The lazy days of summer can be, well, just that - lazy days! As we struggle to reach people on the phone and set meetings, it can feel like everyone is in vacation mode. Resignation can set in as your reps become discouraged…and then they make fewer attempts…and they appear lazy.

Actually, they need to increase their activity during the summer, and as their leader, you can help consciously counteract the summer doldrums by helping your producers see the opportunity in the summer. Your goal is to help them see how summer can be a great time to sell, motivate them to increase their activity, and reward their results creatively.

Here are four ways to motivate your reps this summer.

  • Remind your reps there is less competition during the summer. Your reps can take advantage of fewer competitors as their peers fall prey to the doldrums, slowing their activity over the summer. In fact, this is a great time to provide incentives to your team for doubling their prospecting! The reality is your prospects may take a week or two off over the summer months, but very few people can actually take the summer off. And even when on vacation, they’re likely still connected to their office via their smartphone. And don’t forget to pay attention to those “out of office” notifications which can give you valuable insight in to when they are returning and who is covering for them in their absence (read: another contact for your rep!).
  • Let them know their prospects are likely in a better mood. For starters, studies show the brain produces higher levels of the mood-lifting chemical serotonin on sunny days than on dark ones. Add to this that your prospects may have returned from vacation nice and relaxed. The pace of work in their own industry may slow as well, and they may dress more casually in the office. Take advantage of all these happy factors to encourage your sales team to encourage prospects and clients to get ahead of the hustle and bustle of fall with a casual meeting now, while it’s quiet, to put together their ideal staffing plan for the coming months.
  • Invest in training them now. Why wait until the fall or spring to train your reps? Many of my clients choose to do sales or recruiter training during the summer months, when it’s less risky to pull them out of the field for a day or two. Leader-led training can be just the shot in the arm they need to pump them up. And it will motivate them to try new sales approaches if they’ve been stuck in a rut.
  • Amp up the fun in your sales contests. Contests are fun, and fun lifts spirits. The strategy is to think short-term - contest of the day or the week create more immediate rewards. And since studies show employees can actually be more motivated by informal rewards and recognition than by money (okay, that feels like a stretch in the staffing industry…but you get the idea), offer more than just money for winners. You can get even more creative by letting winners pick their own prizes from grab bag with of options like leaving early on a Friday, a gift card of their choosing, tickets to an event, a spa treatment, a tank of gas, etc.

Finally, remember that the leader sets the tone in the office. If you personally maintain a high level of energy and excitement through the summer, so will your sales reps.

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