“Digging Out and Climbing Up” – Jerry Knight
If you have the privilege of being called a Sales Professional then I would bet that, sometime during your career, you have found yourself falling short of your goal/quota. Some how you find a way to justify missing the mark. You make promises of improvement to your boss. You reassure your family that sometimes these things happen. Then you manage to miss the mark again. Before you know it you feel like you’re on management’s radar. Your coworkers begin to look down on you, and your family and friends are telling you things like “maybe you should consider getting a real job.” Then the inevitable happens. Stress sets in and you begin to doubt yourself and your abilities. You begin to ask yourself why anyone would be crazy enough to do this for a living.
At that point it’s official…. You are in a Sales Slump.
Oxford dictionary defines the word slump as
1. A sudden severe or prolonged fall in price, value, or amount of something (sales) .
2. A period of substantial failure or decline (of sales) .
Sounds kind of harsh doesn’t it? Especially if you have a proven track record of productivity and success. I have seen the careers of several great salespeople, come to an end because they never bounce back from a slump.
We all go through these lulls during our careers . I believe that we can all overcome them. In order to pull yourself out of a slump you must first understand how you got into this position. I am sure that you have heard countless Salespeople give all sorts of reasons why they are in a slump. They say things like “nothing is selling in this economy” or “the Internet is killing my industry”. My personal favorite is “everyone I talk too is just looking and not in the market for my product/service right now”
I can sum this up with one word…. BULL
If you will take a close look at the situation you will inevitably find that the reason you are in this Slump is because of YOU.
A slump can always be traced back to something that YOU did or did not do. Maybe that sounds a little harsh but take a minute to think about something
. If YOU know that YOU, and only YOU, are the cause of your slump that means that YOU and only YOU can pull yourself out of it.
Not the economy. Not the Internet. Not a potential customer. Not your family. Only YOU. Would YOU have it any other way? Are you willing to rely on some third party to pull you out of this lull? After all, aren’t YOU the one who chose this career path? Wasn’t it YOU who decided that no one else would determine what YOU are worth and would let no one else determine how much money You should make?
My good friend and mentor, Don Blanz, says that “a Sales Slump is nothing more than a Grave with the ends kicked out”. You may get buried under circumstances that you cannot control but there is nothing keeping you there except YOU. Go to work early and stay late if you have to. Make one more phone call. Send one more email. Do everything you can to get in front of one more customer. Sometimes you have to get creative. Occasionally you must step out side of your comfort zone. You do whatever it takes to climb out of that hole.
Your brain is the most powerful tool that you possess. Changing the way that you think will surely change your outcome.
Until next time,
I would like to thank Don Blanz for the opportunity to bring you my perspective regarding topics that we face as Sales Professionals. I welcome any input from our readers and encourage discussion regarding all things sales related.