The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 1 month ago

Working Through a Slump

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Maybe you’ve hit a bit of a slump. Perhaps you’ve been down on your luck lately. You are not alone—as sellers, it’s disheartening when nothing seems to be going our way. It comes with the territory. How do you counteract a slide in fortune? John Kaplan shares some spirit and insight regarding steps to take to get out of a slump.

Here are some additional resources

How to Determine Where Your Sales Team is Struggling the Most

Overcoming Sales Challenges: Change the Decision Criteria

Check out this and other episodes of The Audible-Ready Podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

You can lose your Mojo, you can lose your performance, but you cannot lose your motivation to fix it, or you're gonna stay in a slump. You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your teams sell more faster. will feature sales leaders sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth, presented by the team aforce management, a leader in B two B sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to the audible ready sales podcast. I'm Rachel Club Miller, joined now by John Kaplan. Hi John, hi, right, so, how are you good? Good, so today, John, we are going to talk to those individual sales people, those of you out there who may have felt like you've lost your Mojo. Maybe you've hit a plateau. We're nearing the end of the calendar year and it's kind of a good time to assess where that mode where you might be able to find that mode. Yeah, Rachel, I think, Um, you know, the...

...topic is a good one because it's the it's the very nature of pursuing excellence. You know, you look at like I'm always reminded of baseball, and you know baseball hitters. If you if you're an outstanding baseball player, they say you hit three hundred, which means you're not successful seven of the time. And so you know, just like in baseball, sales is all about at bats and I'm a huge believer in working your way out of a slump Um. So it's also important to focus on what's in your control and what isn't in your control, and we'll dive a little bit into that today. Yeah, you can exhaust yourself if you try to change what you can't control. But also if you know, if you are a sales pushing out there and you're selling to people who have eightning budgets, it can also drive a...

...little plateau that that you didn't intend. So let's talk about where you can find your motivation from, John Um, and let's I think probably a good place to start is assessing where you're struggling and getting specific about it. Yeah, I think that's really important. You know, assessing what is going on. Uh, it's easy to get stuck in unfavorable outcomes. But why are we struggling? You know what's changed? Do you need pipeline? Do you have pipeline but you can't move it across the finish line. You know, are you struggling earlier late in the sales process? And I think the most elite sellers that I see, everybody gets into a slump or something that is not really going in a normal way, and those people, I think, do a really good job of asking for help. They go to other sellers who are successful in those areas that you have assessed and and they ask for feedback. Also, don't be afraid to raise your hand with your manager about...

...where you're struggling and ask for feedback. I you know, back in the day when I was selling and manager and managers, managers traveling with me, Um, I would ask them just to observe me, kind of like a golfer. Just watch my swing, watch me play today and at the end of the day give me feedback. That's what the most elite sellers do. Yeah, don't be afraid to to ask for that constructive criticism, that feedback, and another part of being effective in the plateau or trying to get out of the slump, as with anything, it's just really listening to your customers. Some of US get so into our rhythm of selling were. We do it over and over again. We know what to listen for, UM, so we're we become almost too hyper focused on those topics rather than really listening to what our customers are dealing with. Yeah, I think a good mantra for the day is no business issue, no business you. You always have...

...to ask yourself what's the biggest business issue facing your customer and how am I making myself relevant or valuable to that, you know, to that business issue. This will help you from pressing in front of the customer, you know, avoiding the hard sell, if you will, and don't be afraid to ask your customer for feedback. You know, how can I best add value to you? Um, there may be things going on externally for you. You, you, you just have to be aware of these things that are could be causing you pressure. I've got a couple of memories of this topic of Enterprise two point Oh. I don't know about ten ten years ago, it kept coming up in these conversations enterprise two point, our enterprise two point Oh, which was really kind of a a morphing of inside sales, marketing, qualified leads and this kind of go to market motion. That was that was anging a little bit and I was just aware that it kept coming up...

...and, you know, I noticed that, you know, I was being less successful in conversations because I didn't have a relevant point of view at the time, back in the day, and so you just have to be aware of those things. And another example that happened to me, Rachel, was, you know, back in Europe, when there was a rumor that was started by our competitors and I was working at PTC, that PTC was part of a religious cult. And, yeah, true story. I thought it was a joke. I absolutely thought it was a joke and it kept coming up, kept coming up, kept coming up, and then I asked for feedback from a customer one time and I said, Hey, I'm getting the feeling like you don't you don't trust us as a company, and in that authentic moment, that customer has actually shared with me. No, I don't trust you. I can't believe that you know, you guys would be a...

...part of that religious cult. And it was. It blew my mind. It absolutely blew my mind. But that's an example of kind of being aware of external factors or something going on that seems like it's a little bit out of your control and then asking for feedback directly from the customer. Don't be afraid to do it right, because you never know what they're hearing or what pressures they're under. I mean, I think that's an extreme example, John, but very extreme. I didn't know where we were going when you said that. All right, that's all right. You want to talk about being audible, ready, first, my first time, I actually laughed when the customers said it to me the first time and Um, when they didn't laugh back, I'm like, Oh, this is there's something here. It was one of the most uncomfortable, one of the most uncomfortable selling moments I've ever had in my life, but I'm glad that I finally started to just ask...

...authentic questions to people. Right, right. I think that makes a great point. To align with your customer. Just ask them what's going on, to ask them for feedback. And if you if you're in a plateau, if you feel like you've let your motivation, your Mojo, it's important to recognize that what you're doing now is not working, and so situations like this might require you to adjust the sales motion, and that's okay. Yeah, let's stay on that one for just a second. That point, because I want to make a distinction between motivation and Sales Mojo. You cannot lose your motivation, no matter what. Uh, you cannot lose your your motivation. You have to believe that you're going to work your way out of a slump. You have to believe that it's your responsibility to assess and to understand and to reach out and to figure out what's going on. You cannot lose your motivation. You can lose your Mojo, you can lose your performance, but...

...you cannot lose your motivation to fix it, or you're gonna stay in a slump. Nobody can give you motivation if you look outside yourself for motivation. That's a huge, huge danger sign. Yeah, so, John, let's let's wrap it up. I'm glad you made that distinction. But give a little spirit to those people who are listening right now who find themselves in a in a bit of a slump, plus their Mojo. What do they do? Give them some some spirit. Well, I think you know, always be assessing your performance and if you can't figure out what's going on. It's like for me in Golf. It's driving me nuts now I'm getting older, my golf swing is changing. Um, I'm constantly asking people to to look at me and see what they're seeing. So, uh, that's what elite performers do. They are constantly assessing their swing, they are constantly asking others to look at their swing. Um, you know, nobody has to tell champions to watch more game film. You know you look at you know the...

NFL or any elite sporting nobody has to tell the champions that they have to watch game film on themselves. So so just remember that you should be constantly assessing yourself. Don't do it alone. You know your managers and other successful reps are out there. There's other people that are making shots that you're not making. Go to those people that are making those shots right now and and and just analyze what they're doing and ask them to analyze what you're doing. And don't be afraid to ask customers for feedback. Hey, what's working right now in my conversation with you? What what do you like most about what we're talking about and what's causing you pause either? About what I'm saying, how I'm delivering it, what my company is doing. That's what elite sellers do. You got to wake up in the morning and say what I do matters, and then go out there and make yourself mission critical, and you do that by aligning to your customer problem blums and business issues. You got...

...everything you need right there on this podcast. Go get busy. All right, we'll leave it there. I don't need to say anything more. Thank you, John. All right. Thank you to all of you for listening to the audible ready sales podcast. At force management we're focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams. Are Proven methodologies deliver programs that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your team the ability to execute the growth strategy at the point of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's get started. Visit US AT FORCE MANAGEMENT DOT com. You've been listening to the audible ready podcast. To not miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

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