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Sooner or later it happens to the best of salespeople - a sudden slump that starts slowly and then snowballs.
Conventional wisdom says the best way to break out of a slump is to keep doing the things you've always done.
Avoiding the deep slump.
To get back on track and avoid a deeper slump, try these six tactics:
1. Retrace your steps.
Are you leaving anything out of your presentation that's worked in the past? Maybe it's a word or phrase, a transition you skipped, or a step you omitted.
Ask yourself if you're stressing the same things. Or, are you including something that may be turning prospects off?
Compare a call you made before the slump started to one you're making now. Can you see or hear a difference between the two?
2. Be persistent
Selling, like football, is a contact sport. If you don't stay in contact with your customers, your competitors will.
Can you trace your slump to a period when you didn't stay in touch with customers as much as you should?
Maintaining regular contact so you're there when the customer is ready to buy is a great way to avoid slumps.
3. Try to keep your confidence up
Confidence and morale are usually high when sales are good. When sales are harder to come by, it's difficult for salespeople to stay up.
You've proven that you can sell in the past. Now it's a matter of finding out what's missing and getting back on track. Once your confidence is back up, your sales will probably follow.
4. Set specific goals
Yogi Berra once said, "If you don't know where you're going, you're sure to end up nowhere." The same can be said of a salesperson who tries to break out of a slump without setting specific goals. Maybe you should make more calls or do more prospecting than you did before the slump hit.
5. Plan each step
Salespeople who spell out the steps they're taking to break the slump are more likely to get results than those who simply go back to the plan they used when things were good. The slump may have nothing to do with you or your sales techniques. Maybe the market has changed, and unless you adjust your plan accordingly, you'll have difficulty ending the slump.
A plan is not just a means of breaking out of a slump. It's a process for learning from and building on the past, a confident way of knowing that the steps you're taking at the moment are actually in a forward direction.
6. Never relax the tension
Some salespeople blame "burn-out" and "stress" as the major cause of slumps. Salespeople who keep up the pressure usually stay ahead of the pack. To never let up may be the smartest way to avoid "burn out," "stress" and "slumps."
Kendra Lee is author of "Selling Against the Goal" and president of KLA Group. Specializing in the IT industry, KLA Group helps companies rapidly penetrate new markets, break into new accounts and shorten time to revenue with new products in the Small & Medium Business (SMB) segment. Ms. Lee is a frequent speaker at national sales meetings and association events. For more information, contact the company at +1 303.741.6636 or [email protected] or visit www.klagroup.com.
KLA publishes an industry-leading online newsletter. To subscribe and get a free Quota Gap Calculator ($18.95 value) visit www.klagroup.com. For information on sales training, call 303-741-6636.
You can read more about Kendra here
Today's News: Over at Salesopedia, Clayton Shold is in conversation with Shannon Smith, the image guru - interesting stuff!! Just click on the banner below:
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Finally, a great blogpost for you:"Is This Describing Your Product Or Service?"
Tomorrow: "How's Your Elevator Pitch? Mine's OK!"
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