Things were going great.
You had a robust sales pipeline, your sales were up and so was your income.
But now things are different: your sales are down, your income is down, and so are your spirits.
My friend, you are now in a “Sales Slump”.
If you have ever experienced a sales slump, you already know some of the symptoms:
· You avoid going to sales meetings because you know you haven’t sold anything.
· You are a bit temperamental about your sales activities.
· You’re focusing on the bad and how it’s only getting worse.
All of this raises your stress level and prohibits you from thinking clearly and taking necessary actions to help end your Sales Slump.
While it may seem like it happened all of a sudden, it didn’t occur overnight.
Therefore, you shouldn’t expect things to be fixed overnight. The good news is that you can take actions now to assure you turn this slump around fast.
I have a 3-step fix that can help you break free from your Sales Slump and help you maintain steady sales going forward.
1. Reboot Your Outlook
2. Focus on What’s Effective
3. Get Coaching Or Guidance
Reboot Your Outlook
Do you remember your first sale? How about your first really BIG sale? Do you remember how it felt? Do you remember that certain swagger you had?
Many of us in the insurance world gain a level of success and begin to ignore the excitement of how we felt when we closed that first big sale. We start to think of selling (and the process of getting new sales) as just part of the job. We rationalize that since a job means work, therefore, selling is work. Since it’s work, we somehow talk ourselves out of enjoying it altogether.
We begin to think we know it all and start to get a little lazy, assuming that we’ll continue closing sales, even though we’re not doing all the things we know we should be doing to get these sales.
As sales begin to dry up, we start to look for someone to blame for it. You blame your sales manager for not helping you with things; you blame your prospects for not getting the awesomeness of what your selling; you even blame the President of these United States for messing up the entire Health Insurance Industry with “OBAMACARE”.
Now that you know the symptoms, you can stop blaming everyone else for your Sales Slump and take the steps necessary to get out of it.
Take charge of your attitude. According to an article that appeared in the Harvard Business Journal, the most effective (and successful) salespeople are extremely positive.
Instead of being cynical, be positive. Know that you can turn the slump around. If you have any doubt, just look around you. Do you know other people who are successful at selling? I would bet that you do. That itself is proof that it is possible to sell. Since they can, so can you.
Focus on What’s Effective
So many things happen in today’s world that can negatively impact your sales. Simple things can seem devastating if you allow them to. As a result, you find yourself focusing on non-productive tasks (like filing paperwork, cleaning your office, etc.) in order to shift your focus away from the things you know you need to be doing, because now they seem painful.
We only have a certain amount of time in a day and it’s important that you shift your focus to the things that will make a difference in your sales activities. A great way to see what your time is being used on is to log everything you do on a daily basis. Log the time you start the task and the time you finish. This will give you a great visual for what you’re doing to sell (or not to sell).
When I first did this exercise I was shocked at how much time I spent wasting-time, and how little time I spent taking actions that would lead to a sale. This really opened my eyes. I began to think of new ways I could organize my day so it was fun and productive. Once I applied my new daily blueprint, each day was extremely productive and energizing, instead of being unproductive and draining.
Get Coaching or Guidance
In our business, the most successful Brokers and Agents are always looking to improve their prospecting, proposing and selling skills. In fact, many of the top producers consistently enroll in training and coaching programs to keep them on top of their game.
Sadly the majority of insurance sales professionals don’t want to seek the help of others because it makes them feel inferior. The irony of this is that Insurance Sales Professionals are in the business of advising others on how to solve problems, typically through the sale of an insurance product or service.
I’m not suggesting that you enroll in my $3,000 professional agent/broker coaching program (though it would help you produce some amazing results). I am suggesting that you, at a minimum, approach your sales manager or a successful colleague and ask if they would meet for lunch once every other week. Let them know that you are in a Sales Slump and that you would like their help in keeping you on task.
Show them what you have done over the past couple of weeks, and your scheduled activity for the next week.
You should review:
· What you’re doing to get new prospects
· What meetings you have scheduled for the upcoming week
· What you’re doing to improve your Sales Skill, etc.
· How you are managing your time
This is really what a sales manager should be helping you with. However, not every sales manager is capable of this. If this is the case with you, be proactive in finding someone that you look up to and ask him or her for help, or, seek out professional sales training/coaching to help you with this.
All Insurance Sales Professionals will at some point find themselves in a Sales Slump. I found myself being the top producer many times. I also found myself slipping into Sales Slumps just as many times. Over time, I developed systems that would get me back on track and turn things around quickly, and get me excited about the future. While these three steps are, by no means, my entire system, I’d be willing to bet that if you adopt them, you can get out of a Sales Slump too.