Let’s face it; you’re going to get lucky in sales occasionally. You know the sort of thing, you happen to call on a prospect when they’ve got a problem with their current supplier or they’re looking to change for example. You can sometimes pick up the business just by being in the right place at the right time.
But let me ask you a question. Would you have picked up that business if you’d been sat in the office, playing with your email? Or tidying your desk for the seventh time? Or outside having a cigarette instead of making the phone call? Or offering to make a brew for the entire sales team (yes, you know who you are and I’ve seen you doing it!).
Of course you wouldn’t. So at some level, the more effort you put in, the luckier you seem to be. In sales, effort translates into "activity". By activity I mean number of phone calls, number of appointments etc. Now logically it stands to reason, doesn’t it? The more phone calls you make, the more appointments you attend, the more you get "lucky".
However, you’d be astounded to learn how many salespeople there are whose activity levels are below where they should be! Especially when the most dreaded of all sales things happens – the "sales slump". You all know what I mean by this. The time when nothing seems to be going right, that no matter what you do no-one seems to want to buy, and you keep missing your sales targets so much that you start to become concerned for your job.
Dealing With The "Slump"
What happens to most salespeople when they hit the dreaded "sales slump"? That’s right, as they start to feel sorry for themselves, and think, "nothing I can do will work" their activity levels start to drop. The worst thing you can do in a sales slump is to let your activity levels drop!
If you let your activity levels drop, then your chances of being "lucky" decrease massively – therefore you’re very unlikely to be able to pull yourself out of it. The best thing to do in a sales slump is to increase your activity – giving you more chances of striking "lucky" will at least give you a chance of raising yourself out of the slump.
If you can keep your activity and motivation high when in a slump, you can guarantee you won’t be in it for long – even when all around you are complaining, you’ll be outselling them massively.
"Some Salespeople Are Just Born Lucky"
What a load of rubbish that phrase is. Yet I’ve heard it time and time again when referring to top salespeople. It never ceases to amaze me how many underperforming salespeople blame their poor performance on "bad luck" and therefore the guys who are really bringing the money in are just "lucky".
Really? It’s just down to "luck"? Nothing to do with the fact that they’re in the office before the underperformers, leave after they do, make more calls and appointments than them, listen to customers and pick up on buying signals, stay motivated, keep focused, improve their conversion rates and stay determined to bring more business in?
Of course they can’t do all that on top of what the underperformers do, so here are a few things they do less of. Drink less coffee, talk less, eat less toast and cereal, smoke less, get distracted less, play with email less, procrastinate less, make excuses less, and spend less time whining to everyone else about "how bad things are".
Not that you’ve ever fallen foul of anything in that last paragraph have you?
Stop Blaming Other Things
The same salespeople who think they’re just "unlucky" are the same ones who are quick to blame anything (or anyone) other than themselves for the situation they’re in currently. Their creativity is limitless! I’ve heard them blame their area, their customers, their industry, the economy, their company, and even the weather!
Meanwhile the same things are happening to the top salespeople and they’re just getting on with it! There are going to be things in sales that you can’t do anything about, so why whinge about them? Why not use your energy to focus on things you can control and do something about? How about something that will have a positive impact on your sales figures?
Andy Preston is a leading authority on sales and sales management. You can see and hear more about Andy at www.andy-preston.com and his sales training company at www.outstanding-results.co.uk. If you’d like further help on this topic, or anything else sales-related, you can contact Andy through the website http://www.Andy-Preston.com using the "contact us" page. Good luck with your future sales!