Slump? I ain’t in no slump… I just ain’t hitting. ~ Yogi Berra
I hope nobody told you the travel business was easy.
I’m just back from a travel conference in the great city of Memphis. The travel professionals in attendance seemed upbeat about business prospects, affirming the general sentiment that pent-up demand for travel is taking hold of the general public. One agent, however, indicated things had not been going her way lately and everyone else’s enthusiasm was just making her feel worse. Her business was down and she didn’t know why.
We have all experienced a slump in our business activity. Suddenly things grow quiet… too quiet. The reasons for a slump can be purely individual and unpredictable, but down-turns in business can be reversed if you take appropriate measures. Immediate action is the key. The worst thing you can do is “wait and see”- a slump is psychologically tough to handle, but giving into depression is self-defeating and prolongs the misery.
If you don’t seem to be picking up the momentum you are expecting, if your business is running a bit behind the curve you see others trending, let me suggest a few tactics that can put you and your sales back on track:
- Evaluate the situation – what is at the core of the slump? See if you can pin-point the issue and then design a strategy appropriate to the circumstance.
- Revisit your marketing plan and calendar – are you keeping the commitments you laid out for yourself? Are you doing the necessary marketing to generate sales? Remember marketing drives sales, but today’s sales are typically the result of much earlier marketing efforts. Don’t ever quit marketing, your future sales depend on it!
- Keep touching clients – go to your best accounts and touch base. How are they doing? Is there anything you can do for them? Be pro-active in your outreach. Ask for referrals and testimonials from your existing clients. Generate your own momentum.
- Coaching and training – keep educating yourself, especially in marketing, sales and customer service. Ask a business coach to assist you. Investing in yourself is always important, but especially if you are unable to determine what the problem is on your own. A third party can often see issues and opportunities easier than you.
It is important to keep perspective. Slumps are usually temporary and best solved by putting yourself into high gear. Action cures a lot of ills. Resist the temptation to commiserate with others who are in their own funk. Avoid negativity in those around you and with your peers. Move your associations to people who can help you generate some enthusiasm and determination. Give yourself a break, regain your focus and your balance.
Six times down, seven times up. Sometimes you win just by showing up one more day.