Sales is one of those jobs where attitude is everything. If you have a shitty attitude, you will have a shitty paycheck. It’s hard to keep a good attitude when you’re in a sales rut. A sales rut happens when you can’t seem to make a sale to save your life. A dry spell, so to speak. When you’re broke from not making sales, it’s hard to have a good attitude about making sales. It’s the worst downward spiral a salesman can fall into.
Every day, salespeople reach out to me and ask me what they can do to break out of their slump. It’s nothing new; sales is just like everything else in life. There are good times and bad. Most salespeople survive solely on commission, so going too long in a sales slump may force a salesperson to quit and get a job with the Harold’s of the world. Which no one working in sales wants to do, no matter how much money they aren’t making.
Sales ruts are a dirty trick from what I call the “Force of Average”(FOA).
One of the most powerful things a human can do is to focus. The FOA’s job is to distract you from that focus. The human mind gets what it focuses on. When you get in a slump, the FOA gets you focused on the slump. From there, you tend to stay in the slump because like I said, the mind gets what it focuses on. It’s a dirty trick used to keep you living an average life.
You didn’t go to work in sales to live an average life.
We get jobs working as salesmen so that we can make as much money as we want. Most salesmen dream of exotic cars, fast boats, lavish vacations, nice clothes and a bank account full of cash. The last thing we want is for a sales rut to interrupt our dream with a harsh reality. But it happens…often
The worst thing about a sales rut is that it’s hard to get out of. That’s what a rut is, a dry patch that’s hard to get out of. It reminds me of a story from when I bought my first car. It was a 1990 red Jeep Cherokee. I took it off-roading and got it stuck in a rut. I couldn’t get the Jeep out to save my life. I flagged down a truck on the main road and got them to pull me out. As soon as I was out of the rut, the person pulling me reversed, and punctured a hole in my jeep, which I’d only had for like three weeks.
Sales can be a lot like that Jeep story. You get stuck in a rut, then you pull yourself out only to realize you’re about to run into a whole new set of problems.
I’ve had my fair share of sales ruts that I’ve escaped over the years. I’ve experienced many ups and downs just like any other sales vet who’s been at it for a while. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s not about being in a rut. That’s gonna happen; it’s part of the game. It’s about how fast you can get out of the rut. The FOA tricks you into staying in the rut for as long as it can, it’s your job to get out as fast as you can.
The sooner you get out of the rut, the sooner you can get back to sellin’ product so you can keep rollin’ in the dough.
The first step to exiting the rut is to realize that you’re in a rut. You have to first know that you are stuck in order to know to escape. Some salespeople go weeks and months on dry spells and it doesn’t occur to them that change is needed until it’s too late. This is a classic FOA trick.
If you usually close a sale a day, and two days into the week you don’t have any sales closed, that should be the red alert that you’re in the rut. Once you realize you’re in the rut, there’s a super simple way to get out.
The process I’m about to share with you is easy. The most powerful things on the planet are the simplest. Don’t knock the process just because it’s easy. That’s just another dirty trick the FOA uses to keep you from succeeding.
When you find yourself down, out and not able to close a sale to save your life there’s one thing you can do to get back to cashin’ checks and snappin’ necks. Its simple, powerful and works immediately.
If the first step is to realize you’re in the rut, the second step is to get out.
The easy way to get out is to make a list of your favorite 20 clients. Even if they are no longer a client, put them on your list. I like to use tech, so an Excel spreadsheet works well. Once you have 20 clients you’ve loved working with on a list, call them.
Yes, that’s right I said call them. You don’t have to call and beg for business. You don’t have to boldly ask them for another referral. You just simply need to call them and check up on them. Here’s a basic script you can use.
“You: Hey Mr. Smith it’s Ryan Stewman over at Break Free Academy and I’m reaching out to my favorite clients today and thanking them for being awesome. Just checking in to see if you had any questions or needed any help.
Them: (They will say ‘thank you’ and that they don’t need help, or they will ask questions).
You: (If they have questions, answer them). Great! I’m glad everything is perfect with your product and you’re happy. Lemme ask you a quick question. What is it you most love about our product?
You: Thank you so much for being an awesome client and don’t forget that if you need anything I’m here to 100 percent support and help you. We’re honored that you choose to do business with us and if you or anyone you know needs me, I’m right here at this number.”
Now, while they give you their answer, you write it down next to their name. After you’ve made 20 calls, you’ll have 20 written, current testimonials. These will come in handy in a minute.
These days, most salespeople never follow up with prospects let alone clients. To reach out and thank them and offer help is way outside of normal service. When you call 20+ people with exceptional service, you’re likely to receive a few referrals in the process. These are bonus leads and sales that you get as part of this process.
After you’ve got 20 positive conversations and 20 testimonials on your spreadsheet, your state is going to be highly elevated.
Now, it’s time to capitalize on this state and get back to calling leads again.
This time, when you make your sales calls, your confidence in your product will be at an all-time high because you just heard 20 people tell you how much they love your stuff and how it’s changed their life, etc. When new prospects start giving you objections, you can use your testimonials and their names to handle them.
Sales is 90 percent your state of mind. If your mind is in a rut, your sales will be in a rut, too. If your mind is confident, your sales will be closed. I always say, “It only takes two things to close sales. Confidence and empathy.” With 20 new testimonials fresh on your mind, your confidence will be unbelievably high. You’ll go from a beta phone rep stuck in a rut, to an Alpha closing machine.
It really is this simple. Reach out to perfect past clients. Offer help. Write their testimonials down. Boost state of mind. Make new prospect calls and use the testimonials to close over their objections. Don’t knock the simplicity. I’ve used this tactic in mortgages, car sales, consulting sales and even home alarms. It works; you just gotta do it.
If you find yourself in a sales rut, realize you’re there, and take the above-mentioned steps to get yourself confident and out of the rut. Another great way to avoid sales ruts altogether is to join a mastermind and training program that keeps you confident, motivated and competitive. I have just the program for you over at www.breakfreeacademy.com/entourage