The greatest danger for a sales person is loss of confidence. Anyone who has spent any time selling anything will tell you that from time to time you will hit a hurdle. It might be a really difficult customer, it might be the loss of a big account, or it might be a period where you just can't seem to get a sale. The longer this period goes on the more your confidence can be shaken.
I have experienced many hurdles in the sales world. I know what it feels like to look at the list of people you have to go see that day and feel nothing but dread at the prospect of not making any sales. What can you do? Here are ten ideas that have helped me get out of my sales slumps in the past.
- First, accept that you are experiencing a sales slump, not the end of the world. You haven't lost the ability to sell, your career isn't over, your business isn't about to go bust. You are in a rut and it will end.
- If what you are doing isn't working, change what you are doing. Start at the beginning. Review every stage of your sales system and look for ways to do things differently and perhaps better.
- Talk to some of your current customers. Try to find out what is going on. Is it you or your business or is it simply that your customers have stopped spending? In other words, find out the facts.
- Find a mentor--someone who knows and who has been in sales for a long time. Ask for their opinion and advice.
- Do a refresher training course. Even if you cover the basics of selling again, it will fire you up and reinvigorate you (and remind you just how much you know).
- Have a holiday. If you need a good long break, take one. It's hard to sell when your batteries are fried.
- Do plenty of follow-up calls on your existing customers if this is appropriate and ask them for referrals.
- Have brainstorming sessions with the other sales people in your business, or even friends who are sales people. It's great to be able to talk about sales issues with people who really do understand any challenges that you might be going through.
- Get organized. Take the time to get rid of all of those niggling little jobs and projects that are 'incomplete'. Get these sorted and your life will feel much more organized and uncluttered and so will your head.
- Buy some new clothes. Whenever I hit a sales slump I went and bought a new suit. It made me feel like a million dollars and this seemed to get my sales going again.
Remember that all sales people have the occasional slump. If your confidence is at a low level, don't keep beating yourself up. Take some time to refocus, get back to the basics, have a holiday, have some fun, do a course or talk to some positive friends. Before you know it you will be well and truly back on track.