Where Sales Trainers and Selling Experts share advice, tips, and techniques on how to become a sales champion!

Sales Strategies: Help – My Sales are Slumping and I don’t Know Why! By Mary Gardner


Have you ever taken a look around your company and wondered what in the heck the other people were doing to bring in so much business to the company? You may feel that you’re on equal ground with the other sales person or people, but for some reason they are way ahead of you in the numbers in sales. What is it? Do they drink a magic potion every morning? Do they have a better territory or do they just have better customers?

Here are some questions to ask yourself to see where the gap is:

Are you a master at your craft? Consider the length of time that you’ve been with the company. Do you know everything that you can about your product and your service? How are your relationships with those within the company? Are there people who can do you favors, even for your clients, that you should get to know better? What about your competition? Do you know them inside and out? Do you know their weaknesses and their strengths? Do you know how to get a sell away from them in a tactful manner by emphasizing your strengths where they are weak?

What time of day do you get in the office versus your co-workers? Are you wondering in the office at 8:30 or 9am and settling in to have your coffee? Are they at the office at 7:30 and getting coffee and catching up on the news an hour before you even get into the office? Are they on the phones already when you’re just getting ready to look at the paper? Consider getting in earlier or planning your day the night before so you can get into the office and start communicating with your clients the second you get to the office.

How much is email taking you away from your work? Are you spending part of your day reading jokes, and watching YOUTUBE videos that are entertaining, but are keeping you away from your work? Did you know that even if you DON’T read your emails, just having to delete them is taking valuable time away from your work and making a profit for your company? Consider putting everything in the JUNK file that doesn’t pertain to business and put a sign on your desk that you’ll only check email 1x an hour or late in the day. See if this addiction that has hit most people in America can free up some of your time.

Have you had instability in your life this past year? Have you had major stress or changes in your life? Has anyone closed to you died? Have you changed jobs? Have you moved? Have you gone through a major life transition like a divorce or become and empty nester? Has anyone close to you been relying on you emotionally and you feel drained? Sometimes, our emotions can be dragging us down and we don’t even know it.

If this happens to be you, consider getting in a therapy group or counseling, or finding a support group to help you process these changes and the emotions that follow. You can be doing everything you’re supposed to be doing in business, but the sadness you feel might be leaking through your attitude. Get support where you need it. None of us is an island and no one expects anyone to go through traumatic times completely alone.

How is your attitude? Are you depressed that your sales are sagging and you get down about that? Are you angry about something at work or do you have problem clients that you’re trying to avoid? How is your relationship with your boss and those in the office? Your attitude may be negative if you’re going through a slump and it’s going to take dramatic measures to get your attitude back in a place that is positive and care free.

Consider listening to motivational tapes every morning on the way to work , in your car or when you get up in the morning. If you’ve got the news on, you’re probably getting more negative messages than you are getting positive messages, so you need to take control. This tiny step can change your sales figures literally overnight.

Are you a gabber or a closer? How much time are you spending socializing and reading or doing busy work versus spending time with your top customers or reading about sales or learning about your product? Start putting a clock by your desk to monitor your phone conversations and evaluate where your spending your time throughout the day. If you’re socializing more than your making calls to customers or working, then it’s time to alter some of your habits. If you need to connect with others emotionally, schedule 15 minutes a day to make your personal calls and keep them short and sweet. Time management is one huge area to be constantly on top of for long term success.

What are you listening to? What are you reading? If you spent 1 hour a day listening to a motivational tape or reading a book to enhance your learning, in one year, you’d probably triple your income by learning success secrets of the superstars. Go to the library and check out books and tapes. Turn off the radio and TV and start educating yourself every day. Trade great books with others, and keep a book with you at all times so when you find yourself standing in line or waiting for someone, then you can use the time wisely. You can become an expert in your field and 5 others in one years time!

Are you getting enough sleep? Often times we might get into bed in plenty of time to get a good nights sleep, but spending time with Jay Leno is often more enticing than turning off the lights. Eating well, exercising and sleeping enough are basic self care items but if one of these is unbalanced, then your body isn’t going to have the energy to keep it going when things get slow. The body will slow down and stop and then it takes 2x as much effort to get it going. Make sure you get at least 7-9 hours of sleep, drink plenty of water, take your vitamins and exercise at least 3 days a week.

I’m Unorganized but I know where everything is. Organized Chaos? That’s just an excuse for those of us who don’t have great organizational skills. And when you’re not organized, you spend precious time looking for things and trying to GET organized. What you need is a good system. So sit down with someone who can help you get a system in place, and then do your best to implement it and use it every week. Some sales people have an administrative person come in weekly to file, or to throw away things that aren’t useful any more. But they keep on top of things and it helps them throughout the week. This precious time saver can not only save time, but loads of frustration.

Are you in the wrong field? Is there a chance that you stand on the sidelines longing to do something different and feeling jealous that you’re in the wrong field? If this is you, no matter how organized you get, you might never have the heart, soul and passion for your job.

This might take some time for you to discover your true passion, but it can be done in mini steps by talking with others in other professions or at other companies, going to the bookstore to see what subjects intrigue you, and by searching the internet for other careers and jobs that might suit your personality better.

Try things out first… read about them, and study about them and then talk to people who are doing them. Perhaps you might have to take a salary cut to start a new career, but in the long run, you’ll be happier with doing what you truly WANT to do, rather than just working to bring home a pay check.
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Mary Gardner, The Charisma Coach! is an Executive Communications Consultant and Trainer. She works with, coaches and trains individuals, sales teams, executives, and celebrities. For information contact: mary@marygardner.com or Web: www.marygardner.com.

-what was your biggest takeaway from the ideas above? What can you implement that would make an impact on your sales results?