Emerging from the Sales Pit: Overcoming Slumps with Determination (Clone)

Some call it a “slump”. I refer to it as “The Sales Pit of Despair”. Whatever it’s called, we have likely all experienced its effects. It feels like this: your numbers aren’t where you want them to be, you feel like crap about it, and you know the most important thing for you to do is get out of said pit – but you’re stuck. So, you sit in the pit and hope no one notices because, while you can’t put your finger on why, being in the pit is the most shameful place you can be as a salesperson. Sound familiar?

Step one of emerging from the Sales Pit of Despair: find out how you entered it. There are likely a few dozen reasons we all blindly stepped into a deep dark hole we all desperately want to avoid, but here are a few common ones:

1. Inconsistency in efforts.

It’s not a secret that sales activity is a predictive metric of sales results. Yet, many salespeople avoid prospecting. If you are interested in some reasons that can happen, check out our blog here.

2. Burnout. Perhaps you worked hard in the preceding quarter and failed to achieve your desired result. When our outcomes are misaligned with our expectations, frustration sets in and momentum leaves the chat. (This is the same reason gyms are packed in Q1 and are, comparatively, ghost towns in Q2.)

3. Auto Pilot. This can happen when things are going so well, reps take their foot off the gas. They’re no longer focused on their milestone-centric process, intentionally creating an experience for prospects that creates clarity and energy, and they’ve instead reverted to “winging it.”

4. Rackets. Some salespeople feel the need to create a setback so they can make a comeback. Once they’ve painted themselves into a corner with no way out – having thoroughly stressed themselves out (and their managers), they emerge with more motivation to get back on track. (There are hundreds of “rackets” people play against themselves, this is only one example.)

Step two of emerging from the Sales Pit of Despair: once you have determined how you entered it, take steps to change it. Sometimes we hear, “I know what I need to do, I’m just not doing it.” Typically, this is a symptom of paralysis by analysis or “getting ready to get ready”. The lack of action stems from the belief that the attempt needs to be perfect, and it’s likely a defense mechanism helping someone avoid doing something outside of their comfort zone.

Step three: stop beating yourself up. A slump doesn’t need to be shrouded in shame. Writers experience blocks, athletes experience a lack of performance, actors forget lines, bands perform bad shows, and the list of humans who aren’t perfect is long. According to statistics, it’s 100% of us. So, stop kicking yourself when you’re already sitting in a deep dark pit, you’re simply making it harder to climb out. Ending up in the pit is not a reflection of your value as a salesperson/employee/talented professional/human. It’s inevitable. If you’re searching for something to grade yourself on, don’t do it based on an inevitable outcome – measure yourself on getting out of the pit. Emerging is the real journey, and it takes determination – see you on the other side!



Emily Shaw

Connect with Emily Shaw

For 25 years, Lushin has guided business leaders toward intentional, predictable growth.

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