Posted by: brandextenders | June 23, 2012

The Season I Hate to Love

Are you the ant or the grasshopper?

Remember Aesop’s fable of the ant and the grasshopper? The ant worked diligently getting ready for winter while the grasshopper played golf, drank too much and all the other things grasshoppers do when they’re not, hopping.

I’ve been in sales a long time and have realized I hate to love summer. My customers tend to take it easy, go on vacation and spend time with their families rather than ordering promotional products for upcoming events. Which means I have to work harder to keep my pipeline full and plant the seeds of opportunity I can harvest this fall and winter.

This year though I’m working hard to not work so hard and spend more time enjoying this season with family and friends. I still want to keep things moving forward though and here are a few ways I plan to accomplish that:

• Planting seeds: This can happen in many ways including calls to those who have ordered in the past to reconnect and see what future needs they might have. Create special offers with calls to action, seek referrals from current customers and friends and scour local business journals and publications to look for opportunities such as companies moving into the area or expanding their business.

• Organize: While my office tends to be fairly orderly, it can always be better. I’ll go through files to see what I might be able to discard and do the same with files on my computer. In the past when I’ve done this I’ve also found leads I’d forgotten about or ideas that can help me create communications to customers.

• Send Thank You notes: It may sound silly, but people rarely get handwritten thank you notes these days. Take time to thank your customers for their past business and know this simple act will not only put a smile on their face, but may remind them they need your services soon. Handwritten thank you notes are worth their weight in gold.

• Stay Optimistic: Remember things slow down every summer and normally pick back up come fall. Use this time wisely and you may find all of a sudden you’re busy due to the pro-active approach you’ve been taking.

• Have fun: Arrange your schedule so you can take an afternoon off to play golf, go to the lake or just lie around and watch TV or read. A relaxed brain is a more creative brain and you never know when that million dollar idea may find its way to the top of your conscious mind as you watch reruns of “The Twilight Zone.”

With luck, this summer I’ll be able to work on the first three each day with a liberal sprinkling of the last two thrown in for good measure. After all these years of dreading the summer months, for professional reasons, I look forward to a season I can learn to love.

What about you? Does your summer portend more work than play? How do you manage to keep a balance between work and your family time? It’s never easy, but all work and no play makes for dull people as the saying goes. Being an ant is not bad nor is being a grasshopper, at least some of the time.

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