Working in sales can be tough. Rejection goes with the territory, and you probably deal with some clients who exaggerate the virtues of your competitors in order to get the best deal possible. No one says you aren’t allowed a bad day from time to time, but if you find yourself repeatedly making the same tired excuses to your boss and to yourself to explain why you can’t meet your targets, it may be time for an attitude adjustment. Here are some ideas for turning excuses into positive action.
Excuse #1: “I don’t have time for prospecting leads.”
Granted, you probably have a busy work schedule, but failing to perform an important function of the sales process indicates poor time management. If prospecting and cold calling your leads is part of your job description, you need to prioritize it and set aside blocks of time to get it done. Once you have scheduled those blocks of time, treat them with as much respect as you would any other appointment. This means not allowing other, perhaps more enjoyable tasks, to “bump” prospecting and cold calling from your schedule.
Excuse #2: “No one is interested in what I’m selling.”
It’s your job to create an interest in the products or services you’re selling. Find out what your customers need and explain to them how you can help meet those needs. For an example of some extremely creative selling, watch the movie, “The Music Man.” In it, a traveling salesman manages to convince an entire town that the only thing that can save its youth from falling into depravity is forming a boy’s band – purchasing the instruments and the uniforms from him, of course.
Excuse #3: “I’d sell more if I had better leads.”
Your leads are probably no better and no worse than the leads of your colleagues and your competitors. Rather than trying to cherry-pick, make a game of qualifying as many leads as you can.
Excuse #4: “I don’t like cold calling.”
Most sales people aren’t particularly fond of cold calling, but it’s a necessary part of the sales process, and no one ever guaranteed you would love every aspect of your work. If you truly dread cold calling your leads, the smartest thing to do is to get it out of the way early in the week so you don’t have it hanging over your head.
Excuse #5: “The economy is bad.”
You’re absolutely right. The economy is still weak, and customers are still reluctant to open their wallets for things that they consider non-essential. Think of it this way, though: You’re on a level playing field. Everybody in sales is contending with a difficult economy. If your competitors and colleagues can make sales, you can, too.