You landed your dream sales job and hit the ground running. This is the job you’ve wanted for years, and the first month quickly flew by.
Your sales manager was incredibly impressed with how fast you built a relationship with your first customer. Closing that sale confirmed in your mind that you were finally on your career path to success.
Unfortunately, another month has passed and that’s the only big sale on your books. Everything seems to have halted, the adrenaline is gone, and doubt is settling in that you may not be right for a sales job.
While this feeling is overwhelming, you’re not alone.
In fact, CSO Insights’ 2016 report, Sales Performance Optimization Study, 53.3 percent of sales people say they’re having a difficult time generating qualified leads. However, for the most determined sales reps, this slump won’t last forever, and with the right skills it’s one you can push through.
Here’s what you can do to keep moving forward when that first sale adrenaline wears off:
Reconnect with your first sale
No matter how big or small your first sale was, you’ll always have a special bond and comfort level with this customer. Most sales reps have those special “security blanket” customers who they go back to for a confidence boost when morale is low.
Keep that first sale relationship strong and your confidence from waning by reconnecting with them regularly. These visits shouldn’t be used as a time to upsell, but rather an opportunity to build your communication skills, stay on top of your customer’s mind, and remind yourself that you are qualified for a sales job.
Be genuine in your discussions and get back to the root of this career — relationship building
Discuss the client’s needs and their customers’ needs. However, take it out of the work track for a bit and discover hobbies, if they have a family, and why they’re passionate about their own job. You never know what might reignite a spark in your sales spirit that reminds you how you connected with and motivated your customers previously.
Set realistic (smaller) goals
Sales jobs are known for being consistently demanding. Just when you think you’re doing well, your sales quota goes up and you’re back to square one. This is an overwhelming feat to look at, especially if you’re just starting out in a sales career and are already working on getting momentum back.
However, look at it this way: if you decided to enter a triathlon, you wouldn’t immediately assume you are capable of competing, let alone winning an event if you were not conditioned for it. Instead, you’d take time to prepare and train methodically.
A sales job is just like a triathlon. There are many different skills that you need to build and factors that need considered before you reach the finish line.Take it slow, at first, by setting smaller, realistic goals. Set a number of customers you’ll see, cold calls you’ll make, and even a number of times you’ll step outside of your comfort zone a week. As you accomplish these smaller goals, set larger ones, like the amount of deals you present in a week and then the number you want to close.
Lean on your team
A sales job is highly competitive and it’s easy to feel alone out on the road. But don’t forget you joined a sales team. You’re not on your own in this, and in order to make it over any sales slump, it’s crucial to lean on your team.
Use mentors and colleagues as learning tools to understand what they’ve been through so you don’t make their same mistakes. Ask for specific tips on how they overcame their first sales slump — trust me, they’ve had one.
If they have the time, ask to ride along with them for a day while they’re making sales calls. This is the best way to see their sales process and what lasting client relationships look like.
Above all, don’t give up on yourself. Sales is a challenging business that takes a lot of time and determination. Continue giving it your all and you’ll see the sales start funneling in again.
BIO: Karyn Mullins, Executive Vice President and General Manager at MedReps, a job board which gives members access to the most sought aftermedical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web.