For a large part of the country, it gets cold, wet, and unpleasant during the winter months of the year. Here in Colorado we feel it for sure; as do the contractors in Wisconsin, Iowa, Washington, and Montana among others; all you lucky people who live in Florida don’t know what we’re talking about, so you might need to skip this one.
During winter, when it is cold constantly and dark at 4:30, work tends to slow down. It is hard to do some things in freezing temps and it takes twice as long to finish projects when you have so little daylight to work with. This trend leaves your salesmen bored, for lack of a better word. There are no projects building, no storms creating new business for them to find, and the holidays make it easy to slack off even more. So what do you do? You aren’t paying them to just sit around and take up space in your office, so you find useful tasks to keep them busy. Below we dive into some of our favorite tasks to keep the salesmen busy when it’s cold out.
There is no such thing as too much training. Even your most seasoned salesmen can always learn something new. Use the down time to do different kinds of training with your guys. Work with manufacturers to get updated installation techniques or to learn about new products or warranties they are offering. You can also use training’s to talk about stress and time management when it is busy at work; work with the team to come up with methods to combat stress that everyone can use when everyone is crazy busy. New sales methods are coming out every day as well, so take this time to make sure all of your salesmen are up-to-date and evolving their methods for the current sales market. No matter what type of training you choose to do, it can’t do any harm. It keeps your salesmen minds on their jobs, and, hopefully, will get them thinking creatively for how to get more business when things start to pick up again.
Similar to training, down time can be used for planning. Sit down with each of your salesmen and set goals for the next storm season. Or brainstorm as a group the best ways to find new business; see who has good connections and where other connections can be built. Get the salesmen to work together to plan sales tactics for specific areas that you know you want. The down time can be used to prepare for when things get busy and to find the best ways to tackle everything. It allows you, as an owner, to set standards and practices for how you want things to go in the next season.
Just because they can’t necessarily be out in the field selling, doesn’t mean the salesmen can’t still be making sales and bringing future business into the company. Slow season gives them the opportunity to sit down and look at what connections they have to get business, and where they can improve those connections and try to get more. Depending on your specific sphere, there are a number of other businesses that can be great partners for bringing business into to your company. Use the down time to have your salesmen try and connect with people from those businesses; have them call, offer an introduction, see if they would be willing to sit down with your company. Doing this gives your company the opportunity to grow even when things are slow. Plus, this also gives the salesmen a chance to test out new selling techniques that you have taught them during this time as well!
Slow doesn’t have to mean stopped. See what works best for your company, your people, and your goals and find ways to keep everyone busy year round.