Have you ever heard yourself or someone else say; "I could have sold more BUT....." What ever follows that BUT is an excuse. The most popular excuses for not selling more are; the price was too high, the competition was too tough, there was no budget, my territory is bad, I have difficult clients, my quota is too high, they will buy eventually buy but not now, the economy is bad, we don't have what we need to make sales.......and on and on it goes. Excuses kill more sales than anything else. The only way to really grow your sales is to eliminate 100% of your teams excuses and your excuses.
Excusitus is a disease that, if untreated will kill a sales organization. The cure is simple but not easy. The first step is to understand the difference between and excuse and a reason for not doing something. I like to use a real example about exercise to explain the difference. I wanted to exercise more but I told my wife that I was tired after work and that the gym opened too late in the morning and that I traveled a lot and that I was too busy to exercise. These all seemed like pretty valid reasons to me. Guess what my wife heard me saying? All she could hear was multiple excuses. Of course I could overcome all of my reasons if I really wanted to. If it is yours, it is a reason, and if it is someone else's, it is always an excuse.
The solution is to eliminate 100% of your excuses and reasons for not selling more. This is the only way to turn on your creative energy which will lead to solutions to your challenges. As long as you blame your lack of sales on someone or something else you will never reach your full potential and you will be demotivated.
When we deliver Sales Training to organizations we focus on improving their sales skills, their attitudes and their behavioral flexibility so they are more effective at adapting to their clients needs and buying style. Guess which one of these 3 areas is the most difficult to change?
If you said ATTITUDE you are correct and the second most difficult thing to change is BEHAVIORAL FLEXIBILITY. The easiest thing to learn is sales skills and product knowledge. Unfortunately 80% of sales training focuses on product and marketing knowledge and the rest is focused on selling skills. Often the most important things, ATTITUDE and BEHAVIORAL flexibility are ignored all together.
A great way to eliminate excuses in your sales organization is to stop making excuses yourself if you are the Leader and secondly to never accept excuses from any of your people. As soon as you hear an excuse respond with the excuse killer: "I agree that this is a difficult challenge, now how do you plan to overcome it"???
You want to empower your people to overcome their challenges and to realize that making an excuse will only kill their motivation and any possibility that they have of overcoming their challenges. They could go on to tell you that you don't understand and will probably continue to defend their position and excuse. You need to respond with; "the reason that we hire winners like you is that you overcome your challenges and take full responsibility for your success" If they don't get it at this point you may need to release them to succeed elsewhere. There is nothing worse than a negative excuse filled sales person that could be poisoning the attitudes of your entire sales organization. Clients don't like negative sales people much either.
Clients use price as an excuse for not buying our solutions all the time to let us down easy, when the research shows clearly that price is rarely the most important factor in making any decision. Sales people tell their managers that price was the reason why they lost the sale. One of my clients recently responded to his sales team in a way that really motivated them. He told them that if price was the only reason for lost sales that he would eliminate his sales team which was his biggest expense and sell everything on-line direct to customers at a lower price. He never heard the price excuse again. The fact was that his reps were able to differentiate and sell the added value of their solutions when they eliminated their excuses and focused on solving their clients critical problems. When in doubt spend more time focusing on your clients needs and less time moaning about why you cant sell more.
Another way to eliminate excuses is to pair people up and have them talk their partner out of their excuse. They must help them to come up with a plan to overcome this excuse and then they need to remind and coach them until they are successful. It is always easier to talk someone else out of their excuses than it is to convince yourself.
One of the keys to growing your sales and developing a team of motivated and engaged sales people is to help them to eliminate all of their excuses. If you would like to bring your sales team to the next level of performance, contact Paul Fergus at [email protected]. You can also contact him at 1-877-633-9555 to discuss how he and his team can help you to reach your full potential.