Selling Your Excuses

Sales are never constant. You have good times and bad times. Everyone looks like a sales hero when the good times are rolling. There is a surge in demand for what you sell, the economy is the wind at your back and new business opportunities seem to fall from the heavens daily like manna. Whaddaya know; you’re a real sales pro and you made it look easy, and quite frankly, maybe it was easy this time. Then suddenly things grind to a halt. Your phone is no longer ringing, your customers are now too busy to give you the time of day and there is a change in your industry while the buying frenzy dries up. Now you find that the only thing you can sell is your excuses and there are very few interested buyers beyond yourself. So, what now?
Life is full of all-of-the-suddens. This is especially true in sales and you know it. It doesn’t matter what you sell. Everything has a season and cycle that may or may not be predictable and you often find yourself rising and falling with those times. But there is one thing that every salesperson loves to sell sooner or later; their excuses. You know what I’m talking about.
  • I couldn’t close the deal because the customer was crazy.
  • My phone isn’t ringing because there is a slow down in the market place.
  • I’m not going to reach my sales goal this quarter the moon isn’t made of cheese anymore.
  • Customers want to buy pink unicorns and we only sell white ones.
  • Nobody has any money because the king of Idaho lost the princess’s crown in a card game.
  • Blah blah blah blah blah.
These excuses sound silly and, quite frankly, so do yours. Don’t get me wrong because we all know that things change, but the problem is that you won’t. You want all of your sales to fit in nice little boxes and they don’t. So now you focus on your excuses and how you are going to sell them to others after you sell them to yourself. If you focused as much of your effort on your actual sales that you do on selling your excuses, you wouldn’t have the sales problems that need your excuses in the first place. First, you sell your excuse to yourself, then to your co-workers, then your boss, spouse, neighbors, and basically to anyone who will listen to you. We all get it; something has changed. Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it. When you find and recognize that you have reached this point, there are 5 truths about your sales that you need to remember.
  1. What you sell is still valuable – Not everything has mass appeal. There may be better options and there is probably room for improvement, but what you sell is still valuable. The only reason that you think it isn’t is due to your marketing, price, packaging, target market, approach, service, and so on. If what you are selling is still sitting in boxes gathering dust, that means that you are trying to sell something to the wrong people the wrong way with the wrong price.
  2. Your customers are still out there – There is a customer out there for any and everything you can think of to sell. Maybe they are under a rock and hard to find, but they are definitely there. Maybe they look different than what you are used to, but they do have money and they are ready to buy.
  3. Your customers still need you – If you do not do your job, the customers will not get the things that you offer that they both need and want. You are leaving an unnecessary gap. You are still important even if you do feel crummy during the slow periods.
  4. Your customers are waiting for you to find them – And if you don’t, I promise you that your competitors will. Finding customers is your job and you forgot about that a long time ago. It is not up to the customers to be found or your website to find them. If you can’t figure this out in your own head, then you are causing your own problems.
  5. You are the cause of, and solution to, all of your problems – Dial it in readers because it all comes down to this. As is true in life is oh so true in sales. It’s nobody’s fault but yours. No, you can’t control the world, you can’t prevent bad things and sometimes things suck, but that doesn’t mean that your attitude has to. True salespeople sell their way through the bad times. They don’t blame others and wait for things to change. They drown out the noise with determination and get the job done. And you should too because you can do it.
If you need help, (and we all do sooner or later) then ask for help. The problem with drowning when you are far out in the ocean is that no one can see you, so you have to shout out for help. We can help with our Scorecard coaching and get you back on your feet. Let’s stop selling your excuses today and focus on selling something people really need; you. Customers need you.

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