Prospecting is the lifeblood of your business and it needs to be tackled with enthusiasm, both when it's working and when it is not working. I'm sure that sales must be a roller coaster in most businesses, but it seems extreme in ours. The key is to keep doing the things that work and to stop doing the things that don't work.
What you want to work on is developing your skills around framing all discussions around problem solving. Not many companies have a promotional products problem. Finding promotional products and finding them cheaper is not a problem for most companies. I often say that nobody buys promotional products. They buy celebrations, commemorations, communications. They buy increasing sales, increasing response rates, increasing employee and customer engagement. They buy safer workplaces, lower insurance costs, bigger order sizes. They want to reactivate old customers and attract new ones. Think about what it is that you are really selling. It's not what a product is. It's not even what a product does. It's what a product means.
When prospects are buying and bidding promotional items, your value-add becomes difficult. When they are looking for solutions to a problem, you take price out of the equation and you create value for yourself. Your ultimate goals are to become indispensable to the client and to make them look good. Help your clients get promoted.
This takes an "education-based marketing" approach. It's much harder for someone to stall or brush you off or put you in a category of "stuff" sellers if you ask for the initial appointment by telling them that you and your company have done some research that you would like to share with them about Five Ways to Reactivate Former Customers or Three Ways to Build Your Facebook Fan Base, or Seven Ways to Lower Insurance Costs, or some other direct benefit.