August 17, 2013

Every single salesperson finds himself in a rut at some point in his or her career. For some, it might even be several times per year. This can be a period of deep despair, where nothing seems to “click” and even deals that seemed like “sure things” fall apart. In a vicious cycle, each defeat leads to a worse attitude, which makes sales even harder to get.

When looking for the best sales training program for your company, choose one that addresses the inevitable ruts and provides solutions, such as the following tips.

1. Become annoyingly persistent

This tip comes from an article on, which suggests one method to help you get out of your comfort zone (and therefore stop the defeated “think” that goes along with a sales rut):  follow up with prospects until they criticize you for it. And then keep following up until they begin to admire your persistence.

The key here is to firmly believe in your product or service and know that it is truly of benefit to the prospect. Try this with just one prospect, perhaps one you didn’t close this week, and see whether this works for you. What do you have to lose — they said “no” already, right?

2. Go big and spend more

As pointed out by Mark Stevens in, (all salespeople should subscribe to this website, BTW), Donald Trump does not do anything half-way. He makes things big and important or he doesn’t do them at all!

Take a look at how you are currently approaching your business. Are you being too timid? Is it time to try to hit a grand slam instead of a single? What can you do today to make a BIG IMPACT?

The article mentions spending double what you usually spend on a client lunch as an example. But you don’t have to spend extra money. Applying this principal could mean spending more energy and time by turning up the service level, such as visiting a prospect at their home (armed with a bottle of wine or a fruit basket) instead of making them come to your office.

3. Break your patterns

A great tip by The Sales Giant to break out of a rut is to change at least one habit you have grown accustomed to. The reasoning behind this is that by altering one habit, such as wearing your wristwatch on the opposite wrist or changing the station you normally listen to in the car, you will facilitate breaking the “rut mindset” you likely find yourself in mentally, making it easier to get out there and make something constructive happen.

One last tip…

Here is a bonus. When you are feeling negative, others around you can perceive it and this can affect your sales. So, when you are feeling down in the dumps due to sluggish sales, practice smiling more. Try it right now: while you read this, allow yourself to smile. If you are in public, don’t worry, those around you will probably just think you are smiling at a picture of cat on Facebook, so go ahead!

And for the rest of your day, smile at strangers, smile at someone you might currently be upset with, smile while on the phone talking to a prospect. You will soon find your positive energy returning and thoughts of your rut dissolving. Even the best sales training program won’t overcome the negative feelings you yourself create in your mind if you don’t do something proactive, so smile more and chase those blues away!