We are in tougher economic times and many small businesses are experiencing a slump in sales. There are also plenty of small businesses that are thriving!
If you are a business owner who is experiencing the former, then this is for you.
When sales slump, it is easy to feel like there is nothing we can do about it. Like it is all out of our control, and we just need to wait until the market shifts.
But there is plenty we can do. It is easy to blame or justify the slump on external factors, like the declining economy, cost of living crisis and impending doom that is filling our news feeds. We can feel better and justify the helplessness of the situation even more when we talk to colleagues in the same industry and hear that their sales are slumping too.
“Phew, it’s not just my business. The whole industry is down.”
What this does is take our ownership and responsibility away from the situation and gives all our power over to things that we can’t control… the external factors.
While this can feel good to some extent in the short term because “there is nothing I can do about it.” It does lead us to take our hands off the steering wheel and creates longer term pain than we need to experience.
So, if you want to turn that sales slump around then first put your hands back on the steering wheel of your business. Next, let’s focus on two critical areas that frequently require significant attention when a business encounters a sales slump.
Turning these two areas around can make a significant difference to improving your sales.
2 areas to look at to turn around your sales slump
#1. Your Inner Game
Where is your head at right now? How’s your energy? What stories are you playing on loop in your head about your business?
Maybe you are thinking things like…
- “Business is hard”
- “No one is buying right now”
- “Times are tough, no one has any money”
Words are powerful. Whether you say them to yourself or say them to other people, the words you say can have a real impact on what happens around you.
Your inner game influences what shows up the world around you. So, this is the first area to look at. If your mindset and attitude around your business right now is down, then it isn’t surprising that sales are also slumping.
Remember that there are lots of businesses that are thriving during these tough times, so it is possible. And if your first thought is that it isn’t possible for you, then that is likely your inner game tripping you up.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying that every business can survive right now. Some businesses will go out of business because the market has shifted, and no one wants what they are offering anymore. If these businesses adapt and evolve, then they could also survive.
But is that the case for your business?
Let me ask you a powerful question that could give you clarity on this:
Do your ideal clients and customers need what you have to offer right now? What value do your products and services bring them that they really need? What benefits is it going to give them?
If people need or want what you have then you have a viable business, yes even during tough times.
Shifting your Inner Game can be all that you need to do in order to get the sales rolling in again. And I’m not talking about just “thinking positive” or doing affirmations here. If you want to truly shift your Inner Game and create better results in your business, then check out my upcoming Awaken Your Inner Game program.
#2. Your marketing and sales actions
Are you currently taking the right actions?
Now before you jump in to answer that as an easy “YES! I am!“ I want you to take a moment to sit with that question and then ask yourself the following questions…
How many of each of the following have you done in the last month…
- Sales calls or follow ups you have made?
- Social media posts you have done with a call to action?
- Networking events you have attended?
- New leads added to your database?
- Content or marketing pieces you have published?
- People you have directed to your website?
- Emails sent to your database?
- Personal interactions with your ideal clients?
It can be easy to think we are taking action in the right places, but often we aren’t. Often we are taking action, but not action that will directly lead to sales! Because marketing and sales can be uncomfortable, we will often resist doing the very thing that our business needs!
That’s where an experienced business coach can help you. To make a solid plan to get your marketing and sales done. Plus, they can help you navigate and shift your Inner Game so that you stop resisting and avoiding it.
Your business doesn’t need to do all the activities listed above, all the time. But it does need to be doing a decent number of them regularly to be seen by enough of your ideal clients to keep your sales regular and sustainable.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had a business owner come to me saying that they are doing lots of marketing, but their sales have slumped. Then when I go through those questions above with them it turns out they have been doing very little in this area.
I get it. We can all get busy, juggling all the things. Which means that our marketing and sales activities can slide down to the bottom of the priorities. In our mind, we can think we are doing a lot of the important activities, but often we are not doing as much as we think. Remember that marketing and sales activities are what brings in the sales, so they need to be a priority!
Schedule in your marketing and sales activities as the first thing you do when you start work in the morning. Yes, even before you check your emails or social media feeds, because we know how that goes! That way you get the hard stuff done and dusted in the morning and you have the rest of the day to get everything else done and put out the fires.
What about outsourcing or delegating Marketing and Sales?
If you have team members or contractors who are primarily responsible for your marketing and sales activities, then that is great. They will likely have more knowledge and experience than you for getting your business results. But you still need to understand how to effectively market your business, whether you are doing the work or not. You are responsible for the success of your business. So don’t give all your power away to people who may or may not be doing their job properly. If your marketing and sales isn’t producing results with someone else doing it, then you need to know why so that it can be improved.
Different times call for different approaches
When the economic climate is buoyant, it can be easier to let your marketing and sales activities slip and still be doing fine in business. But, during tougher economic times, it can take a lot more time and effort to get new clients and customers. You marketing may not work as well as it once did. Reviewing your marketing, tweaking your strategies, and putting in extra effort may be needed during tougher economic times.
I always recommend a business has systems and processes set up so they can see what is happening with their marketing and sales. Look at your numbers and see what is working and what isn’t. Don’t just make assumptions of what you think is happening because this can be way off from what is actually happening.
Base the changes you make on informed facts, rather than running around throwing stuff at the wall randomly until it sticks. An experienced business coach can really speed up the process here. Bringing in an external viewpoint and they will be able to show you where the issues are and how to turn things around.
Here’s some practical actions you could take to increase your sales quickly
- Shift your focus to what you can do and set the intention for a positive outcome
- Reach out to past customers or clients to explore if they need anything that you can provide again
- Contact your current customers or clients to see if they need extra services or products from you
- Ask your happy clients for referrals or to share your offers with people they know
- Follow up with people who had shown interest in buying from you before but didn’t finalise the purchase, to determine if they are now open to moving forward.
- Collaborate with complimentary businesses to cross promote or find ways to benefit both businesses
- Send a valuable email to your database if you haven’t sent one for a while, reminding people about your business, the benefits and how you can help them
- Direct people who are your ideal clients to go visit your website
- Think about how and where you can be visible to a large group of your ideal clients or customers
- Create more social media posts that have a call to action for your offerings
- Nurture the leads that you do have
- Make improvements to your website so that your ideal clients become clients
Don’t forget about your current clients and customers!
When sales are slumping, it is easy to focus all our effort on getting new sales. Forgetting about what we have in front of us. Our current clients and customers need attention too. If all our focus is on getting new clients and customers, then our current ones may up and leave too. Making the financial situation of your business even worse.
During tougher economic conditions it is common for sales to slump. But they don’t have to. If you keep your hands on the steering wheel of your business and look for solutions of what you can do, then you can turn things around before they get dire.
Working on your Inner Game is an essential area to making this happen, so that your head game and energy are working for you. Also look at the marketing and sales activities that you are doing. Increase this area of your business, don’t ignore it. Look at how you can do marketing smarter and remember that it can take a lot more time before you get clients in a tougher economy. Don’t stay disheartened, refocus and keep doing what you can to move your business forward.