Sales folk - what do you do when you hit a dry patch?

VP. Working at CPS, bank for past 3 years. The past two years have been great and I was bringing in clients that accounted for the top 10% of the desk's budget. However since start of the year a few mishaps happened - a few of my top guys got shut off due by compliance, and my leads started promising but failed to deliver anything substantial.

To make matters more annoying, I'm the only one in my team based in Asia - so I have to cover the entire desk BAU which limits the time i have to go and find new clients as im dealing with incoming and every part of our operation internally. The team is being told to push more niche exotic products as of late, but there is a lot more interest in US for those (and frankly there is such a wider client base there) so I'm struggling to find interesting clients. At the same time, my US team which has 3 people is now hitting their stride and bringing in some good pnl after a poor last year.

As such, my underperformance recently relative to the previous standards ive established is bumming me out, compounded by the fact that my teammates in the other region have started to pick things up. I guess these things are inevitable, but i guess its sort of stressing me out a bit and frustrating me at the same time. any SNT people can relate?

 

Based on the insights from Wall Street Oasis, here are some strategies you might consider when facing a dry patch in sales, especially in a challenging and isolated position like yours:

  1. Narrow Your Focus: Instead of trying to cover a broad range of products or services, concentrate on a few that have the highest potential for success in your region. This approach can help you become an expert in specific areas, which can be appealing to potential clients.

  2. Leverage Internal Resources: Since you're handling the entire desk's BAU, it's crucial to utilize your internal resources effectively. Coordinate with your team in the US to share insights and strategies that are working for them. This collaboration could lead to new ideas and approaches that might be applicable in your region.

  3. Enhance Client Relationships: Focus on deepening relationships with existing clients. This can involve regular check-ins, providing custom solutions, and being proactive about their needs. Strong relationships can lead to referrals and new business opportunities.

  4. Innovate Your Approach: Experiment with new sales tactics or technologies that could give you an edge. This might include virtual client meetings, digital marketing strategies, or leveraging data analytics to better understand client needs.

  5. Seek Support: It's important to communicate openly with your superiors about the challenges you're facing. They may provide additional support or resources that can help alleviate some of your burdens.

  6. Personal Development: Use this time to enhance your skills. Engaging in training programs, attending industry webinars, or even informal learning can provide new insights and ideas that you can apply to your work.

  7. Mindset and Resilience: Finally, focus on maintaining a positive mindset. Sales is a field with ups and downs, and resilience is key. Engage in activities that reduce stress and keep you motivated, whether it's exercise, hobbies, or spending time with loved ones.

These strategies are derived from common practices among sales professionals who have faced similar challenges and shared their experiences on Wall Street Oasis. Implementing these could help you navigate through this tough phase and potentially return to your previous performance levels.

Sources: Feeling unfulfilled in sales, Sales - debunking 8 MYTHS (From a veteran), Hitting a really rough patch, ECB Hikes, Markets Respond | The Daily Peel | 7/22/22, 7 Things I Learned While Running a Business

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.
 
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I have been there before and I feel you, the stuff about compliance shutting your guys off sucks.  Its sadly becoming a bigger part of the business and is not something you can really control at all.  I have been at this 10 years and I feel like every 2 or 3 years a major part of my business will blow up and it will just come from nowhere.  Couple of thoughts (will preface this by saying I'm US based and have never worked in Asia) 

1. Talk to management and explain the situation- Managers in this business are for the most part pretty hands off and really only look at the numbers and generally have no idea what is going on day to day.  If you can explain what is going and advocate for yourself they will understand will try to help you

2. Outside of revenue the only other thing that is quantifiable is meetings, go to as many of them as possible.  Drinks, dinners, lunches, etc.  Brings traders, research, etc.  You don't need to be pitching anything just show up and get to know people.  Management does track this stuff and if they see you are making an effort and not just sitting around waiting for something to happen.  They will send stuff your way as opportunity pops up if they know you are working hard. 

3. I consider this the more nuclear option, but how close do you feel with the guys who got turned off?  If you went to a place with less red tape and most likely less balance sheet would they still trade with you?  I have seen people leverage good calls with a couple of big accounts to land themselves new seats when things start to go south.  

 

Hey brother I really appreciate the time taken to write this out first of all. Sales sometimes feels like a very lonely business since at the end of the day its a zero sum game - everyone is fighting for flow in an increasingly small pool. Its somewhat reassuring to know that shit just happens all around.

1) You are right. Tbh the new global head doesn't really hold much client relationships and is currently preoccupied with higher level process improvement stuff. I'm not too sure how to phrase that though without sounding like I'm doing ass right now (it's meh but its not horrible if you catch my drift, so I dont want to kinda taint any current image has)

2) I agree. I've been quite consistent with logging meetings which is good I guess. I'm known as a one of if not the most hungry salesperson so I'll double down on these. 

3) You are right again (I guess thats why you're a director lol). My guess is to some extent yes - but realistically im no dummy and all the salesmanship in the world wont save me from bad pricing (and I saw that at my previous shop)  

sales honestly is a tougher gig than ever in a bank. shouldve learnt coding when i was in college lol. 

 

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