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Excuses, excuses! Part 1

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After working with salespeople for almost two decades, I’ve heard every excuse in the book for missed sales targets. Here are just a few:

1.    Our prices are too high. This is one of the most common excuses. And even when companies reduce their prices, sales reps who sing the “too-expensive blues” often continue to miss their targets.

2.    The competition is cheaper. While there will always be companies who sell products similar to yours, the competition as likely not as cheap as you think. However, smart buyers may indicate that a competitor is cheaper in a bid to get a lower price.

3.    We don’t have new products. Many salespeople lament the fact that their companies do not issue new products. However, from a buyer’s perspective, this is seldom a concern, unless a competitor’s new product offers additional important benefits.

4.    People care only about getting the lowest price. In some cases, this may be true, but price is seldom the primary motivation behind a prospect’s buying decision. Price may become the primary motivation, though, if you fail to demonstrate the value of your offering.

5.    The economy is still bad. Yes, the economy is still challenging, but prospects are making buying decisions. They are purchasing new products and implementing new systems. The goal is to identify those prospects and target your efforts to them.

6.    No one answers the telephone anymore. Yup—that is often true. However, the telephone is just one method of connecting with customers and prospects. Alternate methods may prove more effective.

You can make all the excuses in the world, but it won’t change the fact that you—and only you—are responsible for reaching your sales targets. This may sound harsh, but if you don’t want that responsibility, perhaps it’s time to consider another career.

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