Slumps happen. The baseball slugger can’t even hit the pitch in the center of the strike zone. Fish are jumping and being hooked by everyone but you. The rest of the sales team is hitting quota. But there you are wondering what’s going wrong. You are in a sales slump.
Take An Inventory Of Your Activities
Great salespeople know that successful selling is performing a specific set of activities well over and over again:
- Following up
Measure the sales activity level for each of these. Compare the sales slump activity level against your peak performance. Great salespeople are excellent self-managers. They continually evaluate their performance and make improvements to overcome weaknesses.
How’s Your Attitude?
Great salespeople always do their best. Being their best is relative. Many years ago I read a biography of the American baseball player Babe Ruth. What I remember most from his life was his commitment to the game. He showed up even when he was sick. On those days, Babe Ruth said he played harder to make up for it. Life forces affect how well we perform as salespeople. Worry over a sick child at home. A family tragedy. Negative feedback from your boss. All these affect how we feel. But to recover from the sales slump, great salespeople put these aside and focus on the selling task at hand. Use positive self-talk to create a positive attitude. This makes great salespeople do their best.
Check Your Commitment.
Drive is the urge to attain a goal. Ambition is the desire to achieve it. Great salespeople know the road to success is simple:
- Describe what you want to achieve
- Determine what it takes to achieve it
- Dedicate yourself without distraction to achieving your dream
Most people take the firs step, some do the second, but very few follow through with the third step. Great salespeople have written goals. They review progress on their goals often. To get out of a sales slump rededicate yourself to doing what it takes to achieve your goals.
When A Sales Slump Becomes Burnout
Several times over my career I experienced a need to change careers. The first sign was a slump in performance. When I did a self-evaluation I found the current situation wasn’t ideal for meeting my life goals. So I made a change. Once it was a major market change. I managed a special hazards fire protection division for small business. The primary product we sold was Halon gas fire suppression systems. Halon gas was outlawed as an ozone-depleting chemical so our business potential went to zero. Unable to successfully recreate the business model, I changed jobs. Another time, although successful in meeting quota I found myself unable to move up in the organization. Over time this frustration affected my performance. I had a sales slump. Soon I moved on to a new company at a position from which I could grow. Great salespeople continually evaluate their situation. When a sales slump in performance can’t be recovered in the current situation, it may be time to change jobs.
Don Crawford & Lois Carter Crawford