Written By: Jeb Blount, Jr.
“Will what you are doing right now make you a millionaire?” — Jeffrey Gitomer
Which means that Just like a marathon, there are highs and lows in sales. Your mental strength will waiver during your career and there will be days that make you want to quit. There will be days when you have no doubt in your mind that you love what you do. There will be days that have no distinction as to whether they are triumphant or deplorable.
The highest peaks require humility, the mundane days require discipline, and the deepest valleys require strategy. At some point in your career, if you haven’t experienced one already, you will face what many consider a slump.
Days or weeks will go by where it feels like you can’t get a win. People aren’t picking up the phone and when they do you can’t get the appointment, deals keep falling through, and your mind just isn’t in the right space.
One of the worst feelings we can have as salespeople is complete mental fogginess. When it feels like all the time you have is taken up but nothing productive is happening or when all the energy you have is zapped.
We all have those days, and you are not alone. But you must have a strategy to pull yourself back up and keep going— because here’s a little secret: no one is coming to help you. Here are 3 quick ways to start beating a sales slump.
It is true, most people are not aware of how deep the hole they have dug is until they are half-way to China (figuratively speaking). Awareness is difficult because in order to be aware, we require an event to shake off the guise of delusion.
Often, delusion manifests deeper in those who take the term “individual contributor” all too seriously. Unfortunately, the jolt in a sales slump is being put on a Performance Improvement Program (PIP), a complete dilution of our pipeline, the need for more income, or worse, having to find a new job.
Ultra-high performers are obsessed with win probabilities. Making adjustments to their approach quickly allows top performers to change course and continue cultivating success.
These folks are coachable, listen to others, and know how to receive criticism with an open mind and open hearts. Ultra high performers are keen to adjust their actions to find the most successful route. What this means is that in a sales slump, those salespeople have a network of people who help them create awareness sooner rather than later. Then, they make the decision to change.
If I think about all the slumps that I have had in my career, the common denominator amongst all of them is a lack of sleep. It usually follows some life disruption like a vacation or impromptu weekend of activity that throws everything off just a hair. I stay up just a little too late watching the latest Ted Lasso or Netflix original and from there it’s a slippery slope. I bet this happens to you as well. You start off by staying up to 11 PM, then 12, then 1, and all of a sudden, waking up in the morning for work becomes a slog.
How can you ever expect to perform well in sales, which requires a deep level of emotional control and intelligence? Everyday in sales means dealing with rejection and objections, so if you don’t have your ducks in a row mentally, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. Studies have found that a sleep deprived brain operates with the cognitive ability of a brain intoxicated with alcohol.
I’ll say it again; if you don’t get enough sleep you are essentially showing up to work drunk. How well do you handle rejection when you are intoxicated? Probably not as well as you can at your peak level of mental aptitude. When you become aware of your slump, you have to make choices to get back on track. Those choices include getting to bed early and resting your body and mind adequately each day.
People often ask me how to close a deal when they are in a slump, which I think is the wrong question to ask. The question we have to ask ourselves in our down moments is, “How can I get the train back on the tracks?”
Before the train arrives at the station, the wheels have to turn first. So, my advice for getting your head right, heart right, and actions right is to seek small wins.
Nothing happens in sales unless you make a call to someone and start a conversation. Often a slump can be attributed to a lack of prospecting discipline.
Start making those prospecting calls again. Check 5 calls a day off the list, get your first appointment, make 10 calls in a day, send a video message, add a second deal. Get those wins early in the morning, don’t wait until the end of the day because you will only put action off for another day.
Start noting when you have good sales meetings. One thing that keeps my head up, even when I have a poor day prospecting, is to really focus on having a productive sales conversation.
Asking great questions that drive a genuine and authentic conversation, then getting that next step, is a huge win during a slump. If you can’t get anything else right, take what you can get.
My strategy in a slump is to write down those wins in my notepad. Even if it’s in between my other notes or in the margins. Take the wins where you can so that they can snowball into greater successes.
The best wins are the small ones that accumulate into a full day of intention. Don’t get overwhelmed trying to win it all back at once, take one step at a time.
You are a sales professional and, as Jeb Blount says, an elite athlete of the business world. Wake up every day and make the choices to be better than you were the day before. Most days you will succeed, some days you won’t. That is human. Don’t let the bad days make you fall victim to bad habits.
Create a strategy around creating awareness, getting the rest you deserve, and getting the wins you need to build back confidence. Make the choice to better your situation before you are forced to, and separate yourself from the rest.
Ultra-high performers know that sustained success requires motivation and accountability, and often that comes from having a coach in your corner. Check out our FREE guide, How To Find The Right Coach For You. From expertise, to personality, and everything in between, Master Sales Coach Gina Trimarco breaks down the 10 things you should look for when considering a coach.
Jeb Blount, Jr.
Jeb Blount, Jr. is a graduate of Berry College with a degree in Political…
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