“I’m sorry, do what?” The response back was: “What you just did. Why does no one else do this?” I looked at the prospect, waited a beat and said: “Because I don’t want to be like everyone else.”
I was taught during my extensive sales training career one very important fundamental rule which basically goes: ‘Whatever your competition is doing, stop doing it.’
Think about that for a minute. Do you want to be like your competition, or, do you want to stand out from them? Do you want the same results that they get, or, do you want your results to be better? Are you satisfied with being safe and just getting by, or, do you want to excel? If you truly want to be the latter of each question, then you have to be different than anyone else. After all, if you are pursuing a prospect that currently deals with your competitor and you are exactly like your competitor, why would they want to change?
The summer months have traditionally been the slowest in many sales arenas. Here is the thing; as I look around, I still see a lot of business being conducted. I’m sure that everyone at the mall is not just there to get away from the heat. Construction companies are busy with all sorts of projects which means they are buying all kinds of equipment and supplies. Landscapers are busy, as are renovation companies which means all the trades: plumbers, electricians, dry-wallers, carpet layers and tile setters are out there needing products and supplies. I understand that the real estate market is booming which stands to follow that: banks, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, movers and truck rentals are also conducting business. People are seeking to become better in all facets of their existence which means coaches in all the different disciplines such as: sales, psychology, relationship, business, media and life are all doing business.
Who are these people who say it is traditionally slower in the summer? Oh right, those that make that happen. In other words, they have accomplished a ‘self-fulfilling prophesy’ that summer is supposed to be slow. If your competition is out there fulfilling this falsehood, then be different. Increase your marketing during the summer months. Increase your call ratio for the next six to eight weeks. Get in front of as many customers/prospects as you can and as often as you can and network as often as you can. Get that extra referral. Be diligent in following-up. Before the end of this so called ‘slow cycle’ go back and ‘reap what you have sown.’ In other words, catch your competition off guard so when they start their campaign, the decisions and purchases have already been made.
You would think that it would happen only once and the competition would catch on to this ploy of yours and the next summer they would be out there doing it also, but that does not happen. In my corporate life, the summer months were some of the busiest months for us because we did the complete opposite to everyone else. We as a team refused to buy into the notion that there was no business to be had during the summer months. We worked harder in June and July than during August, we went back and wrote up all the orders well before the competition were aware of what was going on.
Being different is not necessarily a bad thing.