A late afternoon conference call with a normally stoked sales team. Their mood was austere: “Leads have slowed down.” “Lead quality has been pretty crappy.” “Nobody is making a decision.” “People are shopping.” “There’s no urgency.” “Tire kickers.” “I ran one call today.”
Two months ago this team was a brick of Black Cats with a lit fuse. Suddenly they felt like a wet Huggy.
And then El Dorado. The Sales Manager prognosticated: “The Almanac says it’s going to be cold this winter!” (whimpering “yeeeeeaaaah” follows)
Teams can lift each other or keel haul each other. Shoulder seasons are the true test of a team’s mettle. Giving a shoulder season a free pass to gack up the mojo only means that the team will live and die by the weather, lead volume, lead quality, and leech-like naysaying.
Sheeple Season is here–when sales teams fall prey to a vampiric group-fulfilling weakness that too often allows uncontrollable externals to determine their total enthusiasm. Active succumbs to passive. Blind follow blind. Sheep follow sheep.
Now is the time to work a pipeline. Now is a time to conservatively manage open leads. Now is the time to go person-to-person with neighborhood marketing. Now is the time to give extra thanks to a Service Technician who is turning over leads. Now is the time to call clients who haven’t been appreciated. Now is the time to join networking groups Now is the time to build that referral program. Now is the time to let people know that there are new and improved products and services. Now is the time to let people know about promotions and incentives. Now is the time to work harder to close at the kitchen table. Now is the time to focus on sales methods. Now is the time to read that book you’ve been meaning to read, to listen to that pod cast you’ve been meaning to listen to. Now is the time to shrug off complacency, bitching, waiting, hoping, finger-pointing. Now is the time to get proactive and work on your business as a business. We’re in a race for relationships…that’s not a seasonal Siren.
Sheep will run toward and through a gate regardless as to whether or not there is a fence around them. They’ll fence themselves in. But at least they’re not alone.