It’s every salesperson's nightmare — you start a new job, and right off the bat, you're excited to close some business! You love your new company and buy into its mission. You work hard during training, and after 30 days, you understand quite a bit about your industry.
You've read all your company and product literature. You've listened to other reps' demos and run through all the relevant FAQs you can find. You're finally ready to hit the phones and get going!
You are so excited to get some business that your lips throb, but things don't according to plan.
Your first week, you have a lot of activity to set the stage. When the second week comes, you add more activity but nothing is really moving forward. The third week, you look at your stats and are starting to think that this isn’t as easy as you thought.
By the fourth week, you are starting to slide a bit because others are starting to close business. In week five, you're pushing so hard that you've considered calling your Mom and asking her to buy.
Week six shows no better results. You're making the calls to no avail. You're even giving demos, but you're not closing squat! Come week seven, you start to question your basic sales abilities.
By week eight, you are ready to give up — the big dog just ate you.
Does this sound familiar? Over the last 20 years, I have seen this scenario play out hundreds of times. It can be challenging, but don't lose hope! Here is the six-step action plan to employ when you're doing the work but not getting any sales.
What to Do When You're Getting No Sales
Believe in yourself.
Review your goals, record your stats, and compare them.
Make sure you have a growth mindset.
Do the little things right.
Review your progress with your manager.
Connect with other reps who have been through it.
1. Believe in yourself.
Powering through a dry spell in sales is virtually impossible if you're not confident. You have to have faith in yourself and your sales acumen — a firm belief in your ability to tactfully power through your tough run of luck.
Assure yourself that you'll be able to assess your situation, adapt, and get back on track. "No sales" isn't necessarily a reflection of you as a salesperson. It's generally a matter of your mindset, the degree of effort you're putting in, the strategies you're employing, and other factors that you'll be able to adjust with some thought and persistence.
It's hard to find the resolve to make those shifts if you're convinced that the problem is with your inherent lack of sales skills.
2. Review your goals, record your stats, and compare them.
It's important to understand what's expected of you when trying to remedy lapses in your individual sales efforts. Review your goals and remind yourself of the specific milestones you're supposed to achieve, and as you conduct your sales efforts, document how well you're performing relative to those benchmarks.
Having that reference point can give you definitive objectives that help you understand and appreciate the progress you're making. It lets you see the ground you might be making up, and as you start improving your efforts and landing deals, you can get a much-needed morale boost to help you ride your rough patch out.
3. Make sure you have a growth mindset.
This point is similar to the first on this list. It's about keeping a positive, proactive frame of mind that will drive you to overcome the obstacles you're facing and consistently refine your sales efforts.
Take challenges as learning experiences, persist through any setbacks, be receptive to criticism without letting it demoralize you, and appreciate and learn from your peers' success.
A growth mindset will both help you grind through periods of no sales and allow you to be constructive in your contribution to your team's general efforts and overall culture.
4. Do the little things right.
Attention to detail is key to boosting less-than-stellar sales numbers. Be particularly thorough when filling out items like sales call reports. Cover all possible bases when pre-call planning.
Know the ins and outs of whatever sales processes or methodologies your team leverages, and take any other strides to make sure no stone related to how your sales efforts are supposed to be conducted goes unturned.
Being able to address the little things is one aspect of your sales efforts that you have near-complete control over. It doesn't rest on prospects' unpredictable behavior or potential slip-ups on your part.
It's solely a matter of effort. Make sure you're doing everything in your power to improve your lackluster sales performance — this is one of the few factors that are purely in your power to change.
5. Review your progress with your manager.
Discipline is obviously an important component of giving your sales efforts some life, but that trait often doesn't occur naturally. It might take a little push to get there — some degree of accountability.
In many cases, check-ins with management to track your progress and pinpoint areas for improvement can keep you on your toes and set you in the right direction.
If you keep your issues to yourself, the trouble you're having might get away from you — and if your manager goes without knowing about your problems for too long, you could find yourself in some serious hot water when they find out.
Your manager wants to help you get the most out of your efforts. It's their job to help see you through rough patches. If you're struggling, it's in your best interest to involve them in some capacity, take their advice, and apply what you might learn from them.
6. Connect with other reps who've been through it before.
Odds are you're not the first person at your company to every run into the kind of problems you're dealing with. No salesperson is perfect, and everyone — in almost every line of work — runs into a rough patch every now and then.
It can help to reach out to other reps on your team that have overcome dry spells to see what kind of adjustments they made to get there. But you don't have to limit yourself to your immediate peers.
Don't be too reluctant to reach out to more senior reps at your organization. There's a good chance they've been in your position, and even if they haven't, they can still provide valuable insight about strategies and concepts that helped guide their sales efforts.
Hitting a wall is a reality that any salesperson can face at any point in their career. Making no sales can be demoralizing, but it's important you keep your head up when you reach that point.
It's crucial to remain patient, persistent, and proactive in the face of zero sales. Don't let a rough patch break you. Leverage the resources at your disposal, and seek guidance from anyone who can help set you on the right course. And above all else, keep grinding — there's always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Originally published Sep 8, 2020 8:00:00 AM, updated October 08 2020