Overcoming the “Sales Rut”

by | Jul 7, 2011 | Prospecting

Its summer time and your prospects are telling you to give them a call in the fall. “Summer is busy, budgets are in review and with the vacation schedule ramping up, we’ll “see you in September”- as they say. Sound familiar?

You thought things were moving along nicely, your pipeline of opportunities was filling up, you just closed a nice piece of business that you’ve been working on for 4 months and bam – what’s next? It happens to many of us. As you manage opportunities and build your prospective pipeline, in reality you are at the prospects beck and call. The mantra is, don’t call us, we’ll call you when we are ready. Their own priorities always come first and not yours.

If your pipeline isn’t full, you may be wondering how you can avoid and get out of that “sales rut”? In the age of social media there are more ways and opportunities to make yourself visible to your prospects and convey the value that you can offer. Let’s visit 3 ways we can circumvent the sales rut.

No sense of urgency

First, put yourself in the mind of your prospect: why would they delay moving forward to the fall? Ultimately, it’s because there’s no sense of urgency. They don’t see any reason why your product or service is a top priority for them, therefore, it can wait! Companies are very busy juggling 20 balls at once. If you’re lucky, you are one of those balls. The question becomes, how do you get your prospect to stop and see your ball as a bigger ball in the scheme of things. Remember, people buy based on perceived value. The greater the value, the greater their need to take action, and they will equate your value to the benefits of your solution. More benefits = greater value. Relate your benefits to their needs. Don’t ever lead with features because features don’t meet customer needs. The only way to heighten their sense of urgency is to show them the impact on their business of not implementing your solution.

Keep in touch strategy

The second point to consider when combating the summer time blues is to develop a keep in touch strategy. How do you keep in touch with your prospects and what value do you communicate to them? When you stay in touch, give them pertinent information that can be of benefit to their business. Do you have a newsletter; do you send industry articles on trends and information to be aware of? Do you post information on LinkedIn and Facebook? Do you belong to networking groups that give you the opportunity to share information about trends in your industry? The greater your activity level in communicating pertinent information, the better your chances of keeping an active dialog with prospects. After all, they want value from you.

Monitor the pulse

The third point is to monitor your pipeline pulse. When you look at your pipeline, what do you see? Can you see a snapshot of what opportunities will be closing in the next 30 to 60 days? If you segment your pipeline into A, B and C opportunities where A’s will close the soonest, you can then see the big picture as to when you might be hitting the blues. If you are going into June with 5 deals that are supposed to close in the next 2 months you have a great chance of avoiding the summer time blues. Having a combination of A, B and C opportunities moving forward is vital to a constant closing of new sales opportunities.

The best way to bust the Summertime blues is to:

– Demonstrate the benefits of your offering to create a sense of urgency
– Stay in touch in ways that matter to them = add value
– Pay attention to your pipeline – where are the holes and the opportunities
Anytime is a good time for selling, especially when you follow these three easy points.

Good selling!