Like hitters in baseball, salespeople also fall into a decline in performance. Usually, one begins the slump due to a hitch in their mechanics, a real physical problem with the manner in which they are executing the method or their skill, but if it continues it soon reaches the level of a confidence problem. If we recognize the issue quick enough, it can be corrected with mechanical adjustments. However, once someone loses their confidence, physical adjustments alone are not enough to remedy the problem in a timely manner.
All salespeople eventually slump. Increases slow down or growth ceases altogether. When this occurs to you, don’t panic, just follow the following steps:
1. Take action. Don’t freeze up and focus on the negative. Know the “lead measures” of your success (i.e. number of outbound calls to target customers per day) and begin immediately measuring your performance. The act of beginning will improve your confidence and eventually your results. No one ever recovered from a slump by riding the pine, sitting on the bench; they had to play their way out.
2. Discover what is working? While few desire to be the bearer of bad news, most people like to help and encourage others. Rather than focusing on the unsuccessful opportunities (of which most people will not be 100% honest anyway), ask the decision-makers of the successful deals why they decided to go with you. These people are in a position to provide valuable insight as to what is or was appealing about your value proposition to your target audience.
3. Remember the 40+ Rule. Most are satisfied after working a 40-hour week. The more time you put into “getting out”, the quicker you can recover. Focus on the perfection of the basics. Find the time to plan your week, upgrade your questions, and spend time building key relationships.
4. Take control of your thoughts! Henry Ford once said “whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re probably right”. Science has proven that what we choose to think about and the meaning we give to the events and circumstances in our lives hold more sway than anything else in determining our outcome. Our happiness is in direct relation to the amount of control we think we have over our lives. By taking control of that which we choose to think about (i.e. abundance verses scarcity) we trigger our minds like magnetizing a piece of iron to draw to us that which we desire. Your mind is the power-source and your thoughts are the key.