I was born in the southern hemisphere, the presence of sunshine or rather the lack of bad weather isn’t as much of a daily surprise to me as it is to some of my staff and clients.

I have however picked up a habit from my British friends and that’s checking the weather in July, weekly, daily and hourly.  A glorious sunny morning is an early warning that my lead generation campaigns are going to struggle.

 
If you buy leads or you sell leads in any financial services product, I’d be willing to bet that you’ve had a slow June, and a slower July. The world cup was timed with unseasonably hot weather and that pushes thoughts of Life Insurance or remortgaging to the back of a consumers mind. Online campaigns doing well right now are holidays and swim wears, financial security (or so it seems) can wait until the kids go back to school!
 
The sun is bad for both marketer and financial adviser. We have less eyeballs available for our campaigns, and those consumer that do seek advice from our clients are distracted. Some lead providers will swear to you that their lead quality doesn’t change throughout the year, it’s just not true.

Peaks and troughs for financial services marketing aren’t new and August has long been established as a period of planning for my business. Talking to our clients, we’re picking up a lot of interest in the Estate Planning sector, and we’re busy planning for a new site that will provide these leads from September.  We’re refreshing our online creative and we’re talking to prospective clients about new campaigns with our mobile search site.
 
If you’re thinking about a long holiday or despairing at the lack of progress of your sales pipeline, I’d recommend you use the time to think about your brand, you’re offering and your September targets. I use an online project management tool called Basecamp, which is excellent, and ensures that I never lose an idea. I’m thinking ahead to the Financial Services Expo in September where we’ll be exhibiting and I’m thinking even further ahead to the 156 days to Christmas, as December represents an equally tough trading environment.
 
If you’re office based and you have the space, have you considered taking an intern on? It’s currently University holidays and there are thousands of young people who are looking for work experience.  If you have pipeline leads that haven’t budged for the last few weeks why not use extra resource to help you bring these back to life? Working leads in August is tough but even a few sales in the first week of September will ease cash flow concerns.
 
It’s also worth bearing in mind that not all financial products are equal. The dip in Life Insurance tends to last all summer, until September. The down turn in Equity Release for example, isn’t so drastic and doesn’t follow the school holiday pattern, which I’d suggest makes sense given the target age of the clients.
 
I’m not trying to teach anyone to suck eggs, if you work like mad the rest of the year and look forward to your 6 week break in the Med, good luck to you, recharging your batteries is essential. But if like me, you find it frustrating that the sun brings out the worst in your business, don’t despair and start planning for rainy days. They won’t be far.

 

This article was first published by Financial Reporter