We’ve all experienced it. Business is pretty darn good for quite awhile and things are rolling along nicely until all of a sudden, and seemingly out of the blue, along comes a sales slump. New clients are scarce and existing clients, well, they’ve gone dormant too. You see your revenue slowing down and predict a pretty tough time a few months down the road unless things change.
Yes you’re smack dab in the midst of a sales slump. What’s a business owner to do? Here are three things that you can start to do immediately:
Ramp up your networking.
Networking often slows down when business is good and discretionary time is limited and frankly, the reduction in networking is possibly one of the factors that contributed to the business slowdown in the first place. Networking is an ongoing activity that should occur in good times and in bad. Consistent networking helps you to maintain your sales pipeline because you are continually meeting new people, potential prospects and referral sources alike. Now that you find yourself IN a slump it’s time to double up on your networking efforts and develop an aggressive plan that will win you increased face time with more of the people you need to meet. It’s still important to be selective and show up where you believe you will have your best results but make no mistake about it, you have to get out there now.
Prospect more diligently.
This is no time to sit back and wait for the prospects to come to you. You need to be prospecting proactively by engaging in some combination of telemarking, direct mail, email marketing and social media. Concurrently you should evaluate your digital marketing to determine if search engine optimization and search engine marketing can play a role in driving prospects to your door. (Even if this is the case it can take many months before SEO and SEM bring results. You must look at other sales and marketing efforts at the same time you are evaluating digital activities.)
Mine the gold in your database.
Mots of the time your fastest sales will come from your existing and dormant accounts. It makes perfect sense. They already know and appreciate your work and now is the time to cross-sell and upsell new products and services as well as reactivate inactive accounts. You’ll almost certainly find that you can “sell” these existing and dormant accounts much faster than if you have to initiate the sales dance with new prospects.
Of course the very best thing is to not allow yourself to get into a sales slump in the first place. Be diligent about doing the tactics outlined above and keep your finger on the pulse of your sales revenues by running your numbers each month. If you do this you’ll avoid the sales “peaks” and “valleys” that are so detrimental to the ultimate growth of a business.