One of the metrics I like to keep is the percentage of clients that I close. A typical statistic that most sellers look at, there's no better feeling when that number is high. Even more exciting is when you get on a roll with closing deals.

It's interesting how much the domino effect comes into play in sales. When you're landing clients, everything just seems to go your way. Your prospects seem happier, and you're on point with every sales pitch you give. In fact, you're not even putting in a lot of effort. Your sales just start feeling natural.

While being on a role with deals gives us a great high, what comes up must always come down. In almost any kind of business, you're going to go through a cold streak with customers. First, you'll have one turn you down. Pretty soon that number keeps growing. You start focusing on the losses, and you lose motivation and get frustrated. You try experimenting with different techniques, only to get turned down again and again.

This is the sales slump. Any seasoned salesperson has been through this, and they'll all tell you that it's not a great place to be in. To get out of a sales slump, I've found three techniques to be extremely effective. The goal of these tactics is to help you get out of the rut as fast as possible and get back on track. The longer you keep letting your numbers go down, the harder it will be to pull yourself back up.

1. Start focusing more on the customer's reaction

When your sales stop closing, you need to remove blame from the equation as much as possible. A lot of people start blaming bad potential clients for their failure to close the deal. This leads to a downward spiral, as they stop learning and keep trying the same strategy. Remember, the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

Instead, let the customer show us what we need to change. When I'm in a slump, doing this helps bring to light what the problem is in my pitch. It's easy to think that you need to completely change your strategy when you start getting denied by buyers. In reality, I've found that most times small tweaks in how you go about the sale go a long way. Study what your prospects are resonating with, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Sales is like sharpening a knife. You must constantly sharpen your skills to stay effective.

2. Focus more on objection prevention than handling objections

When you're in a rut, you could be losing all your deals for the same reason. Is there a pattern in why customers keep saying no to you? In almost every sales slump, there is a common theme of why people have stopped buying your product. If this is the case, your first step is to pinpoint the problem. To do this, write down why your prospects said no. Then try to connect as many as of those answers as possible.

After that, focus on how to alter your pitch to handle the objection head on. Some sellers will put their effort into how to handle a reply when their customer announces the problem. A better way to go about it is to attack it before they ask questions. Why? Because it shows that you've already thought about the concern. It also makes your explanation more believable. People make up answers to questions all the time to get a deal done. Buyers know this, and it can affect how much they trust your response. So, instead of waiting for the same concern over and over again, plan ahead and put the customer at ease.

3. Overload your schedule with sales meetings

When in a slump, a lot of sales people will start spreading out their client meetings. When you first hear this, it makes sense. You want to figure out the problem first, and you don't want to ruin the meetings you have lined up. In actuality, the best thing you can do for yourself is to fill your schedule with as many sales meetings as possible.

When sales aren't going my way, I'll try to move appointments I have in a week to tomorrow. Reason being, it only takes a few consecutive closed deals to get you back on fire. Don't lay off the gas pedal when you're in a rut. Break through as fast as you can by forcing your way back up instead of retreating. Like they say in sports, the best defense is a great offense.

 

 

 

 

 

Published on: Jan 29, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.