Have you ever wondered how to get out of a sales slump?
We’ve all faced them.
When everything goes quiet. Leads have dried up and deals to close have disappeared.
For anyone in sales, the experience can be downright scary.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be.
What Is a Sales Slump?
If you’ve ever been in a full commission sales job, then you’ll know exactly what a sales slump is.
No leads coming in.
No deals on the board, and no hot opportunities to pursue.
It’s as if everything you’ve been working on has dried up.
Worse yet, the experience can be so demotivating that it starts to erode confidence.
Lack of confidence means lower productivity, fewer leads, and even fewer deals to close.
It’s a downward spiral.
How to Get Out of a Sales Slump in 4 Easy Steps!
If you’ve found yourself in a sales slump, I’ve learned over the years that there are four key steps that will help you get back to being productive.
Adjust Your Mindset:
The first step is to get out of your own head.
Unfortunately, being in a sales slump is stressful, and it’s that stress that leads to impatience, nervousness, and desperation.
All of these emotions affect how we speak to and connect with prospects and customers.
Remind yourself that “this, too, shall pass” and it’s not the end of the world.
Go for a walk, call a friend, connect with customers you’ve had long-standing relationships with, and just relax.
An optimistic mindset (rather than doom and gloom) is the first step in getting over a sales slump!
Refocus your production:
When leads and opportunities to close dry up, refocus your time on what brought you sales in the first place.
Reconnecting with past customers.
Reaching out to new companies to introduce yourself.
Reinvigorating past relationships with others who serve your market.
Go back to basics and just have fun. See how many calls you can make, how many emails you can send.
For goodness’ sake, stop trying to force a close on a deal that just isn’t ready to close.
Focus on building relationships:
The worst thing you can do when faced with a slump is try to force a sale.
If it doesn’t feel natural to you, the customer certainly won’t think you are working in their best interest.
When you call, focus on getting to know someone, rather than pushing to close or peddling your wares.
How have they been? How is their family?
What do they enjoy doing in their spare time?
What interests do you both have in common?
Going back to focusing on relationships rather than the sale will put both you and your customers at ease.
In doing so, you’ll have more fun and be less apt to come off like a high-pressure salesperson.
Sounds cheesy, I realize, but most of us went into sales because it was fun.
Getting to meet new people.
Trying to overcome objections.
Closing the sale.
Get reacquainted with why you moved into sales in the first place.
Have fun. Don’t stress (it won’t help you).
18 Ways to Avoid a Sales Slump
The key to getting out of a sales slump is to never enter one in the first place!
Here, then, is a list of 18 different strategies to keep you focused, productive, and away from any unforeseen sales slumps.
- Establish a daily routine: Have a daily routine that gets you energized and excited. Most importantly, once you find a routine that works, stick with it and remain positive and productive.
- Have gratitude: Be thankful for the freedom a career in sales provides you. There are so many people that are in jobs they hate, but you have the freedom to spend your time as you see fit (as long as it produces results!).
- Practice the basics: Always focus on basic sales activities no matter how successful you get. Activities like lead generation and follow-up are the lifeblood of the profession. By consistently focusing on finding and connecting with new leads, you’ll rarely run out of opportunities to sell.
- Avoid comfort: Even the best salespeople get comfortable. There seems to be a zone when everything is working in your favour. My advice: don’t get comfortable. Always be hungry for more business and you’ll never be without opportunities.
- Take frequent breaks: This is something I heard Grant Cardone speak about once. If you need a break, take one. Just don’t let it drone on for an hour. Taking frequent breaks allows you to clear your mind and refocus your efforts. Keep them to a maximum of 10 minutes.
- Focus on relationships: Sales is about relationships at the end of the day. The person who can manage the most relationships sells the most products or services. Always stay focused on building relationships and you’ll never be in a slump.
- Keep a schedule: Plan your day, and then stick with the plan. Don’t get caught going down a rabbit hole to research new leads or getting tied up all day in meetings. Know your priorities (which include basic sales activities), and then stick with them!
- Get a coach: Need help staying on track? Maybe a coach is right for you. There are dozens of sales coaches (including yours truly!). If you need a coach to stay on track, get one!
- Create a community: Surround yourself with other people who sell. It can be inside or outside your company, but staying plugged in to others in the profession is a great way to build your network, and keep your sanity.
- Work when you’re most productive: If you get the most done in the morning, then make sure you use that time wisely. Know when you are most productive, and then use that time to your advantage.
- Mentor others: If you help others enter this profession, not only can it be rewarding, but it’s a great way to consistently remind yourself of what matters. As the saying goes, give a man a fish and you give him a meal; teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.
- Stick to what works: If you have an approach and it works, don’t change it. Too many times I’ve seen professional salespeople get caught up in changing their approach as a result of a book or seminar, and then everything falls apart. By all means, test new ideas, but don’t change what works for you.
- Always be prepared: Every call or meeting you have is a chance to close another sale. For that reason, you need to always come prepared to do so. Be ready for objections and always ask, “Would you like me to provide you a proposal, or do you have further questions?”
- Have goals: If you don’t have goals or targets, selling can get pretty boring. Set goals and targets that stretch you and make you uncomfortable. If you hit them, great! If you miss, you’ll still be further ahead than if you didn’t have goals to begin with.
- Reward yourself: Sure, it’s great to get a fat commission cheque or annual bonus, but you need frequent rewards throughout the day. Give yourself small rewards for getting things done. Call a friend, go for a walk, or just bask in the sunlight. Small rewards matter.
- Never, ever force the close: If you rush the close, you risk losing the sale. This isn’t to say you should avoid going for the close, but if you start rushing to close all of your deals, you may end up with nothing to move forward.
- Join a mastermind group: If you thrive off learning from others, find a mastermind group to join. You’ll learn, grow your network, and be amongst others who understand your challenges.
- Focus on building business: Don’t think in terms of making the sale, but rather building business. If you sell a car, that’s great, but if you build a relationship that will mean your customers return to buy from you again and again (while referring others to you), that builds business and you’ll never be in a sales slump.
Stay Out of a Sales Slump
We’ve all been in them if you’ve been in sales for any length of time.
But if you use the four simple steps above, you can crawl your way back out.
Focus your energy on any of the 18 tips above to stay productive and make sales.
Your employer (and your bank account) will thank you!
© Shawn Casemore 2020. All Rights Reserved.