Sales is a roller coaster and one of the signs of a great salesperson is that they are able manage their moods through the highs and the lows that face all salespeople. Every one of us had had those days when we’re “on fire” and the less fun ones when it seems like no matter what we do, we can’t seem to get business to close.
Here are a few of the things that I do when I go into a slow period. Perhaps you’d like to try some of them when you’re in a slump.
Go back and review your account list to remind yourself of all the people that you haven't talked to a while. This is a great thing to do once once a quarter but it's especially helpful in the slow times. It can help you remember that person who was interested but slipped off your radar while you were focusing on lower hanging fruit.
Pick a 30-minute time slot to plug through making a bunch of calls. I don’t know a single salesperson who enjoys cold calls but in this day and age phone calls don't have to be totally cold. You can even go through your existing account list and call people one by one until you get a hit. Even if that doesn't turn into a closed deal at least you're getting a conversation in motion with a client and that can shift your thinking.
This is more of a mood-managing tactic but you never know where it can lead. Sometimes just reaching out can remind the your client that they could benefit from a product you have.
Write down all of your best deals and/or any deals that you closed in the last three months. Analyze what made it a good deal. Think carefully about all the things that you had to do to get those deals closed. Now take that list and think of it as a process. Consider whether you’ve changed how you’ve been approaching deals and look at whether you should shift to a process more like what has been successful for you in the past.
There are so many great free podcasts about sales. Look for motivational stuff from folks like Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy or Tony Robbins or podcasts specific to sales to shift your thinking. I like to listen while I’m commuting to the office to pump myself up.
This may seem counterintuitive but think about this: what you would want to reward yourself with when you close that next deal? Start thinking about this reward instead of the deal itself. That way, instead of thinking about the deal itself and getting all caught up in the psychology around it, you're thinking about this great thing that you're going to get yourself when you close the deal. This can be such a great way to shift your thinking and it works not just for closing deals but also for building a positive association with anything.
It is fairly easy to find groups of people to network with online; look for meetup.com, rotary club, toastmasters or groups specific to your industry. Go to the meetings and cocktail hours. Interacting with other people in a positive way can help turn things in a positive direction.
There are so many great sales books out there that can motivate you and just offer you a few different ideas on how to approach things. Go buy one, read it, scan it... doesn't need to be like a major project just have fun with it and try some new things. I just read Duct Tape Selling by John Jantsch and got a bunch of new ideas I want to try.
Exercise the best mood management tool around. It even helps people that are severely depressed, so for sure it can help a salesperson like you get your blood pumping.
This is a great way to get centered. There are all kinds of meditation podcasts that you can find online, including some that are specifically for salespeople. Meditation has been proven be beneficial for all kinds of things and certainly mood management is one of them.
The next time you’re in a sales slump or just want to stir up some new possibilities, try some of these tactics. If you have any others to add to this list please put it in the comments below.
Alice Myerhoff is author of the e-book “Social Media for Salespeople: A Step-by-Step Guide to Increasing your Leads and Sales” and a business development/sales/marketing/management executive with over 18 years of experience in industries ranging from online games, educational technology and Social business to online news media, real estate & mortgage. She is currently heading up Sales at EdSurge, and has worked at Electronic Arts, Inman News, Pivot Conference, Philips Professional Publishing, Countrywide, Princeton Capital, and the Tomorrow Project. Her party trick is being able to count to 10 in 6 languages and she is fluent in German and French. Find her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter: @motodot