Sales slumps can be caused by various things as mentioned in the previous articles: Lack of attention, lack of consistency, not knowing what is normal or abnormal in the sales process and many more other ways.
One issue most sales people have is that they have an event that they expect in the future that will pull them from their issues that they are having or their sales slump.
Take a Heating and Air Conditioning sales person for example. There are a few months in the HVAC (heating and air) business where the sales come in just from demand or do they?
Typically sales people in the HVAC industry look forward to the heating seasons or cooling seasons because they know that their sales schedules will be full and they will have plenty of opportunity to sell people new systems. The problem is that they set their foundation on fast calls and fast money. What happens if:
- The weather doesn’t cooperate and it doesn’t hit the temperatures assumed and the phone doesn’t ring?
- What happens if marketing falls off because there has been a sales slump and the company cannot put out the dollars set forth in the previous marketing plan?
- What about the people who implement the work who had to leave because of no work and now you cannot fulfill orders?
- They really are not ready for the work in their head because their sales game is off
The problem here is that the expectation was set on another event happening in the future that the sales person has no control of. What happens if that event that was supposed to happen that brings in the money never happens, or maybe it does but not at the level that they expected.
Saying that most sales people are lazy would be incorrect, saying that most sales training doest take into account what makes life easy for people would be more accurate. Sales people have to take their own initiative to learn from the list of itmes below that can also lead to sales success:
- Seeking the advice of sales gurus
- Reading books on sales, persuasion, influence, body language
- Watching Sales DVDs or even listening to sales cds
- Attending their own sales training that they pay for
- Even start their own sales training process or sales website
Here is the dirty secret for most heating and air conditioning companies that nobody looks at but what if this happens in your industry also?
Sales slumps usually get worse in the busy season but they are masked by how busy the company is, unless a sales manager or owner of the company looks at these numbers regularly they may never know.
Wait how can that be? Its because instead of building momentum and learning the sales basics the sales person waits for things to get good. How long have you waited for things or items and they never arrived? Does this cause frustration and inconsistency? You bet it does and sometimes makes a sales slump worse. Sales rejection can come from a feeling of being involved with any of these.
Sales slumps can occur because sales people think that they can wait for a specific event in the future that they cannot see.
Sales have changed more in the last 2 years than they have in the last 50 years. You probably wonder how:
- “I wanna think about it” may be real because people or companies do not want to make wrong decisions
- Social internet sites that discuss you and your business (they may not have very nice things to say about you or your product)
- Loss of companies and or products in your market that have changed segments or how people buy from out of the region who do not know you and they only care about price not relationships
- Cost of fuel increases causing more scrutiny on sales people from management teams
- More managers focusing on dollars earned and lost and putting more pressure on the sales team(s)
- Your competition has gotten smart to your strategies and is now using them against you and you are not prepared with new plans and or strategies to beat them at your old game
Key point: If you think that some magical moment is going to happen and the heavens will open up and pour money all over you find a new career where you get paid by the hour because this will not happen. Waiting for an outcome or event never works. It takes time and preparation all the time so that when that specified event does happen you harvest the fields.
It takes hard and tireless work in any industry to stay on top including sales. Just remember sales slumps are normal most of the time but how you get out of them will be determined by you and your attitude along with your knowledge of what caused them.
Your expectations of what happens in the future may also change the amount of money in your bank account or if and when you hit another sales slump.
As always I would like to thank you in advance for your comments and questions.
Now go implement!
Photo credits Tired Man by graur codrin, Business Success by jscreationzs