8 Ways to Beat the Summer Slump in Direct Sales

Selling Tips

Oh, the summer business slump. It’s a term a lot of direct sellers dread. But I’m going to let y’all in on a little secret… I don’t think there has to be a summer slump. In fact, when I was a direct seller, the summer months were some of my most profitable months in the entire year. No joke! 

The key to avoiding that “summer slump” and having a stellar summer is planning ahead. NOW is the time to start, friends!  The reason most of us got into direct sales is the balance it provides our families, right? It gives us the ability to spend the day splashing with our kiddos in the pool or building sandcastles at the beach while also making money. But let’s be real here – that’s not going to just happen automatically. You have to plan and strategize and do the work to ensure that you’ve earned those days off, just as you would in a “typical” job. You don’t make money unless you work for it, so while you’re the boss and you can take time off when and how you’d like, you also need to do the work, so you’re not scrambling for your business and stressed in the end.  

A lack of planning is the reason most have a summer slump. So, how do you plan so you avoid that slump while living your very best fulfilled life all summer long? Let’s dig into my top tips:

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HAVE SET TIMES TO WORK AND PLAY

How do you balance all the fun of the most laid-back season of the year with the daily grind of your business? Set a time to work and set a time to play. When you’re working, WORK. When you’re playing, PLAY. I’ve found so much freedom in blocking my time for specific tasks and then NOT letting the tasks mingle with each other. 

My family knows when I’m working because I’ve said, “Hey y’all, I’m working now.” And then, when it’s time for us to pack up and head to the beach, they know I’m present with them at the beach. I’m not answering emails or messages. I’m playing, and that’s okay because this is playtime!

Don’t be afraid to put up firm boundaries on your time to get the things done that you NEED to get done. Your kiddos can likely entertain themselves for 30 minutes while you do some follow-up. If you have little ones, what about hiring a teenager to be a mom’s helper so you can grab an hour here and there? You and your kids will enjoy the break from each other, and the teenager will dig earning some extra money. I know this because I HAVE a teenager or two, and they ALWAYS need money.

 

PLAN AROUND TRAVEL

Summer is a time when we are all a little freer from the day-to-day obligations, the after-school activities, and the seemingly never-ending chores, right? So, most of us tend to use that time to get out of the house, get on the road and enjoy time with family. And honestly, when you’re spending time traveling and enjoying that time to reconnect with your families, do you want to be check-in on parties from your phone? I know I didn’t! 

I know a lot of direct sellers feel guilty logging off. They feel like, to be successful, they have to be on all the time. But part of success is being rested and fulfilled enough outside of work. Make sense? 

So, I’m giving you permission as a business owner to LOG OFF. 

When I was in the field, I traveled for a month at a time during the summer. But that didn’t mean I didn’t prepare my business. I pre-planned and scheduled my Facebook posts, and I stacked parties before and after the trip to make up for the time I was “losing” on the road. And you know what? I never had a summer slump. 

Those parties stacked before and after my trip made up for the time I was away. If you plan around your travel, you’re making sure your trip doesn’t cause you to lose money or momentum while still disconnecting and enjoying time away.

 

CHANGE UP WHAT YOU’RE OFFERING

What do you think of when you think of summer? Fun, warmth, sand and sun, tasty cold treats, all the summery things, right? Think about these things and infuse them into what you’re offering over the summer. Maybe do shorter parties and theme every party with a fun summer vibe or bulk up your content to cover DIYs or how-tos that touch upon summer fun.   If you do this, you’ll stay relevant during the season.   

Most of us have a different mentality in the summer than the rest of the year. We want “obligations” to be quick, fun, and easy, so make sure your summer parties embrace that while still giving them all the goodies.  Here are some ideas:

  • Offer summer theme parties
  • Feature summer products
  • Talk about trending topics for summer
  • Dress up your social media channels to reflect summer fun
  • Use summer words like sizzle or hot

Maybe you’re talking about planner inserts, talk about penciling in travel and vacations. Maybe you have a DIY or decor business, talk about summer fun crafts and décor updates for the season; if you’re a foodie business, talk about cookouts and cold treats! 

Pepper these fun summer things throughout your VIP groups, your business page, your YouTube channel, really whatever you’re putting out into the wild world of the internet for your business. This is what’s going to attract people to shop during the summer. People are still shopping in the summer. If anything, they’re a little more relaxed and spending a little more freely!

 

KEEP IN TOUCH

It’s easy to fall out of touch with your clients when life gets busy. For the months of summer fun, it’s so important to have a plan to keep in contact with your hostesses! They get excited about graduations and summer pool days, too, and might flake or postpone their party. But, if you get them equally as excited about that party, they’re way less likely to flake.

Send them fun summer samples they can use by the pool, send a pre-party poll to them and their attendees asking what they’re most excited about this summer so you can cater the party content to them. Ask what they’re planning, what they’re cooking, what their goals are for the summer. Listen to what they have to say, and you’ll get exactly what you need to plan a party no one will want to miss.

 

KEEP HOST COACHING

In the summer, our hostesses are busy just like we are because, hey, they want to have fun during the summer too!  So how exactly do we keep our hostesses engaged over the summer? And when I say engaged, I mean, how do we keep them connected? How do we keep them focused and not squirreling all over the place for their party?  You have to keep host coaching but tweak it just a bit:

  • Keep It Simple – I cannot stress this enough. Don’t make it complicated to host a party with you. Keep it simple and give them clear instructions. If it’s complicated, your host will check out because it’s summer, and she just wants to wear her flip-flops and sit by the pool.

     

  • Set Clear Expectations – not just for your host, but for you too. So what can your host expect of you, and what do you expect of your hostess? When should she plan to hear from you?  What do you expect them to do? Do you expect them to post in the party? Are you going to supply them with those posts? Do you expect them to collect outside orders? Are you going to give them the tools to do that? When do you expect them to close the party? You have to make sure that you’re communicating what you’re going to do and what you expect your host to do before, during, and after the party.

     

  • Get Your Host Involved – have your host be a part of the planning process and get them involved in the party process.  Ask them if there are products that they would like to be featured. Are there any products that her friends would love that you could show them? You’re making your host happy because it’s all about her, and then you’re also offering products that she thinks her friends would like, and she knows her friends better than you do, right?

     

  • Send Samples –  if you have a product that has the ability to send samples, send them along with her host packet or send some samples before the party and then have her post about it in the party showing her trying the samples.  That’s a really fun way to get your host involved, and she has the extra perk of trying out some samples, right?

 

OVERBOOK YOURSELF

Typically, we have fewer responsibilities in the summer, so you probably have a little bit of extra time.  Use that time to relax, but also overbook yourself with parties! If you have the time and use it to benefit your business, you’ll have huge momentum running into the fall, and it’ll also make up for the people who flake or last-minute schedule vacations. This will ensure you have not only a strong summer, but also a strong fall.   Hosting more parties in the summer will get you in front of new friends all summer long that could become fall hostesses.

 

STAY VISIBLE ONLINE

Part of avoiding a summer slump and not losing momentum involves keeping your already warm social media followers engaged.  Here are my top tips for staying visible online:

  • Be Consistent – I know this is a hard one to accomplish over the summer but do your best to post daily on all your social media channels.  Be that unique direct seller who shows up and is visible consistently – it will pay off!
  • Get the Conversation Started – Be sure to ask questions in your posts. Talking to people and engaging with them is the main goal. Even though they’re traveling or sitting by the pool or maybe at the beach, they have their phones, and you know they’re scrolling through Facebook or they’re scrolling through Instagram looking at everybody’s summer travels. So, make sure you’re asking questions to get conversations started.
  • Use Live Video – Don’t underestimate the impact of live video.   It’s amazing for stretching your reach and increasing your followers. Make sure you’re going live from your public Facebook pages, not just inside your customer group. Think about it – if you show the most amazing way to do a summer recipe or how to make homemade mosquito lotion and I see it, I’m going to share the heck out of that thing. Right? If it’s only posted in your customer group, I can’t share that as easily as I can with just one click on your business page.
  • Focus on Trending Topics – What are people talking about over the summer? Think about what products and topics you can feature that are top of mind. If you’re stuck on what to talk about, my favorite place to research trending topics is Pinterest. Search for the company you represent in the top search box, then pay attention to all the words to pop up just below. Those are all current trending topics related to your brand.    Another way to find what’s trending is to ask your people. Create a poll and ask them what they want to learn about next!
  • Change Things Up – Another way to keep your people on their toes over the summer is to change things up. Change up the day you go live. Do a special summer series. Change up your party format. Now is the time to mix stuff up and offer something fun and new to your current customers, potential hosts, and regular social media followers.

 

 

TREAT YOUR BUSINESS LIKE A BUSINESS

This one may come off a little sassy, but it is so important, y’all. 

Your direct sales business is a business. 

It’s not a hobby or a side-hustle or a passion project.  While it could be all those things, first and foremost, it is a business. And you are the CEO. 

You get to choose whether you work over the summer or not. But if you’re not going to work, you do have to prepare regardless. Think about it, if this were a corporate job and you were the CEO, how would you be talking to yourself as an employee based upon your summer actions? Would you be getting a mark on your file? Would you require some talking to? Treat your business like a business. If you don’t do the business things over the summer, it’s not going to give you the business benefits like income, growth, and all those other things you wanted to do this for in the first place. Show up! Otherwise, you won’t be rewarded. 

As we wrap up, I want to give you one more thing to think about.

Have you ever heard of the 30-60-90 Rule? It’s a rule I’ve lived by in my direct sales business since I started. It was taught to me in the very beginning and has proven true over and over again. Everything you do or DON’T DO in your business will affect your business 30, 60, and 90 days from now. 

Let’s see how that plays out with summer. You decide you’re going to take the summer off. Completely. You’re just going to play the whole time.  What season comes right after summer? FALL. That’s right. The season that is usually the BUSIEST selling season for direct sellers.

It’s the end of August, and summer vacation is over. Kids are going back to school. You look up and realize that you haven’t touched your business in the last 90 days. No engaging in your customer group. No customer care calls or follow-up. No parties. No vendor events. No NOTHING. And guess what else? You were so focused on tossing beach balls that you didn’t think ahead and have your August or September booked and ready to go. So you’re back at square one, like when you first started with an empty calendar. And the only way to get out of it is to pick up the dog-gone phone that now weighs 276 lbs. What you started doing (or not doing) 90 days ago has completely derailed your plans for fall.

 I understand if you want to take some time off or slow down during the summer. But don’t for one second assume that your business will pick right back up where you left it. You’re the owner and CEO. You’re driving this thing. So it’s completely appropriate to drive a little slower sometimes or even stop for a short period of time to do something else, as long as you have a plan in place for when you put your foot back on the gas.

The people that actually show up, develop a summer strategy, and effectively execute their plan come out on the other side with a booming business in the fall. That’s just the way it works. That’s the way it works every single season. Summer is no different.

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Want a proven plan for growing your business without feeling like you're chasing your tail? The Direct Sellers Business Blueprint explains the 4 key areas you must master to build a simplified, systematic direct sales business. It will even tell you which area to tackle first, so you can stop feeling overwhelmed by what to do next. It's completely FREE for a limited time.

 

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Hey, I'm Mary!

My passion is helping you simplify and streamline your direct sales business using tried and true systems that reduce overwhelm and help you reach your business goals even faster! Find out more about what we do here.

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Confused about what to do next in your direct sales business? Need a clear, simple plan on how to grow? Grab our free Direct Sellers Business Blueprint and learn the 4 key areas you must master to grow your direct sales business!

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