before their usage and rates go up.
This built-in summer urgency can be just what your sales representatives need to sign some deals early, and get themselves off to an amazing summer start.
Make a Goal
Summer is a great time to really make a concentrated push for amazing sales results. Just like some of their prospects, your sales representatives might be going on vacation too this summer. If so, help them take the opportunity to make a goal for how many sales they’re going to make before that vacation. The prospect of looking forward to a great vacation can be a powerful motivator.
It's also a good idea to run special sales contests in the summer, whether during a specific week or month, or encompassing the entire summer. Prizes like tickets to events or gift cards to restaurants go over especially well in the summer when the weather is nice and people are wanting to do things outside. It's also a great time to plan an office party or BBQ, or organize a neighborhood service project to keep morale up and build teamwork.
At Netpique, we have over a decade of experience in building dedicated sales teams and providing sales consulting for companies like yours. Contact us today for a free consultation on how we can help you increase your organic growth.