Posted by: brandextenders | September 18, 2013

Feeling like the sales “strike out king”?

Sales slumps are the worst and if you work in sales, at some point in your career you’ve inevitably been in one. It’s Similar to a baseball player striking out over and over again who just can’t seem to get back in the groove. The good news is slumps end and chances are you’ll come out a stronger and more resolute salesperson as a result.

Sales SlumpThere are many reasons we face these trying times some of which you can control, but many you cannot. What can you do to get out of your slump? Here are a few things not to do or you might find yourself slinging hamburgers at the local fast food joint.

  • Don’t Stop Working: It’s easy when you’re feeling beat up at work to physically show up, but mentally be elsewhere. This will only exacerbate the situation and can only lead to unpleasant outcomes, i.e. you no longer have to worry about your sales numbers because you no longer have a job.
  • Don’t stop prospecting: Ongoing sales happen as the result of a pipeline of prospects that decide either to purchase from you or not over the course of time. Some sales are immediate and others have a longer cycle. Whether the cycle is short or long; if you stop adding new opportunities and prospects to your pipeline during a slump, it will dry up and then you’ll really be in trouble.
  • Don’t let a negative attitude show: People can pick up on attitudes right away, even over the phone. Despite feeling like you’re bearing the weight of the world on your shoulders, don’t let your customers or prospects know it. Smiling when talking on the phone really does come through on the other end. The last thing you want your customers to think is that you are desperate. People want to deal with upbeat and positive people, so act happy if you must and eventually it will once again become a natural part of your persona.

So what can you do to help turn things around?

  • Review your process: Over time things change; life isn’t static. Customers, products and attitudes change. Take a look at who your customers are, how you approach prospects and your focus in presentations. Perhaps its time to update how you present your company and products. Purchasers are getting younger and their way of buying may not mesh with your way of selling. Hint: they’re not going to change so if you want to stay in the game, you’ll need to update and revise the way you approach your job.
  • Educate yourself: When was the last time you sat in on a webinar, read a book, took a class or did something else that adds to your knowledge base? Slumps are sometimes the result of reaching a plateau that your current level of experience can’t take you beyond.  Lifelong learning is not something you do in despair; it is something you do every day. As the world rapidly changes, so too must you by being a sponge and soaking up all you can about how to sell more.
  • Review your goals: When was the last time you looked at your goals? Or set new ones? Maybe its time to see if what you’re reaching for is still achievable. Although I set new goals at the start of each New Year that doesn’t mean they will stay exactly the same all year. As things change, goals are reached or new information comes to light, adjust and reset as needed. While goals should make you stretch, they should also be attainable. Revise as often as needed to keep yourself on track and reaching for the brass ring. Make your goals something to aspire to.

Let’s face it, those of us who got into sales often face daunting challenges others don’t. The goal is to have more people say yes than no to our offer, but there will be times, probably many of them, when the opposite will happen. When it does, sit back, take inventory of where you are vs. where you want to be and adjust as needed.

“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman – not the attitude of the prospect.” W. Clement Stone

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