4 Tips For Filling Your Agency Sales Pipeline Before Summer Jessica Lunk It’s almost that magical time of year. It’s time for surf, sand, and fun all day. It’s time for the kids to run free and parents to cash in that hard-earned PTO. It’s time to spend three months slacking off, not thinking at all about business. Wait a second. There’s room for surf, sand, and business around here. Unfortunately, creative agencies can see a bit of a summertime slump as companies spend less time marketing and more time juggling tasks while key administrators head out to catch some rays. So, what can you do to avoid summertime sadness hitting your agency? Let’s plan early and fill the pipeline now. Here are a few techniques to try to get the sales flowing before those lazy summer days take hold. 1. Host or speak at smaller, niche events Speaking at a large trade show can be thrilling, but it isn’t the best place to make meaningful connections. If your area has an event or workshop aimed at your target audience, it’s time to get involved. Your agency can not only show their expertise and inspire businesses to check the pulse of their marketing efforts, but at smaller events, you’re approachable for deep conversations that can lead to big sales leads. If there aren’t any events that speak to your ideal buyer in your area, maybe your agency should start one! It can be as simple as a marketing panel at a brewery, library, convention center – you get the idea. If you inspire your audience to think about their marketing needs, there’s a good chance they’ll want to talk with you about how they can go even further. If an in-person event isn’t your jam, or if you don’t tend to do business locally, consider creating an online event. Whichever way you choose, these kinds of engagements are an excellent way to build rapport with the small business community. 2. Online engagement Social media, blogs, leaving comments on other company’s articles — this is the type of engagement we often recommend to our clients. How is your company’s social profile looking? Are you writing and creating engaging content that is educational to your potential customers? Are you commenting on their blogs and posts in meaningful ways? Just as you would lead your clients to build an online persona, your agency needs to be just as (if not more so!) engaged. Many agencies, in the mad panic of daily business, let their online engagement fall to the wayside. Don’t get slack with this. Engage with potential customers and assist them with their problems in meaningful ways. Another creative way to engage with potential customers online is to add a chatbot to your website. You can automate part of the conversation to engage visitors and send qualified prospects to a live person. 3. Follow-up on supposedly “stale” leads So, last year this potential client just didn’t have marketing as a priority in their budget, or perhaps you met someone at a tradeshow that you had a great connection with, but they were already working with a competitor. It never hurts to give these companies a call again after about 6 months or so. Instead of making it a sales call, just frame it as a friendly check-in. Find out how things are going in their marketing department, if they’re happy with the competitor, or if there are any opportunities for you to work together. Even if there’s not, maybe they can refer you to another company they know! 4. Ask for business This one may seem like an obvious tip. Of course, we ask for business, you’re thinking, that’s how we make a living. While you may be asking for business, are you asking from your ideal clients? With the approach of a potential slump, this slower time could be a great moment to do some research and take more of an ABM approach. Pick 5 to 10 companies that you think are ideal for your agency in terms of size, income, and goals. You’ll want to be sure this is a company that you believe you can genuinely deliver astounding results for. Take time to craft an astounding proposal. Be sincere when you email it to them, no stock sales letters allowed! While it isn’t feasible to spend time crafting this level of detailed proposal for most clients, during slow times, this can be the perfect time to pull out the stops and net a big fish. Your pocketbook doesn’t have to fear the summertime slump. While it can be a trying time for many agencies, try to look at it in a positive light. A slower time is time to develop tactics to go after bigger and better companies, forge meaningful connections within your community, and follow-up with clients that you may have lost in the daily fray. At the end of the day, the best advice anyone can give you is to simply act. The more involved in your professional community you are, the more engaged with your clients you are, and the more meaningful your communication methods are, the better off your agency will be. After all, we all like to do business with people that we trust.