We’ve all experienced a sales slump. For several months in a row, you’ve been bringing business in. It seems like you’re the company darling or sales champion. And then it happens. The well suddenly dries up and you, of all people, are in a sales slump. Everything you touch turns to s*#t and nothing you do seems to make a positive impact. Then, one day, you get a glimmer of hope from a prospect…and then they stall, wanting to wait a little longer.
Sales slumps hurt. They can even be career killers. When the slump dismantles your self-confidence and makes you begin to over-think every move you make, you become worse than ineffective. You become your own worst enemy.
But sales slumps never have to happen. And I mean NEVER…if you understand what causes them in the first place and, far more importantly, know how to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Sales slumps happen for one simple reason: We fail to stay focused. We get distracted by deals that take too much of our time. We fail to focus on the routine that brought us to the recent success we enjoyed. Instead we focus on the wrong things and get caught up reading our own “press clippings” about how great we are that we fail to focus on the key elements to continued success.
To avoid sales slumps altogether, we need to concentrate on a few fundamentals:
- Admit that life happens. Whatever effort you think you need to put in to get the level of performance you need, raise that by at least 5x, preferably 10x. This means your activity on a daily, weekly and monthly basis needs to be five times to ten times above what the typical person would do. The reality is life happens. Car problems. You get sick. Your kid(s) get sick or need to visit the doctor. You experience several snow days forcing you to work from home. Whatever it is, it’s Murphy’s Law. And, yes, it will happen to you, so plan for it in advance.
- Don’t get side tracked. When you have a good month, there will be those who want you to celebrate it. These are the proverbial lifetime members of the bullpen. They rarely leave and when they do, it’s because they’re going to lunch. These are the ones who bicker and complain about company policies or someone in the “order prevention” department. They sell just enough to keep their job and that’s it. They want you to stop excelling because you’re making them look bad. Recognize these “hyenas,” as I refer to them in my book, and get away from them.
- Continue to set high goals. Sales slumps occur often after you’ve achieved a lofty goal you set for yourself. Congratulate yourself and celebrate, but then sit down and establish some new goals. If you revel in your accomplishment too long, you’ll find yourself spiraling backwards instead of propelling into the next orbit.
- Love your clients. Sometimes it’s your clients who fall victim to your sales slump. You get sidetracked and then fail to take proper care of your existing clients. The problem is, you helped them solve a problem and they can help you share that story with others. When you fail to truly love your clients, you’re not going to get referrals. After all, if you become known more as a “one night stand” type of rep, why in the world would they want to introduce you to their sister?
Avoiding a sales slump isn’t complicated. And, frankly, a sales slump should never, ever happen to any sales rep. But it does and it happens for a reason. Following the ideas I just laid out in a consistent manner will help you avoid the sales slump and, very likely, protect you and your family from even bigger failures!
Go big or go home!