7 Ways To Avoid The Sales Rut & To Stay ‘In The Groove’

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Winner salesmanWe often hear sales managers talk about their salespeople’s performance and how they can manage it effectively.

They talk of motivation and engagement and how they can keep their people performing at the top of their game.

There are effectively three different levels of performance and they can be categorised as follows:

Being ‘in the groove’ 

This old expression means doing something easily or well, performing excellently, or being attuned to something, as in ‘I didn’t have a good first quarter, but now I’m back in the groove’.

It gives the impression of moving along, getting things right. Colloquially, it can mean performing at the top of one’s game and getting great results.

It requires focus and dedication and it is the level that most salespeople wish they could maintain at all times.

However, things can conspire to affect performance. or a person can get lackadaisical in their habits. So, after a while, the ‘groove’ can become deeper and form….

A rut 

A rut is simply a deep groove. Often it’s difficult to get out of a rut because it is something that one gets into unconsciously. You don’t wake up one morning and think, ‘Boy, I really am in a rut so I must get back into the groove’. It’s something that can creep up on you and it’s recognisable in the language you hear.

Things like ‘It’s the economy to blame for things not going right’ or ‘If only we were as cheap as the competition’ shows a mindset that means we are getting in a rut.

When we are in a rut, that’s the time to re-assess, re-calculate and re-affirm what is necessary to get back in the groove. Without doing that, we tend to get in a deeper rut, which is tantamount to being in….

A grave 

A grave is simply a deep rut. The difference though is that it is easier to get out of a rut than a grave. When standing in a grave, you need others’ help to get out. At least when you’re in a rut you can make your own steps to escape. Being in a grave requires assistance from others in the form of ladders or steps to climb up.

Remember, though, that even if others let down that ladder for you, it’s you who has to do the work of climbing it. No-one will drag you up out of the grave; you have to do the hard work yourself.

So, the three levels are metaphors for you to check out your performance. You can keep in the groove by:

  • Establishing goals that drive and motivate you forward
  • Planning effectively to overcome obstacles that may occur
  • Focusing on what you can control rather than whinging about what you can’t
  • Developing your skill-sets so you become stronger in those areas that clients need help in
  • Remaining positive towards all your objectives so nothing affects you without your permission
  • Being the kind of salesperson that prospects and clients alike would contact proactively to gain your advice
  • Becoming an expert in all aspects of your job, product, industry and specialisations

You owe it to yourself to be the salesperson you can aspire to be. By keeping in the groove, it continuously gives you the fuel to power your career forward.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Dollarphotoclub

450 sales questions free report


Originally published: 4 June, 2015

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