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Recovering from a Sales Slump

Quick Notes - Break Your Sales Slump:
  • Recover from a slump: Have a plan, take a break, follow the 10% rule, seek feedback and review.
  • Turn your sales slump into a learning experience and fuel for your passion for recovering.

Have you ever had the misfortune of experiencing a sales slump? You’re not alone! Many sales professionals experience sales slumps during their career. The important thing is that you are committed to rebounding back out of your slump. Careful planning, basic strategizing, and self appreciation are key factors in getting yourself back on track. This article will outline some tips and tricks that are useful in actualizing your sales goals.

Proven Steps to Breaking a Sales Slump

Plan, Plan, and Plan Again!

You can never plan enough when it comes to managing your personal finances and career. The same can be said about your sales goals. You never know when Murphy’s Law will show its ugly head, and you will not want to be caught without a plan of action. Draft multiple strategies for your sales recovery. Write your thoughts and plans down, and connect the dots between point A and point B. Write logical progression goals between where you are today, and where you want to be in several weeks or months from now. Do not stray from your plan. Stick to your plan, thoroughly and progressively follow through with the action points on it, and ensure you’re headed in the right direction. The worst thing you can do is be premature with your plan. Do not rush your plan or otherwise take a shortcut. If you’re in a sales slump, the best thing you can do is utilize time to evaluate your sales skills, your situation, and what you have accomplished to date. Be proud of your accomplishments and recognize yourself as being an outstanding sales representative. Take time to praise yourself and reward yourself for hard work. Most sales slumps occur because you are simply burned out and have little interest or motivation to continue selling. Slumps are the natural part of the sales cycle. You must be as committed to succeeding during high times as you are during these slumps. Your passion and ingenuity will distinguish itself over your colleagues.

Take a Break

Sometimes the best way to regroup after or during a sales slump is to take a break. Take a few days off from sales activities and focus on enjoying your successes to date. Focus on the positive aspects of your sales career. All human beings require a balanced schedule in order to work to our best ability. Maintaining this balance in a sales career is difficult, but time off or vacation time may be your answer. Too many sales professionals get caught up in making every waking hour about that ‘next sale’. Balance sales with time devoted to prospecting, following up with current customers, paper work, or going on vacation. If you fail to balance your schedule, you will fail to be successful at anything you do.

The 10% Rule

The easiest rule in basic investing and sales is called the 10% rule. It can be adopted to a wide array of situations, but generally means that you should be 10% of anything you do away for the ‘rainy days’. With income, putting 10% of your income away as a reserve fund will prove very beneficial for you when you do enter a slump. The same rule can be applied within your sales career. You will want to allot some of your sales commissions or wages to a slump fund, as I so eloquently coined. Essentially, you will feel better when you get into a sales slump by still having reserved funds to cover your decrease in sales. The simple impression that you have a pool of funds to withdraw from during your slump will safeguard you from financial insecurity. As you are doing sales in a prosperous environment, ensure you’re putting 10% away from each sale.

Feedback and Review

Professionals across all industries and all sectors all share one thing in common. They hate performance reviews, and they hate being criticized for their work. However, this is a very important component of a successful sales career. Do not be afraid to ask for support, advice, or consultation from your managers or colleagues. You may feel this is a weakness, but those around you will respect you for being able to admit your shortcomings and addressing them. Further, you will grow from this experience and become a better salesperson. The solution to your sales slump may be something that your manager can solve for you. Getting critical feedback ensures you continue to improve on your skills and lets you be honest with yourself. Do not be offended by what others have to say about you. Thank them for their honesty and take what they say as a motivational factor. Use their feedback to kick start your selling skills and rejuvenate your career.
By creating scalable strategic plans that allow you to achieve measureable goals, using the 10% rule, taking needed breaks and balancing your work-life schedule, and receiving quality feedback and reviews, you are on track to recover from any sales slump. Remember that successful salespeople are passionate individuals. Do not lose your passion for sales as you slump. Instead, try to infuse even more passion in what you do so you can overcome any challenges that come your way.