Help! I’m Slumping, and I Can’t Get a Sale!

Help! I’m Slumping, and I Can’t Get a Sale!

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

In a slump? Not making enough (or any) sales. Feel like you’re unable to get out of the rut? Maybe you’re not in a big slump, but just can’t seem to hit the quota numbers. Let’s be kind and call it “sales underachievement.”

Don’t panic.

Don’t press too hard.

Don’t get down on yourself.

Don’t get mad.

And above all, don’t quit.

What causes a slump? You do. Therefore, you are the best (only) person to fix it.


Here are the prime causes of sales slumps:

Poor belief system. I don’t believe that my company or product is the best. I don’t think that I’m the best.

Poor work habits. Getting to work late, or barely “on time,” Not spending your time productively.

Misperceptions that lead to sour grapes. I think my prices are too high, or my territory is bad.

Outside pressure. Caused by money problems, family problems, or personal problems.

Poor personal habits. Too much drink, too much food, or too much after hours play.

Boss giving crap instead of support. Someone who says, “You better do it,” instead of, “I know you can do it.”

Events that go against you. New sales person passes you, someone else gets promoted and you knew it should have been you.

Customer cancels a big order. Weakening your personal belief or causing severe money problems or both.

Getting depressed. From any of the above.

When you’re in a slump, you begin to press for orders instead of working your best gameplan (which is: sell to help the other person and let your sincerity of purpose shine through). When you have the pressure to sell, the prospect senses it and backs off.

Then things get worse. You can’t seem to sell at all, and begin to panic. “Oh my gosh, I can’t sell a thing, I’ll get fired, miss my house payment, can’t pay my bills. Aaaahhhhhh!” False fear. Relax, you’re better than that.


Here’s a prescription to help cure sick sales:

Get back to basics. Usually what’s wrong is not complicated. In fact, you probably know what’s wrong. Your problem is that you think it’s someone else’s fault. Wrong. List two or three areas that need immediate care. Have the guts to take action.

Revisit your (or make a new) plan for success. Today.

List 5 things you could be doing to work smarter/harder. Make a plan to work as smart as you think (or say) you are.

Change your presentation. Try a different approach. Take the customer’s perspective.

Talk to your five best customers. Ask them to evaluate your situation.

Get someone you respect to evaluate your presentation. Take them with you on sales calls. Get a coach.

Visit your mentor. And have a new plan when you get there.

Get to work an hour before everyone. Put in more productive time.

Stay away from pity parties. Don’t make a slump worse by whining or hanging around a bunch of negits and underachievers.

Hang around positive, successful people. The best way to get to success.

Have some fun. Go to the comedy club, do a little extra of what you like to do best (unless too much fun is the cause of your slump).

Spend 30 minutes a day (in the morning is best) reading about your positive attitude. Then listen to attitude and sales podcasts in the car all day.

Listen to your favorite song just before the presentation. Go in to your next call singing.

Take a few days off. Chill out, take stock, make a plan, regroup, reenergize, and return with renewed determination and better energy.

Rearrange your office. Shake things up a little, make them look new.

Record your presentations live. Then listen in the car immediately afterwards. Take notes. Act to correct.

Take a video of  your presentation. Watch it with others who can give you constructive feedback.

Take the best salesperson you know out on calls with you for a day. Get a written evaluation after each call.

Take your boss with you on calls for a week. You’ll get more feedback than you can handle, but it will help.

Avoid negative talk and negative people like the plague. Find people who will encourage you, not puke on you.

When a baseball player is in a batting slump he will do anything to “change his luck.” Things from superstition (rabbit’s foot, not shaving, wearing the same underwear) to changing batting stance, to video watching, to extra coaching. But the one thing that usually breaks the slump is extra batting practice to regain the groove. Fundamentals.

They, like you, have the professional ability, but temporarily lost it. They, like you, went back to the raw fundamentals to regain lost talent.

Other random notes on the truth about slumps:

The best way to get out of the rut is keep the slump in perspective. Once you accept the fact that it’s no one’s fault but your own, you can begin to recover. Be cool. You’re the greatest, if you think you are. Believe in the most important person in the world, YOU.

In a sales slump?

Get fired up

or get fired.


FREE GitBit… 

A famous (but author unknown) poem “Don’t Quit.” If you’d like one mailed to you at no cost, go to, click Access GitBit, register if you’re a first time user and enter the words “DON’T QUIT” in the search box.