The other day I wrote about the perils of getting into a “rut” and had some thoughts on ways to mix it up. There is a very specific kind of “rut” that is worthy of its own blog … and it can affect many different professions.
Writer’s will get a writer’s block … salespeople can “hit a wall” and even though they are doing the same kind of things that gave them success in the past, they are not getting the success now. What can you do about it?
1. I think the first thing, and sometimes harder than you think, is to recognise what is going on. Unfortunately it is often your manager who notices before you … so the trick is to be very aware of your own failings, before the “boss” notices!
2. If you find yourself working just as hard as when you had success, doing the same things that brought you success then you need to change something … for the better. That old saying “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting the outcome to change!”
3. Actually something has changed … it could be you, your environment, your company, your clients, external factors etc. but if the results have changed then that has happened for a reason.
4. Take a close look at every aspect of what you are doing … document it for a few days, even a week if needed. What time do you start and finish work? How much time do you spend calling existing clients/new clients/prospects? How much face to face time? What objections are you getting … “same old” or new? What are you wearing? How is your mood … trouble at home/lethargic/unmotivated/surly? How many calls a day? How many meetings a day? How many orders? Are you organised … to do lists, good time management, managing the funnel etc.
5. Take a close look at your environment … and document it. What are your clients telling you? Any new competition? Any change in perception of your company? Any “buzz” in the market?
6. Now start to change things in a controlled manner … start with your attitude. Get in a winning frame of mind! Believe in your ability to win … dress like a winner, smile, be upbeat, generate energy, workout and eat healthy. Now revisit your habits … make more calls, start work earlier, take less breaks, work harder than your competition, develop new ways to deliver company messages. Take your manager on more sales calls and get feedback from him/her.
7. Ask your clients to help and get their honest input.
It is a fact that every sales person goes through these times … even the superstars. It is how you deal with it that will affect your ability to sell and thus your eventual success.
There are some cautions …. if you have been successful in the past but things have recently changed then you shouldn’t make wholesale changes. If it used to work then you were doing something right! Tweak things … attitude, effort and organization should fix it!
I love selling and one of the best parts about it is that every day can be different … if that isn’t the case then you are missing out on one of the joys of selling … and heading towards the sales wall!