Tiger Woods produced one of the greatest comebacks in sports history last week, winning the Masters. It was his first win at a major in 11 years. Many, including Woods, counted him out of the game after public scandals rocked his golden image and four back surgeries impaired his ability to play.
His story provides many lessons for coming back from defeat and failure. Like golf, there will be times in your sales career when you are in serious need of a comeback. You’re in a sales slump and wondering: Do I still have it? The last five deals didn’t come through. You lost to a very average competitor. And on top of it, everyone else on the sales team is killing it.
TIME FOR A SALES COMEBACK
What does it take to create a comeback? There isn’t just one answer. But here are three strategies I’ve seen top sales producers utilize to overcome sales slumps.
#1: Examine your why. Why are you in the profession of sales? Do you even like what you are selling? Are you still passionate about serving your clients? What would it take for you to regain that passion? If your why isn’t big enough, it will affect you taking the next step required for a comeback.
WHAT’S YOUR WHY?
#2: Look at the people in your personal and professional circles. Do they have your back when you are winning big AND losing big? When Tiger’s scandals were revealed, sponsors dropped him like a hot potato. — except for Nike, which stood by him for a long decade. Nike has a forgiving nature when its athletes go astray. In an interview with AdAge, founder Phil Knight said, “Athletes are human, so they're going to make some mistakes from time to time. You just have to see what the nature of the mistake is.”
In my inner circle is my husband. He’s one of my greatest cheerleaders when I’ve screwed up or feel like giving up. More than once he’s said to me, “Hey, you’re out there trying new things, so they’re not all going to work.” Or, “You’ve been here before. You know what to do.”
WHO’S GOT YOUR BACK?
#3: Apply humility and ask for help. Instead of making excuses for your sales slump, apply the powerful EQ skill of self-awareness. Slow down to speed up. Carve out time to think instead of running around in circles of self-doubt.
- What selling behaviors have I stopped doing?
- What selling skills need some serious sharpening?
- How are customer demands changing and am I responding to those demands?
Ask your trusted got-your-back circle of friends for help. You may have blind spots that are creating a sales slump. They will offer new insights. Maybe it’s time to get a coach.
APPLY HUMILITY AND ASK FOR HELP
Are you in a sales slump? In need of a comeback? Examine your why, and your circle of friends and colleagues. Lose the ego and ask for help. Just do it.
Colleen Stanley is President and Founder of SalesLeadership, a sales development firm. She is the author of Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success, now published in six languages, and Growing Great Sales Teams. As an international sales keynote speaker, she ranks in the top five and has been recognized by Salesforce as one of the top 7 influential sales experts in the 21st century. She is the creator of the Ei Selling® System, a unique and powerful sales program that integrates emotional intelligence skills with consultative selling skills. She has also been named as one of the Top Sales &Marketing Influencers from To
Prior to starting Sales Leadership, she was vice president of sales for Varsity Spirit Corporation. During her 10 years at Varsity, the company was named by Forbes as one of the 200 fastest growing companies in the United States.