I try to make a habit of standing outside my kids’ school on the last school day of the year. The raw display of youthful exuberance and boundless excitement as the students crash through the doors and begin their summer vacation is infectious. That energy is both a testament to the knowledge and experience they’ve gained over the course of the year as well an indicator of the expectancy of a summer filled with exciting possibilities.
I look at my summer as a time of exciting possibilities too, and not just because I look forward to a little time off and a family vacation. It’s also a chance to take advantage of that time of year when your partners, vendors and customers may also be taking vacations. Who hasn’t called on a customer in July only to find out that he was busy riding the teacups at Disney World with his family?
Summer is a great time to leverage a smaller pipeline or less rigorous trade show schedule and spend some time getting your “house” in order. When was the last time you spent some quality time cleaning up your website, adding content to your social channels, or writing a new article for your blog?
For most of the year suppliers and distributors are in the trenches, trying to keep up with marketing, sales, fulfillment, trade show schedules and building relationships with their customers and vendors. Take some “me” time this summer and learn how to leverage the tools you have at your disposal.
Those featured products on your website? Swap them out for new products. The “About Us” page that features a photo of your team that was taken prior to the last Presidential election? Really? The blog you were so proud to launch where the most recent article discusses the most popular Pantone colors of 2013? Write a new article about recent success stories, industry news, or even about the time you auditioned for Survivor; people love visiting a website with current, practical and yes, funny, content.
Summer is also a perfect time to explore new technology. Do you want to increase customer retention on your website? Consider adding a live chat feature. Are customers asking you for virtual samples? Why not make it fast and easy for them to see their logo on any product you sell? Ask your service provider about adding a virtual sampling tool on you website.
Technology is changing daily, and so are your customers. Did you know that mobile traffic now accounts for nearly 60% of all web traffic? Is your website mobile-friendly? If not, does your website hosting provider offer a mobile-friendly hosting solution? Call them and discuss the possibilities. After all, your customers may very well be reading all that great new content on their phone while waiting in line for Space Mountain.
David Shultz is the Vice President of Operations at industry service-provider, DistributorCentral, LLC. In addition to being part of the team behind DistirbutorCentral’s technology platform, David works with key supplier and distributor clients to help them implement technology tools in their businesses. In his rare free time between work and coaching his kids’ sports teams you can find him on stage releasing his inner angst as the guitarist for the partially-world-renown rock band, Ironband. Despite his status as an amateur musician David has never stumped Bill Petrie in musical trivia.