Agents shouldn’t let a summertime sales slump keep them from making the most of a potentially productive time of year.
If you’ve recently found yourself thinking of leisurely long weekends, backyard barbecues, and beach vacations, you’re probably not alone. After all, everyone has summer on their mind what with Memorial Day right around the corner.
For insurance agents, unfortunately, the laid-back attitude that comes with rising temperatures and summer vacations doesn’t always translate to rising sales and attentive prospects. While some people might see the summer sales slump as an inevitability, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Wondering what you can do to avoid the June-to-August downturn and get business back on track? Check out these seven tips to figure out how you can make the most of an otherwise quiet time of year.
1. Change Up Your Schedule
During the summer months, people switch up their routines, so it may be wise to adjust your schedule accordingly. For example, people will likely start leaving the office earlier in the afternoon to take advantage of the warmer weather, so the best time to contact prospects will be in the morning. Another option is to engage them on social media during the late afternoon or early evening when most people log onto those channels after low-key summer workdays.
You should also be aware of when most people take summer vacations. According to a survey from Ask Your Target Market, July ranked as the peak vacation time with nearly half of respondents planning their getaway during the month’s second week. If you’re trying to reach them during that time, you’re probably get their voicemail. Next up was August at 36%, followed by June at 11%.
2. Revamp Your Marketing and Lead Gen Strategies
If there’s one upside to the summer slowdown, it’s that you’ll have time to review and revamp your marketing and lead generation game plans.
Analyze what’s working and what’s not. Perhaps you need to rewrite your marketing materials to emphasize how your products solve a client’s problem instead of just touting the product’s features. If your current lead generation efforts fail to fill up your pipeline, add another method to your list. Far from summertime busy work, these renewed strategies will generate more sales in the short and long terms.
3. Upgrade Technology and Get Trained On It
During the busiest periods of the year, our to-do lists get as long as grocery store receipts, so why not use quieter summer months to tick off a few boxes?
The summer downturn is primetime for upgrading your tech systems, whether you’re building upon current capabilities or introducing entirely new platforms. Technology changes at breakneck speed, so the programs you’ve relied on for years may need to be replaced with newer, more efficient models that incorporate the latest in data analytics and artificial intelligence. The less-active summer months are a great time to do your research, execute a plan, and train yourself on your newest tools.
4. Take Advantage of Cross-Selling
Although most people prefer not to think about topics like insurance when they’re getting ready for vacation, that doesn’t mean that their lives are on hold — or that risks to their property or health are either. For example, your client may have bought a new home, welcomed a baby into the family, or decided to rent a secondary property. These milestones all create a need for new coverage that you’re perfectly positioned to help with.
To make the most of these opportunities, keep in touch with your clients over the summer to learn of any changes in their lives that could lead to cross-selling opportunities. Rather than letting critical insurance decisions slide, persuade your client to act now rather than wait until the fall.
5. Update Short- and Long-Term Goals
During busier times of the year, you’re probably able to easily meet your sales targets. When activity levels in the summer drop, however, trying to reach those same goals may leave you frustrated.
To ease the pressure, consider temporarily resetting your objectives to more realistic levels. This isn’t admitting defeat. Instead, it will allow you to use the summer months wisely to revamp your business and prepare for what’s ahead. Rather than aiming for five appointments a week, for example, adjust it to three. That way, you’ll feel like you’re accomplishing your goals — and you can always increase the targets when business picks up when the leaves turn.
6. Lay the Groundwork for Future Sales
Just because your clients and prospects may not commit to signing a deal in the summer doesn’t mean you can’t lay the groundwork for an eventual sale. Even if clients don’t want to sign on the dotted line, take the time to get them the information they’ll need to make a smart decision in the future. Now is the time to discuss new policies, write up proposals, and organize paperwork. That way, they’ll be ready to sign when the time is right, and appreciative that you gave them space to act on their own timeline.
7. Network While on Vacation
Of course, you deserve time off, too. Power down your phone, ditch your laptop, and head to your favorite spot to relax and unwind. While you’re taking a breather, though, why not do a bit of informal networking? Strike up casual conversations with people you meet at the hotel or beach — you just may find your next client or referral source.
Though business may lag in the summer months, you shouldn’t let that prevent you from being as productive as possible. Keep reaching out to prospects and clients, and find ways to revamp how you do business. At the same time, you need to relax and recharge before sales start booming again in the fall, so make sure you get the chance to recharge, too.