5 Tips for Beating a Sales Slump

I recently read a helpful article on advertising, sales and marketing. It was written by Adrian Miller and entitled “How to Beat a Sales Slump.” In this article, Miller offers five pieces of advice for digging oneself out of a sales slump.

Since slumps seem to be inevitable and affect virtually all entrepreneurs, I felt these thoughts were noteworthy. I also wanted to share them so I (or you) will remember them next time either of us experiences such a slump.

1. Go After the Low Hanging Fruit.

In essence, this means setting attainable targets for the short-run by going after proven prospects that can produce revenue now. Now is not the time to go after the long-shots that have a high probability of failure.

2. Get Critiqued.

In short, we all have blindspots and can all use some good advice. It’s wise to seek out an honest evaluation of your abilities from an objective source. Ask somebody you respect who is knowledgeable of your industry or marketing needs to evaluate your performance and to suggest ways to improve.

[An objective evaluation (with both free and paid options) along with other resources can be obtained online at YourPitchSucks.com. I know the founder Jim Kukral. He offers a wealth of information that can improve your marketing and help fine-tune your sales message.]

3. Read Up.

Take time during the slump to improve yourself. Read and learn from others. Look for ways to be more innovative. Learn new techniques.

4. Stop the Blame Game.

Whether the fault is your own or that of others, the bottom line is you are in a slump and must get out of it. Don’t focus on placing blame but instead on finding answers (solutions) that address why you got into the slump and how to get out.  Focus on developing strategies that will improve your situation.

5. Try Something New.

If you repeat the same thing that failed the last time then chances are it will fail this time also. Don’t repeat failures. Explore new strategies, methods and options. You just might find something that is much better than you ever dreamed possible.

So, with thanks to Adrian Miller for spawning the above tips, I challenge everyone to look for ways to do more with less. Identify the time and resource wasters and eliminate them. Focus on what works and produces success now and do more of it now. Then look for ways to innovate and grow that success into more and bigger successes down the road.

The bottom line: You can get out of a slump!

Negotiation Tips & Suggestions

Today I had the privilege of hearing a presentation entitled “Negotiation for Community Leaders” by L. Steven Smutko of NC State Universtity. Several points struck me as particularly valuable and worthy of being added as life skills.

Smutko defined negotiation as “any communication between two or more people with the intent to influence or persuade.” One important trait for a negotiator is to recognize that possibilities for mutual gain often exist and, when possible, to identify those areas where such gain can occur. As such, negotiation does not have to be a competitive process but can instead be used to create additional value (a “pareto optimal solution“) through mutual gains.

The purpose of negotiation, according to Smutko, is “not always to reach agreement. Agreement is only one means to an end, and that end is to satisfy your interests. The purpose of negotiation is to explore whether you can satisfy your interests better through agreement than you could by pursuing your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA).”

Interestingly, the party with the best BATNA has the most power and best position from which to Continue reading “Negotiation Tips & Suggestions”