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5 Things To Do When Sales Decline

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In a perfect world, the sales in your business will always be great, continually increasing and giving you positive cash flow forever. However, in the real world, sales can decrease unexpectedly, costs can rise, with any number of other reasons for poor sales performances.

Let us help you understand why your sales may drop and what you can do when that happens. Sales dropping can be seasonal or cyclical and could be very frustrating when you're doing everything right, but the money just isn't flowing. Or there could be internal reasons you need to look at such as your sales process or marketing levers you need to start pulling.

Having consistent and increasing sales is one of the key growth areas to starting a business and running it successfully.

Why do sales typically drop?

Sales can drop for natural reasons, for reasons out of your control, or for reasons totally within your control. How you react and adapt is important, but let's look at some reasons why your sales could decline.


It may be that your products don’t sell well during summer, but when winter comes, sales go up. If you’re aware of this, then you need to start looking at having contingencies in place in preparation for each seasonal sales drop.

Your marketing has lost effectiveness

You set up a marketing funnel and your marketing was going great. So good, in fact, that you just left it ticking over. But then it stopped working, and sales started to drop. Your marketing is not as effective as it was previously. You haven't been monitoring and continually optimising. 

Poor sales forecasting

If, during the budgeting process, you overestimate the forecasted sales, then when actual data comes back, it can show a shortfall. Better forecasting can lessen the impact, and this will come with time as you start to gather more data points to look back on and analyse.

Supply chain issues

This has impacted so many businesses, thanks to COVID. Transport staff shortages up and down the supply chain have meant primary goods don't arrive or shops cannot open due to retail staff shortages. This is out of your control, but ask, what can you do instead to navigate around getting limited supply from overseas.

Negative social proof

Bad reviews or negative online testimonials can have a real impact on your sales. Even if the reviews are false, they can sway opinion and potential customers could decide to go with another competitor instead.

So, what should you do when sales drop?

It isn’t the end of the world when sales drop. You certainly need to take action, and depending on why your sales have dropped, you'll need to determine what kind of action you should take. Here are some things you can do to reverse a negative sales trend.

1. Listen to your customer

Your customers are your primary source of income. If sales are down, it's because they’re not buying. Why? Ask what your customers want and why they are not buying from you.

Is it a pricing issue or a quality of stock issue? Is there a gap in sales training that the deal just wasn’t landed? Ask your customers and create a solution.

2. Refocus your marketing strategy

Analyse your marketing channels and see if they’re still effective. Change up your marketing strategies, retarget and get sales moving again. Analysing your marketing funnels should be done regularly, not just when sales drop.

3. Try something new

Sometimes the same old processes don’t work, so you need to try some new ones. Are there channels you've never tried before? Do you need to update your language or process to keep up with the times? Can you change what you offer or update your stock? Sometimes if you freshen yourself up, that same energy can transfer to your sales.

Can you start making video content to help sales? Would boots on the ground mingling with the public create more sales? How about a special offer for new customers and existing customers? Do you start a subscription service with special deals?

What else can you do?

4. Look at your competitors

Depending on the industry, if you’re losing sales, it could mean your competition is picking up sales. Have a look at your competition, and see what they’re doing, which is new and compelling.

  • Are their products or service better than yours?
  • Do they have a better price point than you?
  • Do they have a better message and connection with their customers?
  • Is their sales process better and easier than yours?

If they have cheaper suppliers and you can’t beat them on price, look at other ways to stand out as different. Push the quality angle or the eco-friendly message.

Can you connect with customers through a loyalty program with special offers?

5. Bring in outside help such as a business coach or mentor

If you’re still stumped as to how to increase sales with the resources you have, think about bringing in some independent help.

The Entourage can connect you with a business coach. They can give you an honest review of your business and your marketing and sales funnels and help you turn a sales slump around. Sometimes you need that outside vision to help you see clearly.

Have more questions?

The sales funnel can run dry sometimes, but there is always a way to get sales flowing again, to get the cash flow running again. Don’t panic. Take a step back and assess the situation. Fix the marketing, speak to your customers or do whatever you need to do to recover sales.

The Entourage can help you understand your sales issues even further and help you grow your business. See how our sales training and coaching can help you take your business to the next level.

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