Challenges are inevitable in life and in sales. The key is to maintain momentum and keep moving forward, despite the obstacles you face. I believe momentum is one of the most powerful and underappreciated forces in sales. We all have slow periods and off days, but if you’re doing anything right in sales you also know what it feels like when it seems you just cannot miss. Everyone is buying. The sun is out. The birds are chirping. Those days, the days when you feel like a rock star, are the times momentum is working for you. The days where nothing seems to go right—you get a flat tire on your way to your first appointment; a customer cancels a big order—that’s momentum working against you.
So how do you maintain momentum in sales? I believe momentum doesn’t just happen to you. If you want it you have to create it yourself, right now, by getting up and getting started. These are my tips for creating and maintaining momentum in sales:
Know When to Stop (and When Not to)
In order to maximize your momentum, you first need to understand it. When you just can’t seem to get it right, it may be the perfect time to pause, reflect, and regroup. Sometimes you’re just too fried to be successful. You’re not at your best, so you need to find a way to get there.
However, when you just can’t miss, keep swinging! The best time to make a sale is right after you just made one. Keep your mojo working and the streak going.
Follow-Up, Follow-Up, Follow-Up
A poor follow-up strategy can absolutely kill your momentum. Always, always, always schedule your next interaction while you’re with your customer or have them on the phone. Meetings aren’t enough. Checking in isn’t enough. You must share resources that add value to them, give them a tip, brainstorm on their behalf, send them an article that made you think of them. Overall, think quality over quantity. Successful follow up has little to do with frequency. It has everything to do with consistency, your message, and the value you are providing. A safe bet: always have your customer’s best interest in mind. It’s difficult to go wrong with follow up if you abide by that principle.
Pack more than Your Bags for Vacation
I’ve written and mused on the importance of unplugging, and I stand by that. In sales, completely stepping away for a full week or more of vacation can threaten to bring your momentum to a screeching halt. It’s not that salespeople must be workaholics that never take a break, but it is important to make strategic moves to keep your prospects engaged before you step away, so that they’re still engaged when you get back. Before you get away, ensure you have next steps scheduled with each of your prospects before you go. Make sure your auto-responses are set up for your voicemail and email. Make them clever and fun. Remind the people you take care of that you understand the importance of taking care of yourself too, but let them know that you’ve got a backup in place should they need anything urgently.
Progress is made or lost with your momentum. You gain it by focusing on the things you can control. You lose it by losing that focus. A break may help to get you started or a roadblock might slow you down, but ultimately, it’s all up to you. Remember, there are only two things you can control. If you want momentum, you’ll have to create it yourself, right now, by getting up and getting started.
Jeff Bajorek challenges sales professionals to rethink the way they sell. He helps sales teams design and implement sales strategies that focus on common-sense fundamentals that most people have either forgotten or ignored. He shares his sales expertise every week in his newsletter, on The Why and the Buy podcast, and on his YouTube channel. Visit Jeff’s resource library to download his latest eBooks.