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Some of you are frustrated right now. A new year was supposed to mean a fresh start, and a whole bunch of shiny new outcomes. Then the groundhog disappointed us, and now you are firmly planted in the middle of the six more weeks of sales winter.

Sales can be frustrating. From the challenges of prospecting, especially those involving trying to get prospects to even listen, to the non-logical objections, we face frustrating situations on a daily basis.  It is clearly not a profession for the weak willed or self doubting.Every great sales person I know has had hard days, hard weeks, and hard months. Every sales rep who confides in me, tells me of some days spent staring at a lead list of names that all look stale and unlikely to close, and of days where it seems too hard to convince anyone of anything.

In those moments, it is easy to look for answers in doing something new. Gimmicks begin to look good.  Quick closing tricks, or high pressure tactics seem appealing in ending one of those nefarious sales “slumps” or “ruts” that even the best sales professionals occasionally experience. Like any other profession, the true relief from the frustration of sales is not found in looking forward to something new, but usually found in looking back and re-embracing the fundamentals of our profession.  The more frustrated we become, the more we tend to move away from the very fundamental things that made us successful to begin with.

In moments of frustration, you must deliberately and forcefully apply yourself to go back to the fundamentals and execute on the simplest things with utmost precision and attention to detail. Sales is a hard profession, but not a complicated one.  To go back to the fundamentals, focus on the following:

  • Reset the clock — You are not in a slump or in a rut. There is no such thing. Diminishing results come down to a loss of attitude, activity or technique. STOP letting yourself off the hook by blaming some external supernatural bad luck streak. It’s a whole new game starting today. Starting right now. New scoreboard and new clock, just like overtime in the NFL.
  • Reload your confidence – Call your 10 best customers and talk to them about why they do business with you.  Confirm the value you bring to them (this is also a good time to ask for referrals or intros).  Get a testimonial if possible. Reconnect to the value you provide.
  • Revamp your elevator pitch – Does it speak to what you do FOR your customers? Does it hit on the main common denominator that gets a prospect’s attention?  Is it compelling?
  • Refresh your activity plan – Activity breeds results.  Chances are you’ve deviated from the levels of activity that made you successful.  Look back on your conversions and map out an activity plan for the next few months.  Hold yourself accountable to do, and log your activity.  Eliminate the trap of kidding yourself into thinking you are busy.  So many calls, so many appointments, each day, every day.
  • Work on one thing – Find your weak spot, usually identifiable as the least favorite part of your activity ladder, and work on it.  Don’t try to fix everything at once.  That’s overwhelming and not sustainable.  Focus like a laser on one thing and get better at it.

The fundamentals of sales are Attitude, Activity and Technique., in that order.  Focus on those and get out of the so-called slump you thought you were in.