3 (three) WAYS TO GET OUT OF A SALES SLUMP – FAST
All salespeople have sales slumps at one time or another. Some of us have slumps on a regular basis whereas others have slumps after certain events in either selling events and others due to a life cycle. Whatever the reason for your sales slump, there are ways many of us can overcome them effectively.
Sales slumps occur during those times when you simply just can’t find your selling rhythm, or when you can’t seem get the selling process right, or when you seem unable to close the sale despite your best effort. In other words, most of us suffer sales slumps whenever each sale seems much harder to sell than it was at other times when you were on your game. At those times you seem to be working harder but your volume is down and you really feel that the pressure is on.
The interesting thing here is that this phenomenon is not unique to sales. If we were to compare it to economics, many would call it a correction, or a recession, or they may even call it a depression. In sports it is generally referred to a slump, or a cold streak, or simply being out of form, or getting into a mental rut or even a down time. Then in life it can be referred to as a “rough patch” or a rut or just a bad run of luck. Whatever you call it in whatever sphere of life, it is still a slump and needs to be addressed in order to get over it or to get through it.
A salesperson in the midst of a sales slump knows they have to get out of it, or get through it and fast. After all, selling is how you make your living and without making sales salespeople are either without an income – or just marking time. Even though we all go through sales slumps at one time or another, or from time to time, the key to a salesperson is to minimize them when they do occur, and get out of them or at least through them – and fast.
The reality to a salesperson who is either going through a sales slump or has been in a sales slump for longer than they would have anticipated, sales slumps to us all have a way of self perpetuating and affecting our self belief in a number of areas. Then the lack of sales not only tend to eroding our confidence and expectations of positive results, they also make it even more difficult to return to the good form we had before we entered the sales slump.
So how does a Sales Slump – Fast?
Mostly a sales slump starts in the mind through what we see as an unfortunate set of circumstances, or some kind of inexplicable misfortune, or even some kind of perceived bad luck that can cost us a sale or two. Then why it tends to continue generally has to do with the self-perpetuating nature of the circumstances that bring us into a slump. But when those so called bad circumstances cost us a sale, rather than recognizing the short lived reasons as the cause of what we are going through, reasons that in so many cases should not last as an impediment to future sales, most quickly start to develop a negative expectation based on the short term affects brought about by the circumstances we find ourselves in.
In a very short time those noted external circumstances will tend to become personal issues can quickly begin to internalise. It’s at that point that those internalised circumstances generally will by nature become personalised. And it’s the personalising of those issues that systematically allow us to get dragged down by them. Many salespeople tend to experience this situation on a regular (or perhaps a less frequent basis) and generally put it down to what may seem to be like a run of bad luck that we have somehow attracted for some reason or another.
It is for this reason and because of our personalization of the circumstances we find ourselves in, we may tend to react to whatever we are going through by internalizing every part of it in our mind to the point where it becomes a true to life experience. However, it is nothing more than a true to life real expectation going being lived out in what seems to be a real life disaster, or even a series of real life disasters, rather than just what this situation really should be – nothing more than a hick-up that should pass within a short space of time.
The tragedy here is that at this point, what initially happened within us to start the slump now tends to remain in our mind long after the circumstances that caused us to notice these issues it in the first place has most probably gone away.
If left unchecked, it won’t be the circumstance that started things going haywire it in the first place that become the issue, because our mind will then become the driving force that continues to cause the slump to remain an issue – even though the circumstance that started it in the first place are longer there. In other words, if we don’t change our mindset, we will keep having a sales slump for no other reason than the expectation we created in the first place, and then personalised it by a limiting circumstance, or a perceived run of bad luck, will usually remain in our mind long after the circumstance that caused that thought pattern in the first place have changed.
More often than not, there will be usually nothing external causing the sales slump – more often than not, the matter and cause is internal. And this can be easily resolved by simply restoring positive expectations. Once we do this, we should be able to (and generally can) get out of any sales slump.
Understanding how this works, the sad part is that whoever is going through a sales slump usually does not believe the reason they are in a sales slump can be as easy understand as that.
The bottom line is, sales slumps are predominantly always an internal issue, and internal issues are entirely controllable once recognised for what they are – internal issues that have caused you to get off the track, or go off the rails. But the best part here is, once recognised, it is something that we (as salespeople) are able to get out of quickly and go on with life just as quickly.
Now here’s how to get out of a Sales Slump Fast
The answer here is really simple. Once you recognise what is causing the sales slump, the easiest way to address this is that you need to keep getting in front of prospects, keep presenting, and above all keep doing all the activities you are aware of that lead to getting sales across the line.
The reason you need to keep up these activities that matter, is that in sales it is the tendency for those going through a sales slump to stop doing the things they previously did. But it was the things they did in the past that made them sales in the first place.
And it personally annoys me that for some reason, only known to them, the majority of salespeople stop engaging in the sales activities that tend to lead to sales. Personally I believe many say to themselves, “What’s the use,” “I can’t seem to sell the way I sued to no matter what I do.” But this type of thinking tend to extend the slump.
If only they could get their heads around the fact that, because their lack of sales activities, they are the ones that decrease the odds of finding the success they so desperately need to get you out of their sales slump.
The Bottom Line Is
The bottom line needed to be understood here is that the more a salesperson is in front of suspects, the greater the odds of attracting a calcuable mix of prospects that could then turn into buyers. Here too, switched on salespeople understand that some of whom you contact as suspects will buy and some won’t.
By limiting the number of prospects you see while in the suspect stage, chances are the law of attraction takes over and the negativity of the mind will tend to attract the bad rather than the good. In turn, more and more sales presentations are now wasted on suspects that would never have been buyers if the opposite tact would have been implemented in the first place.
If you go ‘Back to Basics’ you will get out of a Sales Slump faster
Now look at your own sales track record. You have had s number of successes in a variety of ways in the past. And because you have enjoyed varying degrees of success in a number of areas, you should now concentrate on what you know to do to be successful again.
To do this, go back and rethink your past sales successes. In fact, rethink and concentrate on the best of your past sales successes before you rethink of the lesser ones. Once embedded in your mind, just keep thinking of them and keep working on doing what worked previously.
Now here’s a tip on the things to avoid. Stop listening to others, who although may be well meaning, can help keep you off track and continue the sales slump going for prolonged periods of time.
Once you change what was successful based on the variety of advice given to you by everyone who wants to help, you will end up being more frustrated and selling less.
So stay away from that advice and go back to what you did before that was successful – and whenever possible enlist the help of a good sales manager, rather than a well meaning, but ill informed friend or associate.
Above all, the experience of a superior with a vested interest in your future success can quickly provide you with a focused way of selling that brings short term success.
But ensure you are in the Right Mind Frame as much as you are in a Selling Focus!
It’s true, that sometimes a sales slump is as much about mental fatigue as it is about anything else. If you work at breaking this mind fatigue and refresh yourself by changing your work and rest patterns, more often than not success will follow.
Now Listen Carefully
Now listen carefully, in order to again achieve and/or to regain sales success, it is important you do not change the way you used to sell, but change one or two of the things that mentally suggest that things are changing around you.
Allow me to repat that, in order to again achieve and/or to regain sales success, it is important you do not change the way you used to sell, but change one or two of the things that mentally suggest that things are changing around you. Perhaps you could do something different as a reminder of the need to readjust the way you see things now. Maybe wear your watch on the other wrist, get a haircut or take a new route to work.
Often the breaking of one pattern contributes to breaking one or more of the other patterns that have contributed to your slump, or perhaps to your more recent poor sales performances.
And you Need to Break out of the Pressure of a Sales Slump
Whenever you are in a sales slump, the pressure at that time can really mount. Sometimes it can be the reason the sales slump becomes prolonged. The reality of this is that whenever you have not sold in a while it becomes difficult to break free from that sales slump.
Rather than letting the pressure of getting out of the sales slump reduce your mental motivation, give yourself a restart by resetting your sales statistics and then restarting the month from scratch.
By you resetting your goals as if the first week, fortnight or month never happened, you will eliminated the challenge of digging yourself out of the hole and put yourself in a position to move forward without the pressure of having to work at your normal rate.
Here the message is clear, sometimes you have to forget the slump by putting it behind you, and get going again by starting that new time with a clean slate.
Sales managers can also do this for members of a team who are slumping, but to get the best results here you will need to tell your sales manager what you need from him/her in order to get the restart going. Once this is done, you can greatly assist the sales manager to quickly can take whatever pressure is on you, off you with a reset. Once this has been achieved, they will be of great help evaluating your performance afresh going forward.
The reality here is that many salespeople respond positively when the manager takes the pressure off the situation by letting them start over. Ironically, using this method, many salespeople tend to reach new heights in performance.
So whenever you find yourself in a sales slump, recognise it early and take the steps needed to minimise the slump, and turn it around fast. If it sounds easy – it is!
THREE WAYS TO GET OUT OF A SALES SLUMP – FAST
This is an extract from the entire chapter (Chapter 2) from the book ‘ SPOTLIGHT ON YOUR SALES SUCCESS,’ by Peter Collins and is subject to the International Laws of Copyright
Copy and distribute this content as often as you want. You are encouraged to share it. © Copyright Peter Collins, Sydney, Australia, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017
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This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 53 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 68 business books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. Peter had his first book published in 1969 and now has over 133 books in all, including Business, Marketing, Sales, Free Publicity, Body Language, Music and over 30 Christian books to date. Peters books have sold over 2.5 Million copies over 48 years. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
© Copyright Peter Collins, Profit Maker Sales, Sydney, Australia, 1994, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017, all rights reserved. Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com
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