5 Tips for Reversing a Sales Slump

Business success doesn't happen by accident. It is the result of careful planning, effective execution, and having the confidence to close the sale. Sales professionals aren't just selling a product or service; they're selling themselves and the believability in their offer. But what happens when sales dry up? Where do you go when your approach or presentation is no longer believable? How do you turn "no" into your next opportunity? A sales slump is the last place anyone wants to be. These five steps are key to beating the dreaded sales slump.

Practice polite perseverance

Remember that "no" is short for next opportunity. Don't give up. If you want to be better than the average salesperson, you need to make a better-than-average attempt. Top sales professionals are successful because they exude competence and affability. They have evolved a winning personality and have worked hard to do so. They have shaped their character, patiently labored through the intricacies of their profession, and done their homework day after day for every customer they encounter. A top sales professional knows that 80 percent of potential customers only buy after five to 10 calls from salespeople, but 50 percent of sales professionals call their prospects just once. Find out what your customer really wants, make adjustments, and keep calling. Perseverance makes the sale.

Establish personal relationships

People buy from people. This means that most sales decisions are made on a relationship level. In the B2B world, where sales professionals have to deal with buying centers more and more often, connecting on a personal level may appear harder than in the past. The way around this is to find "allies" within your target company (e.g., potential users of the product you're selling), and have them help you through their company's internal decision-making process.

If you fall, get back up

When a sales slump hits, or after losing a deal, many salespeople lack motivation. It's better to assess what happened and learn how your approach went wrong than fall into despair. We all make mistakes, push too hard, and even step on toes from time to time, but it's how they evaluate and adapt their approach that keep salespeople successful. Top salespeople know they need to become even more motivated when times are tough. It is critical to learn to deal with rejection. Focus and recollect your energy, and start over, with full power.

Avoid "alibi" tasks

Sales professionals who spend large amounts of time drafting proposals or conducting extensive research may feel like they are working hard but getting nowhere. In reality, those are "alibi" tasks. These salespeople are making sure their whereabouts are accounted for, but they are not actually selling. Salespeople need to focus on the core aspect of their profession. No salesperson is paid for crafting fancy, animated presentations; filling files with background information on potential customers; writing proposals; or entering data in their 

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