Are You
A Slum

 In A

Stop That Dip
and Get Back in

In Your Performance
The Selling Zone!

by Bill Cole

   Selling slumps. We've all been in this train wreck before. You miss an important sale. You have a series of bad days. You can't sell to your potential. You can't seem to extricate yourself from its deadly grip. You're in a sales slump.
   Let's take a look at what slumps are, how to get out of one, and how to avoid them altogether. Let's get you out of the deadly slump syndrome so you can reach more of your selling potential. If you know what to look for, and how to manage your mind, you can minimize the effects of a slump and reduce their frequency.

What Is A Slump?

   A slump is any decrease in performance, over time, not just one bad day. A slump may start innocently enough. You might simply lose a sale. It bothers you. You lose another sale. That bothers you more. Then someone makes a comment that "you might be in a slump." You botch a sale again. Suddenly you decide you are in "an official slump". Your depression and anger about "being in a slump" fuels it, makes it worse and maintains it. Your poor results worry you more. You begin to think so much of how to fix the slump that you "get into your own head" too much. Now it really is a slump. And now it's a mental issue. But one you can handle.

How Do You Get Out Of A Slump?

   1. Be Clear About Your Definition Of A Slump. Make sure the slump you are in is a real one. If you assume you are slumping after one bad sales performance, you are far too quick to judge yourself so harshly. A more reasonable definition of a slump would be where you have a series of poor outcomes.
   2. Don't Let People Talk You Into A Slump. Some people love to tell you that you're in a slump. They think they can see the slumping pattern you're in. Don't let their negativity affect you. Make up your own mind about your sales peformance.
   3. Change Your Routine. Sometimes a slump starts because you're bored, yet you may not realize it. Your routine may be too predictable. Mix it up! Try some new selling skills, some new selling practice systems and some new presentations. Often just a change in routine will wake you up and give you a new perspective.
   4. Practice Harder And Improve Your Sales Weaknesses. Simple as it sounds, sometimes you sell poorly not because you are weak mentally, but just because you have a selling weakness or outdated presentation. Try practicing your presentations and closes longer, harder, better and smarter. Work the slump out on the selling practice court.
   5. Stop Trying So Hard When You Are With Customers. This sounds like a contradiction from the previous tip, but think for a minute. Slumps are very frustrating. They can make you exert incredible amounts of non-useful energy. From a performance psychology standpoint, only a perfect amount of effort gives great results. Too little effort and your performance is flat. A slump unfortunately brings out too much negative energy in your efforts to defeat the slump. Trying too hard kills your selling performance. Relax and try softer, not harder.

   Don't assume you are in a slump before one is truly there. Have a slump plan ready to go and take concrete, positive action. Stay one step ahead of the slump and you'll keep your sales performances soaring.