Get out of that slump

June 5, 2014

By Ray Barry, NAID Deputy Executive Director

The summer has arrived here in beautiful South Carolina and it’s time for baseball! If I am not teaching companies how to grow their business or destroying stuff, you can usually find me watching my son on a baseball field. When I look at the great sport of baseball, so much of it can relate to world of sales and marketing. One great example of this is when a baseball player is in a hitting slump. How they get in and out of that slump is similar to how a sales professional gets in and out of a slump.

When baseball players get into slumps, it’s because they either developed a mechanical flaw in their swing or their work ethic is lacking. They start pressing to get a hit and they tense up, which is transparent to a pitcher. Most salespeople who get into slumps are there because of something they did (mechanical flaw) and they are not working hard enough to get out of it. They start pressing for the sale. They get tense in the sales process and it becomes transparent to the prospect. Sound familiar? Here are some causes of a sales slump:

  • Below average work ethic
  • Outside pressure (money problems, personal issues, etc.)
  • No step-by-step sales process or repeatable system
  • Poor personal habits (bad physical and mental shape)
  • Lack of training and guidance
  • Loss of a big client or prospect
  • Selling too much on price
  • Getting depressed from the above reasons

What does a baseball player do to get out of a slump?They get extra coaching, training and, most of all, practice. They go back to the fundamentals. They also revisit their past positive experiences. They break down their swings by watching video – anything to change his luck. How can sales professionals break out of slumps?

  • Are you coachable? If not, good luck getting out of the slump.
  • Study the basics. List two or three areas that need immediate attention.
  • Revisit your game plan for success.
  • Are your goals written down where you can see them every day?
  • List five things you could be doing to work smarter and harder.
  • Stop presenting and start connecting.
  • Talk to your five best clients. Get your mojo back!
  • Get a sales coach ASAP.
  • Record your sales calls and presentations. Do more role-playing.
  • Get trained and re-trained.
  • Hang around only positive people.
  • Avoid negative people. They suck!
  • Get to work earlier.
  • Take the best salesperson you know out on meetings with you.
  • Go to Shred School.
  • Have some fun!

The good thing about a slump is that it is usually temporary. Just like a ball player, you have the ability to get out of a slump. They, like you, can go back to raw fundamentals to regain lost talent. Keep the slump in perspective and accept the fact that you have the power to change it. Now let’s get some hits!