Avoid a Summer Sales Slump

Did you ever see the movie "Terminator 3" by Arnold Schwarzenegger? Remember when the machines took over the controls and began to terminate society as we know it?

This is exactly how it feels every Summer for many business owners.

As if your computer somehow sneaks in during the middle of the night and takes over by putting a "Closed for the Summer" sign on your business.

You wake up on July 1 wondering where all the customers are.

My business is no different.

I've just learned to expect it every year and I do something about it before I can be sabotaged.

So, when the beginning of June comes around, I start ramping up for the Summer months to keep business steady and even on the increase.

And, here's what I do:

1) Find something in your industry that's timely and write an article about it. I'm doing just that with this article as an example. The fact that sales slump for more small business owners in the Summer than any other 2-month time of the year is timely since July is right around the corner.

The article doesn't need to be extensive, maybe 600-800 words, and write as if you're just talking to a friend sitting next to you.

2) Create a signature line at the end of your article that invites readers to visit your web site. Use mine below as an example to write your own.

3) Send your article to your clients or customers by e-mail or even regular USPS. They will appreciate hearing from you and they will be thankful for the timely courtesy.

Plus, any time you can get your name in front of an existing customer, you stand a chance of getting additional business just by simply reminding them you're still around.

4) Get your article posted on other peoples' web sites and in their on-line newsletters. This might sound like "old hat" if you've been doing business on-line for a while, but the fact is that people still turn to the Internet to find information.

5) Submit your article to other peoples' BLOGs. BLOGs are easy to find because web site owners are always adding them to the front page of their sites so that you can't miss them.

The challenge of owning a BLOG is contributing to it every day. It's easy to do for the first couple of weeks but then that dedication slips.

So, approach a BLOGger with your article and suggest they include it to their BLOG if they ever get in a bind and can't make a posting of their own one day. Chances are, you'll see your article posted within the week!

6) Submit your article to RSS feeds. RSS stands for "Real Simple Syndication," which essentially means you add your article to the list once and it will appear on potentially hundreds of other peoples' web sites. Search Google for "rss articles submission" to get you started.

7) Have something ready on your web site to inspire any new visitors to get more involved with your business. I'm not saying put the hard sell on them. Just offer some way for them to discover more about how you can help them.

Provide more articles for them to read. Maybe add a sound file or two. Have a newsletter subscription area. Offer a free tele-seminar or webinar. Be creative but captivating. Have a definite answer to the question, "How can my new web site visitors benefit from being on my web site for another couple of minutes?"

Follow these seven steps and there's a good chance you will not only increase your web site visitors with targeted traffic, but that visitation could happen more quickly than you might expect.

So, don't allow your potential sales for this year's Summer months to be "terminated" before they even have a chance to happen.

Take action this week and July and August could turn out to be two of your best sales months yet.

Marty Dickinson started the company HereNextYear in 1996 and has helped hundreds of small business owners to use the Internet to increase sales through web site design and on-line promotion. He is also a national speaker and author of the book, "Winning the Internet Dogfight." Visit HereNextYear.com, for more timely tips by Marty.

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