Sales people make a number of excuses why they can’t reach their sales targets or why prospects and customer don’t buy. Here are just a few:
1. The competition is cheaper. While there will always be companies who sell the same or similar product as you, very seldom is the competition as cheap as you think. However, smart buyers will often try to get a better price by indicating that a competitor is cheaper.
2. We don’t have new products. Many sales people lament the fact that their company has not issued or released a new product. However, this is seldom a concern form a buyer’s perspective unless a competitor has a newer product that offers additional benefits that are important to the buyer.
3. The economy is still bad. Yes, the economy is still challenging but companies are making buying decisions. They are purchasing products and implementing new systems. The goal is to identify those companies and target your efforts accordingly.
4. The company expects too much. I remember talking to a district sales manager who lamented the fact that her company was expecting a twelve percent increase in revenues in the upcoming year. However, I have never known a company to say, Well, we just finished a record year so let’s coast this year, shall we?” Do shareholders expect a lot? Of course. You would too if it was your money on the line.
5. My sales targets are unrealistic. Let’s face it; most compensation programs do not reward sales people when they fail to reach their quotas or targets. As a result, sales reps often believe that their sales goals are unrealistic. However, top performing sales reps set their own targets which are usually higher than the quotas established by their boss. If they can do it, so can you.
You can make all the excuses in the world but it doesn’t change the fact that you and only you are accountable for reaching your sales targets. This may sound harsh but if you don’t want the responsibility, find another career.