Have you ever had a sales slump? If you have been in sales for any amount of time, I am betting your answer is a resounding, YES! We all have had sales slumps. Those times when you just can’t find your selling swing. When you can’t seem to make a sale despite your best effort. When each sale that you do make seems harder than than it ever has been in the past. When you are working harder than ever but your volume is down and the pressure is on. In this economy, I have heard of many having sales slumps. But have heart!
Sales slumps are not unique to AMSOIL Dealers or sales in general. If there is a slump in the economy it is called a correction, a recession, or even a depression. If a baseball player goes zero for fifteen in his last plate appearances, that is a slump. If you hit a “rough patch” or a rut in life, you are in a slump.
If you are an AMSOIL Dealer in the midst of a sales slump, you know you have to get out of it, and you want to get out of it fast. The problem is that sales slumps have a way of becoming self perpetuating. Slumps erode our confidence and expectations of positive results, which in turn makes it even more difficult to return to the good selling habits we have lost along the way.
What Starts a Sales Slump?Usually a sales slump starts by chance. Maybe you have a series of unfortunate circumstances, or simply some bad luck, that costs you a sale or two. Why does a slump continue? It has to do with the self perpetuating nature of a slump. When bad circumstances cost us a sale, rather than recognizing the short lived circumstances as the cause, and that it should not last as an impediment to future sales, we quickly start to develop a negative expectation based on them.
We have a tendency to internalize these external circumstances. What happened to start the slump stays in our mind well after those circumstances no longer exist. But, this is encouraging. Why? Because most of the time there is nothing external creating your sales slump. If you restore a positive attitude and expectation to your activities, you can get out of that slump. It might not be easy, but since the circumstances are internal, they are controllable.
Here are some steps that can help you to get out of a sales slump.
Keep ActiveKeep getting in front of prospects, keep presenting, keep following up and keep up all the activities that lead to sales. Many times, for slumping sales people, the tendency is to stop doing the things that make sales. Frustration sets in and they stop engaging in sales activities. This extends the sales slump.
The more customers you get in front of the greater the odds of a ‘normal’ mix of customers- some that will buy and some that won’t. By limiting the number of prospects you see, the chances are much greater that you could get a few bad ones and none of the goods ones.
If you have been successful then you know what to do to be successful again. Just need to keep doing it! And, be careful about advice from others on getting out of your sales slump. If you ask ten other sales professionals how to get out of a sales slump, you will probably get ten different answers. If you have been successful before, do those things that made you successful.
Reset Your Sales CounterWhen you are in a sales slump, pressure mounts. It can be difficult to see how you will "catch up" with your sales goals. In other words, if it was your goal to register 20 accounts for the month and you have only registered five accounts on the 15th, reset your expectations. Reset your goal for the month to be 10 for entire month and go for those additional 5 accounts in the last 15 days. Get a fresh start. By doing so, you have eliminated the overwhelming challenge of digging out of the hole you are in and are in a position to move forward without all the pressure at your normal rate of success. Sometimes you just need to take the pressure off, allow yourself to forget the slump by putting it behind you, and start with a clean slate.
Break your patternsSometimes a sales slump can be caused by mental fatigue. Break this fatigue and recharge your batteries by changing your patterns. This piece of advice might seem to be a contradiction to my first suggestion that you keep on swinging without making changes to what has made you successful in the past, but it really isn’t. I’m not suggesting you change the way you sell, but to change something that will tell your mind that things are changing: Buy a new suit, get a new haircut, have eggs for breakfast instead of a banana, take a new route to a customers location, or listen to an inspirational CD instead of talk radio. Often times the breaking of one pattern contributes to the breaking of other patterns, and that can help you break out of a slump.
In the profession of sales we will all occasionally find ourselves in a sales slump. When that happens a true professional will recognize it early, take the steps needed to minimize the slump, and turn it around quickly. I hope these suggestions help.
Good Luck and Good Selling!