Sales can be a roller coaster and one of the signs of a great salesperson is that they can manage their moods through the highs and the lows that face all salespeople. Everyone has had those days when we’re “on fire” and the less fun ones when it seems like no matter what we do, we can’t seem to get business to close.
Here are a few of the things that I do when a slow period hits. Try one or two of them the next time you're in the doldrums.
1. Review your account list
Go back and review your account list to remind yourself of all the people that you haven’t talked to a while. This is a great thing to do once once a quarter but it’s especially helpful in the slow times. It can help you remember that person who was interested but slipped off your radar while you were focusing on lower hanging fruit.
2. Time blocking for calls
Pick a 30-minute time slot to plug through making a bunch of calls. I don’t know a single salesperson who enjoys cold calls but in this day and age phone calls don’t have to be totally cold since you can do a little research and find common ground with a lot of people if you're a little creative. You can go through your existing account list and call people one by one until you get a hit. Even if these efforts don’t turn into a closed deal at least you’re getting a conversation in motion with a client and that can shift your thinking. Don't underestimate the value of calling post-COVID.
3. Talk to one of your favorite clients
This is more of a mood-managing tactic but you never know where it can lead. Sometimes just reaching out can remind your client that they could benefit from a product you have or lead them to introducing you to a contact at another company that could benefit from your product or service.
4. Make a list
Write down all of your best deals and/or any deals that you closed in the last three months. Analyze what made it a good deal. Think carefully about all the things that you had to do to get those deals closed. Now take that list and think of it as a process. Consider whether you’ve changed how you’ve been approaching deals and look at whether you should shift to a process that is more like what has been successful for you in the past. This can also be an opportunity to consider the qualities of those deals...was there a consistent persona type or perhaps the business size/stage is similar...
5. Listen to a sales podcast
There are so many great podcasts about sales specifically. You can also look for motivational stuff from folks like Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy or Tony Robbins to shift your thinking. I like to listen while I’m walking the dogs or folding laundry to pump myself up.
6. Reward yourself
This may seem counterintuitive but think about this: what you would want to reward yourself with when you close that next deal? Start thinking about this reward instead of the deal itself. That way, instead of thinking about the deal itself and getting all caught up in the psychology around it, you’re thinking about this great thing that you’re going to get yourself when you close the deal. This can be such a great way to shift your thinking and it works not just for closing deals but also for building a positive association with a variety of goals you may have for yourself.
It is fairly easy to find groups of people to network with online; look for meetup.com, rotary club, toastmasters, Chief or groups specific to your industry. Go to the meetings and cocktail hours. Interacting with other people in a positive way can help turn things in a positive direction.
8. Educate yourself
There are many fantastic sales books out there that can motivate you and offer you a few different ideas on how to approach selling. Go buy one, read it, scan it… it doesn’t need to be like a major project, just have fun with it and try some new strategies or tactics. Speaking of new tactics, there is a slew of new tools that you can add to your quiver. For example, I've been playing with AI a fair amount and will write a post soon about how salespeople can put AI to work for them.
Exercise is the best mood management tool around. It even helps people that are severely depressed, so for sure it can help a salesperson like you get your blood pumping.
This is an excellent way to get centered. There is a variety of meditation podcasts and apps that you can find online, including some sessions that are specifically designed for selling. Meditation has been proven be beneficial for all stress, sleep and anxiety, so give it a try (more than once) and see how it can help you with your mood management.
The next time you’re in a sales slump or just want to stir up some new possibilities, give some of these tactics a try. I'd love to hear how they worked for you.
Originally published on the Salesforce blog on 11/18/2014.