All salespeople, even the best, will hit a flat spot and experience a sales slump. Your mission is to help them find a way out of their pain. You need to be their slump buster!
How do you help them? First, look for the cause of the slump and fix it. In my 40 years of experience training and coaching salespeople, I’ve observed three primary reasons for sales slumps: mindset, skillset, and actions. These are also the three key drivers of their success. Use these three keys as a template for coaching your associates to success or out of a slump.
A change in the market, a tough client, or a life event (illness or divorce) can throw an associate into a victim mindset. Typical signs of a victim mindset are slumped shoulders, eyes down, negative attitude, constant criticism of the company or other associates, self-centeredness, and hiding out (not coming to the office or meetings). Victims project a negative vibe that customers avoid causing a negative feedback loop which deepens their slump.
What to do? Interrupt their negative pattern. Don’t scold them for poor production. They’re in enough pain already. Instead, have them share their frustration and concerns. Then, interrupt that pattern by asking, “regardless of the issues you’re facing, will you be better or worse off if this slump continues?” Show empathy but not sympathy. Their situation is going to get worse unless they change their patterns and their mindset.
Start by helping them reconnect with their why–their life goals. Show them how real estate sales are a better way to fund their goals than getting a real job. Ask them what they are grateful for and give them something positive to read or suggest a class that will re-energize them. Encourage them to sit with the top producers at meetings and interview them. Help them re-establish a player pattern and mindset.
Next, ask to see their Hot List. This is their list of buyers and sellers who want to buy or sell in the next 90 days. Nothing cures a slump faster than a transaction, so go through the Hot List looking for the transaction that is ready to be made. “Who is ready to write a contract this week?” is the question you ask.
If they have a good-sized Hot List but are not making sales, check to see if they have closing reluctance. Are they afraid to close buyers or confront the brutal facts on pricing with sellers? Join them on their next sales appointment or have another associate who is a strong closer join them. For new associates, research shows that rookie sales associates blow their first five transactions due to inexperience, fear of the contract or closing reluctance. Assign a mentor to accompany them on their first five transactions.
If the associate doesn’t have a Hot List, it tells you they have an activity problem. Great managers and coaches manage activities, not production. Focus on productive activities, and the sales will take care of themselves. We call these activities FLOW. Have your sales associates keep a weekly log of their flow activities (handwritten notes, live interviews, real estate reviews, mailings, etc.)
If they are in a slump, your first question is, “Can I see your activity log?” Sure enough, you will notice a drop off in their activities about 45 to 90 days prior to their production slump. Activities predict production. Do a pattern interrupt! Get them back into the flow again and logging their activities.
The best slump-busting technique I’ve found over the years is to encourage associates to conduct 50 live interviews (face-to-face or voice-to-voice) this week, log them, and turn in the log to me on Mondays. Almost without exception, they’re back on track within two weeks. Flow fixes everything!
Mindset, skillset, actions—a simple template for success and slump busting. Follow the formula. You’ll not only help your associates; you’ll earn a reputation as a slump buster.