After working with salespeople for almost two decades, I’ve heard every excuse in the book for missed sales targets. Here are a few more:
1. No one returns my calls. If prospects won’t return your phone calls, it’s because they are too busy or you haven’t given them a compelling reason to do so. One salesperson I know gets a high percentage of call backs because his pre-call research allows him to effectively position his solutions.
2. My territory is too small. This excuse may apply in certain circumstances but is often overused. While a small territory may yield a limited number of new sales leads, there is still the possibility of creating additional sales opportunities within your existing customer base.
3. My territory is too big. Nice problem! A large territory does present challenges from an account-maintenance perspective, but this issue can be remedied by focusing your attention on the right customers. If you’re overwhelmed, hire a personal assistant to help you manage your accounts. This will free you up to focus on prospecting.
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4. My company expects too much. A district sales manager once lamented that her company expected a twelve percent increase in revenues in the upcoming year. I have never known a company executive to say, “Well, we just finished a record year. Let’s coast next year, shall we?”