It’s something nearly every salesperson dreads – the slump.
Sure, they happen to everyone. But when you’re in the middle of one you find yourself questioning everything, fearing how long it might last, and wondering what you can do.
We’ve written before about ways to end a sales slump as well as quotes that might help you out of a slump by giving you some perspective. But why do slumps happen in the first place? And what can we do to avoid them (at least some of them)?
Let’s dive in. Here are eight of the most common causes of sales slumps and how you might avoid each one.
1. Overzealous Expectations
Sometimes a slump is just the result of setting your expectations too high.
Say you’ve started the month racking up sales left and right. Although you should certainly be proud of this, it’s important to recognize that things will come back to Earth at a point. Don’t expect a hot streak to suddenly become the norm.
Similarly, things change – the products you sell, the competitive landscape, prices, trends, etc. What starts out as typical, may not remain typical. Just be reasonable in the expectations you have to avoid setting yourself up for disappointment.
2. Attitude Issues
Attitude is a crucial part of selling. If you have a negative attitude, whether it’s due to personal issues or problems at your company, that can infect your sales effectiveness. It can also cause you to become more concerned, down, or disappointed than is reasonable. If every no hurts, you need a shift in mindset.
Focus on maintaining a positive attitude, and tuning out issues and distractions throughout your day.
3. A Crisis of Confidence
Perhaps the worst type of slump is one where you lose your confidence in your ability to sell. You find yourself second-guessing everything you’re going to say and not being able to close.
To deal with confidence issues, you need to trust in your training and your abilities. If necessary, consider seeking out additional training.
4. Lack of Product Knowledge
You need an extensive knowledge of your product if you’re going to sell it. You need an extensive knowledge of competitors as well. Slumps are often caused by not knowing the space as well as you should.
If you find yourself struggling to sell, spend more time researching the product.
5. Lack of Buyer Understanding
Perhaps more important than the product you’re selling is what it can do for your prospects. Failing to adequately understand what motivates your prospect, and credibility explaining how your product is the solution is the cause of many, many slumps.
To avoid fighting uphill battles that you won’t often win, put your prospect and their interests first.
6. Poor Prospecting
It’s tough to sell if all the good prospects have dried up.
When you don’t have many prospects to call or the ones you’re calling don’t seem to fit your target market, you’ll need to refocus on getting in front of the right ones.
7. A Disorganized Approach
Efficiency is everything in the sales game. Slumps are much more likely if you’re wasting time doing the wrong things, or spending too much time on low-value tasks and unqualified leads.
To avoid slumps, take a good look at your sales process and where you’re investing your time. Then prioritize the actions that leads to closed deals. And look for ways to streamline (or eliminate) everything else.
One of the hallmarks of PhoneBurner is that helps sales agents focus on what matters – interacting with more, and higher quality prospects.
8. Going on Autopilot
When you have a sales script to guide your calls and it feels like most calls involve the same topics, you can fall into the trap of going through the motions. You say what you’re supposed to say, but you’re not putting in any extra effort.
Every person and sales situation is different, and needs to be treated as such. Make it a point to explore each lead uniquely, and to make a real connections. That’s not only a more effective way to sell, it’s also more rewarding.
Wrapping Up 8 Things That Cause a Sales Slump, and How to Avoid Them…
Getting out of a sales slump can be hard. So it’s wise to look at what causes them in the first place, and avoid falling into those traps. To recap, here are 8 common causes of sales slumps…
- You had unreasonably high expectations.
- Your attitude is hurting your sales effectiveness, or how you process your results.
- You’re not feeling as confident as usual.
- You don’t know the product inside and out.
- You don’t understand your buyers.
- You’re lacking enough good prospects to talk to.
- Your approach to selling is unorganized and inefficient.
- You’re going through the motions instead of connecting with customers.