There’s probably nothing worse a salesperson can go through than a slump, especially a prolonged one. Since our performance makes the difference between making enough money to pay the bills from one month to the next, any drop in sales can have serious implications for life outside of work as well. We asked thousands of salespeople to tell us how they get out of a sales slump, and the following answers are based on the most popular responses. You don’t need to do all ten of these things, and not all of them will work for everyone, but if even one of these helps you improve your numbers, it will be time well spent.
1) Get inspired – Different people are motivated in different ways, some listen to loud music, others read inspirational quotes or books, and many of us salespeople watch either one of these two famous sales movie clips to get inspired. Whatever it is that moves you, go do it.
2) Embrace uncertainty – You hear this phrase a lot in entrepreneurship circles, but it rings just as true in the sales world. You can’t control who that next lead is going to be, or what changes are affecting your industry or your company, you can only control your own actions. Embrace the uncertain nature of sales.
3) Clear your head – A sales slump can create a cycle of negative thoughts that prevents you from being able to push through it. Go for a walk, take a day off (if you can), meditate, do anything that will allow your brain some time to recharge so you can come back refreshed and sell with a clear mind.
4) Exercise – If you don’t work out at all, you’re missing out on a great way to improve sales. Obviously, exercising is healthy, but it’s also an amazing mood enhancer and can help you recharge and gain energy to perform better at work. A $10 a month gym membership could mean $1000 or more a month in sales.
5) Accept responsibility – You work in sales, so you don’t need me to tell you this, but no one is going to feel bad for you or rescue you. You live or die in this industry based on your performance, and no matter what outside factors play into it, the only person who is going to get you out of a slump is in the mirror.
6) Get back to the basics – Michael Jordan stuck to the basics, and it worked well for him. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time you’re pitching a prospect. Stick to the sales basics, quiet that little voice inside your head that has the bright ideas that got you into this mess. It’s not complicated.
7) Lighten up – Sometimes not taking ourselves and our problems too seriously can get things rolling again. There’s an old expression: “Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry, and you cry alone.” Which one would you rather be doing?
8) Change perspective – Seeing things the way you’re seeing them now clearly isn’t working, so try something new. Read about sales techniques. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes, and think about what you would want to hear if you were them. Ask a co-worker for their perspective. It will help.
9) Listen and ask questions – We devoted an entire article to why listening is so important, because it is. Say hello to your potential customers, ask questions, then don’t open your mouth until you understand exactly what it is they want. Even if they aren’t talking business, listen to what they’re saying.
10) Remember why you do this – Most of us have a reason “why”. This doesn’t have to mean “why sales.” The “why” could be your wife, your debt, your lifestyle, your children, or yourself. If you can find the “why,” then you’ll absolutely be able to figure out the “how.”
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