Even the best sales professionals sometimes experience slow periods. Whether there’s an economic downturn, a new competitor, or other internal or external factors affecting sales success, downturns can be hard to cope with.
The good news is, there are strategies that salesmen and saleswomen can implement in order to help get through a slump and regain firm footing as a success in sales.
Some of the key strategies that sales professionals can try to implement in order to get through bad times include:
Targeting a new customer base:
When your current customers are not buying as much, you don’t want to keep trying to draw business from the same dry well. It is time to expand outside of your comfort zone and to try to reach a new target audience. Identify different ways that your product could be used to target a new sector of your market, tap into your network to find new contacts who could benefit from the product or service you are selling, and explore different techniques for connecting with untapped markets. By opening up the door to selling to different customers than in the past, you’ll have a vast opportunity to grow your business to a wider audience.
Keeping in touch with past customers:
As you cultivate new customers, it is important to retain strong bonds with your client base. Consider how you can be of service to your current customers by adding value or meeting unmet needs. Even if you are not actively able to close a sale with each contact, maintaining these strong ties will help you in the future as customers will keep your product in the forefront of their mind. Keeping in regular, positive contact with your current customer base could also maximize the chances of referrals and recommendations.
Re-training yourself about products and services:
If you’ve been selling the same product or service for a long time, your pitch may become stale as you believe you know everything about the item or the service that you’re pitching to customers. If you’re no longer passionate about what you’re selling because it’s become old news to you, your boredom or lack of excitement could come across in your sales efforts. Take the time to review what you are selling with new eyes as if you were being introduced to the product or service for the first time. You can recapture your excitement and you may find new features or perks that you could talk up which you may have forgotten about or not focused on as much in the past.
Spending more one-on-one time with prospects:
If you are in a sales slump, you may have more free time. Use that time wisely to build deeper relationships with prospects. Find out more about those who you are trying to sell to so you can really focus on identifying all of the different ways that the product or service you are selling could meet their needs.
It can be frustrating to go through a sales slump and you may find yourself phoning in your performance or faking enthusiasm when you’re worried or upset about poor sales performance. Prospects can sense when your pitch is not authentic or when you’re trying to oversell because you’re desperate for a buyer. Step back and think about how you can make stronger and more authentic connections so prospects will be more likely to listen to your pitch and take you seriously.
Making it easier for customers to buy:
When sales are down, you want to streamline the process and make it quick and simple to get customers to buy what you’re selling. Have paperwork ready for clients to sign as soon as they make the decision to buy and streamline any pre-purchase processes so potential clients can quickly obtain their products and services as soon as you make the sale. Customers who might be put off by doing work to buy or who may be looking for instant gratification will be more likely to make a purchase if you have made the process effortless.
Are you looking for a new job in sales?
Good sales professionals know how to get through bad times and how to succeed in sales even in a down economy. The McIntyre Group can help companies to find skilled salesmen and saleswomen. Our staffing firm can also match sales professionals with companies that will appreciate their talents. Contact our staffing firm today to find out more about how we can help you find a sales job or your business achieve sales success.