Sales greats have the ability to adapt based on their audience, are able to embrace rejection as an express pass to their next “yes,” and generally have a high degree of emotional intelligence. But even veteran sales pros can fall into the trappings of excuse making as a way to cope with sales hurdles.
Being aware of these top sales excuses and how to overcome them can ensure you continue to sell at the top of your game.
Our prices are too high. There will always be a cheaper competitor, and it’s true that prospects care about price. It is rarely, however, the final determining factor. Take price off the table, and sell value instead, by helping your prospect focus on what you uniquely deliver that your competitor cannot. If price is truly your only differentiator, you’re in an order taking vs. sales role.
Marketing isn't generating enough leads. It's true that in a sales-driven company, marketing often plays a big role in generating inbound leads. Likewise, for most companies, outbound lead generation is the responsibility of the sales team. Granted, if you're in an inside sales role, working inbound leads is a big part of what you do. But when there aren't enough to go around, get out there and initiate prospect conversations. Winning no matter the obstacles ahead of you -- that makes for a sales all-star with a bright future.
No one returns my voice mails. High-level decision makers are inundated with sales and marketing messages. If your voice mail lacks a compelling reason to return the call (e.g., a clear “what’s in it for them”), it’s not worth the time you invested in leaving it. Conduct pre-call research to find that compelling reason or a connection you can reference to increase your callback rate. Also, remember the phone is just one of many touch-points in your sales tool belt.
My sales goals aren’t realistic. On the surface, it may seem like it’s impossible to up your game every year, but strong sales reps are in a constant state of self-evaluation and improvement. With self-improvement comes greater sales efficiency and performance.
It’s all who you know. Relationships make all the difference in the sales profession. So why not get out there, network and allow your relationship-building skills to expand your reach of contacts? Network enough in your market, and there may rarely be a time when you’re unable to secure a warm introduction to a targeted prospect.
Even the mostly highly skilled sales reps lose sales. It’s how you handle those losses that define you. Recognize what went wrong and how you can improve your game next time, and you’ll separate yourself from the pack.
Lori Turner-Wilson can be reached at www.redrovercompany.com.