Sales is hard work and there is no doubt about it. Sometimes we have good years, and other years, well, not so much. There are times when we believe that we are a great salesperson, and if we’re being honest, there have been some days where you thought about changing your profession. It is very easy for salespeople to get in a rut and course-correcting for some salespeople is very difficult. Our goals suddenly extend beyond our grasp and once we fall behind, we lose hope of being where we need to be. We now question whether or not we are the good salesperson we thought we were.
Selling requires you to frequently pivot in order to stay competitive and relevant. When we forget to pivot we start to get farther and farther away from our goals. It doesn’t mean you are no longer the great salesperson you once thought you were, but there is a good chance that you have turned a blind eye to things that you know are important. Let’s talk about a few things you can work on to get back on track to being the great salesperson you know you can be.
- You are reluctant to change and take risks – Change is hard for salespeople, as it would be for most people, but our profession demands us to change more than it does for others. Consider what you do in terms of what is, and is not, working. What changes need to be made and what risks are you willing to take on? (,Fortune Favors the Bold and ,5 Tips to Becoming a Confident Salesperson)
- You are not paying attention to your pipeline – Long term sales professionals tend to fall victim to this issue more than new salespeople because they become complacent. You get into a comfortable place where referrals are strong and so we stop developing raw opportunities. When the referrals dry up, there is no pipeline to work on and you are left short of reaching your goals. A poor pipeline is always one of your biggest sales problems. ,(How Does My Sales Activity Relate to My Pipeline?)
- You think there is nothing new to learn – And I don’t blame you because sales are always sales, however, there are new techniques and technologies that become available all the time that help you stay sharp and competitive. Some of the worst salespeople I meet are the ones who pretend to know everything. (,Going to the Sales Gym – Working Your Core)
- You are not meeting enough new people – As salespeople, we must be in front of the target markets often and making a name for ourselves. It is exhausting work and it consumes a lot of evenings, but if you are staying within your own circles, you are ignoring the fact that there have been a lot of changes and new faces in your market. Those opportunities are going to someone else.
- You stopped being persistent – Instead of trying 10 different ways to get a new account, you give up after 2 or 3 tries. Persistent feels like groveling to an experienced salesperson like yourself. If you are not being persistent, that means you have a very leaky pipeline and you have been missing a lot of opportunities. (,Pushy or Persistent?)
You rely too much on past results – Many salespeople will hit the cruise control button on their sales any chance they get. It is one of the only professions that can get away with this and frankly, who could blame you for coasting a little bit to catch your breathe and enjoy life. Sometimes we try to coast a little too long and we run out of steam and before we know it, we are no longer on top. Congratulations on your past success, but there is still a lot of hard work ahead of you and you need to demonstrate that you still have what it takes to crush your goals. (While referrals are terrific, ,here’s why it’s dangerous to rely on them to carry your pipeline).