Sales can go from boom to bust at the drop of a hat. A sales slump doesn’t mean the end of your business, though. It is something everyone experiences at some point. What matters is how you handle a sales slump. Consider 15 actionable ways you can get out of that slump.

1. Take a Breath

Take a Breath

The natural knee-jerk reaction to a sales slump is to contact everyone you know and try to get something going. However, a better approach is to walk away for a minute and breathe.

The problem with taking the knee-jerk option is that you will likely experience significant rejections, which will impact your confidence. So walk away, and work on something else.

2. Look Closely at Your Process

An excellent place to start is by reviewing your numbers.  If you put all your time and energy into that one big deal that fell through, the smaller clients who are your business’s bread and butter may have had less contact with you.

Look for other patterns or factors that might also affect your sales. For example, is it the time of year? What were the numbers like for this quarter in the previous two years? It is not uncommon for small businesses to experience a summer slump.

Dig through your process and look for a time when things were going well. Were you doing something differently? It might be time to get back to the basics

3. Look at the Ones that Got Away

While examining your numbers, look at the customers you couldn’t close a deal with and consider ways to convert them now. What went wrong the first time, and is it something you can fix? For example:

  • Do you have new products to offer?
  • Can you give them a different price?
  • Are they looking to sign a contract with a new vendor?

There are many reasons customers pass on your services. However, it can’t hurt to go back and see if you can land their business now.

4. Shift Your Schedule Around

Shift Your Schedule Around

Change is good, especially if you are not progressing with your current setup. Consider shaking up your schedule and see if you get different results.

If you make cold calls in the afternoon, try doing them in the morning instead. Something as simple as changing your schedule might be all it takes to revive your sales.

5. Target a Few Select Customers

One sale, even a small one, might be enough to end the slump. With that in mind, look for where you will most likely get that small sale.

Contact your best customers and offer them a VIP deal. It might kickstart your sales effort again.

6. Focus on Celebrating the Small Wins

Research indicates that even a small win can be powerful. Consider other ways you can win even if you are not making a sale. How about a return phone call from a new prospect?

7. Talk About It

You shouldn’t be afraid to open up about your sales slump to other team members. They might suggest ways to beat it or even recommend people to contact. At the very least, they can inspire you to keep pushing forward.

8. Look for Motivation

Look for Motivation

That will mean something different to everyone. Maybe it is a good time to read a motivational book by an industry leader or take a class. You need something that will light a fire for you and keep you from giving into the depression that can come with a sales slump.

9. Focus Less on Selling

When you break it down, business is really about relationships. Maybe this is the right time for you to shift your thinking. Worry less about sales and more about what you can do to build loyal customer relationships.

10. Consider Ways to Improve

This will mean something different to everyone, as well. It might refer to building new skill sets that make you better at what you do. For others, it might mean offering something new to customers that will inspire them to buy. Having something new to pitch is like getting a fresh start.

11. Take the Problem to Other Departments

Take the Problem to Other Departments

It might be time to reach out to other departments and discuss the slump. For example, talk to the marketing head to see if you can run a new campaign or maybe a discount program. A sales slump affects everyone in the business, not just you. Talking out the problem with others in the company might help you create a solution that will improve the business.

12. Set New Goals

Set new goals if your goal focuses only on meeting a sales quota. Shift those goals to making a certain number of calls an hour or completing a project that has been sitting because you’ve been busy.

13. Look for New Resources

If you are not getting sales, maybe you need a new way to find prospects. Look at the customer touchpoints you currently have and see if you can expand in some way. Do you have an email newsletter, for example? Do you have a blog? How about creating an e-book and collecting contact information in exchange for downloads?

The internet gives you many possibilities. Look for ways you can work smarter, not harder.

14. Examine Your Expectations

If you are not meeting your quota every day, then accept that and lower it. When things pick up, you can move the numbers back. For now, it is okay to lower your expectations and find a practical number. You’ll feel better when you start hitting those goals, even if they are a little lower than before.

15. Don’t Give Up

Don't Give Up

Keep things in perspective. Slumps are usually temporary. If yours is getting long, it indicates you need to make changes, not quit. Look for solutions instead of giving up.

Maybe what you need is a new marketing plan. We can help.  Connect with our team to find out what we can do to help get you out of a sales slump.

Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci is the CEO of Vinci Digital with over 20 years of experience in marketing and advertising. He partners with small to mid-size businesses as a small business consultant and strategic branding advisor as well as offering a full-suite of agency services. Gerald calls Carmel Valley, CA home with his wife Safira and three children. He has co-authored two books, and is working on his own upcoming book titled, “Small Business Pricing Mastery – Creating effective pricing and defining value for today’s products and services.”

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