Summer is a great time of year, but for those of us that live in “the South” summer can mean extreme heat. Often temperatures are above 90 and in some areas, above 100. In the Southeast and Great Plains, these temperatures are often combined with high levels of relative humidity. There are even areas of the country where the temperature can be in the triple digits day after day during the summer. These extreme conditions can add an additional challenge for employees, managers and business owners that have to sell for a living. Here are seven ways to beat the heat and still meet your quota:
1. Cold call early: Most days will be much cooler in the morning than the rest of the day. If you need to “knock on doors” and make cold calls, try to schedule these for earlier in the day when it’s cooler outside. You will feel more energized and look more presentable than later in the day when the heat and humidity climb higher. When possible, try to schedule phone time and longer meetings with existing clients during the heat of the afternoon.
2. Stay hydrated: An old boss once told me that sales is a full-contact sport. He was certainly right and as with any sport, to perform well in the heat you need to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. This is even more important when you have a heavy travel schedule.
3. Service your vehicle: While it can be easy to procrastinate, be sure you have your vehicle’s air conditioning system checked and serviced prior to the arrival of the summer heat. Many salespeople live in their car. You will want your vehicle to be as cool and comfortable as possible during the “dog days of summer.”
4. Stay fit: Physical health is important for a busy executive. Stress and travel during extreme heat can take their toll on your mind, body and spirit. Assure you eat well, stay hydrated and exercise several times a week. Staying healthy allows you to be the charismatic, energetic and productive executive you are, even when it’s hot outside.
5. Keep selling: As my friend Larry would say “keep selling!” You always want to take advantage of a competitor’s weakness. In extreme heat your competition is more likely to stay indoors. Be sure your team goes out to “press the flesh” and get the order.
6. Cool your clients: Hot days are a great time to help your clients stay cool. You can do anything from bringing in iced coffee to having an ice cream shop set up a sundae bar during your client’s lunch break. The gesture will be appreciated and they will remember you for years to come. While your competition is avoiding the heat, you will be building a stronger relationship with your client.
7. Be a master of time: Failing to plan, is planning to fail. Be sure you carefully plan your days to stay cool, calm and collected. Time management skills are always important, but even more critical at stressful times and that includes selling in extreme heat. Assure that you and your team are planning in advance and strategically thinking about how to deal with the dog days of summer. Be a confident master of time.
Beating the heat and meeting your quota can be accomplished by working smarter, keeping your goals in mind and being prepared for the extreme heat of summer. As a salesperson you need to stay motivated all year long, no matter what the weather brings. Staying motivated, working smarter and being prepared will allow you to meet your quota and reap the rewards of a job well done.