Five Ways to Make August More Productive

This is the time of year that drives every sales professional crazy.

You’ve been trying for a few weeks to get in touch with someone – anyone – who can buy something. You’ve been calling prospects, referral sources, former clients and even clients. Nobody is in the office. People who do return calls leave you a message late at night or early in the morning. They tell you they are away and they’ll be in touch when they get back to work. Even people who are working cannot make decisions now because someone, somewhere who needs to give some type of approval is on vacation.

You have to produce results. You’ve got a budget and it doesn’t have a place for “vacation when nothing happens.” Even more important, you’ve got to eat. You’ve got bills to pay. The supermarket and cable TV provider don’t care that you can’t get a hold of anyone.

So what do you do to make this slow time of year more productive? How do you make the most of the vacation season?

Here are five things to make August more productive:

Research Ideal Clients

This is the perfect time to do the deep research you’ve been putting off. Use this time to find the exact person that can authorize that million-dollar purchase. Use LinkedIn, Hoovers and any database program you have available to find out who the ideal person is. Call the company. Talk to people who actually answer the phone. Find out the name of the assistant to the key person. Often the assistant will be in the office and you can potentially schedule an appointment. At a minimum, you can begin to develop a relationship with the assistant which will make it easier to get in touch with the ideal buyer.

Write, Write and Write Some More

Update your website with new content. Update LinkedIn with new content. Write articles to pitch to publications.  You’re always complaining you don’t have time to write because you are too busy. This is your chance. Get ahead of the game now, while things are slow.

Educate Yourself

Take a course. There are thousands of courses you can take online. You can enroll in a course on technology with a local training company. Don’t want to sit in front of the computer for hours or go back to school? Okay, read a book. Great knowledge can be found through reading. Sales, self-help, psychology, biographies all offer great lessons you can apply immediately.

Clean and Rearrange Your Workspace

This is the perfect time to reset the area around you. Rearrange the furniture. Organize the files on your computer. Clean out the closet in the office where you throw everything before clients come to visit. If you work virtually, and your computer is completely organized, clean out your garage. The symbolism of “resetting” things will help you jumpstart your productivity.

Relax and Unplug

Spend 3-5 hours each day for a week without electronics. Turn everything off. Unplug for a few hours each day for a week. Sit on a beach and stare at the horizon. Hike a mountain trail. Talk to a friend. Get to know the members of your family. This will help you reduce stress and you may want to continue this habit after the summer ends.

August seems like the end of the world. Nobody is working. You can make any deals. Potential clients do not answer the phone and they take forever to return calls. But do not despair. By the last week of the month, people will be in back-to-school and back-to-work mode. They’ll be thinking about all the money they spent on their vacation and they will be ready to have you help them.

Enjoy the time you have this month to get ready for the best 4th quarter you’ve ever had.