When a sales team (or salesperson) is making quota, you don't hear excuses like:
- “Cold calling doesn’t work”
- “Prospects don’t respond to voicemails”
- “Gatekeepers won’t let me speak to the decision maker”
- “No one has any money right now. Budgets are frozen”
- “Our pricing is too high / our competitors pricing is better”
- “The leads are old and have been called 100’s of times” etc.
But when we are failing to reach our goals, and the pressure to identify and correct the situation get’s turned up, its often all too easy to start making (and believing) excuses. And that is an unhealthy environment for everyone involved.
Excuses Keep You Where You Are. Solutions MOVE You to Where You Want to Be.
There are two options when dealing with failure:
- We can make excuses to justify the reason for failure... Or...
- We can look at the problem and use it as a "map" that will help lead us to the resolution for solving the roadblock that is keeping us from reaching our goals.
Example: Problem > Not Making Quota
Question: Why aren’t we hitting our numbers?
Answer: Well, for one, we leave lots of voicemails and get very few callbacks. It's hard close deals when no one calls you back!
Option 1: Excuse: "No one listens to or returns cold call messages anymore"
Option 2: Ask yourself "why aren't my voicemails being returned and how can I solve that?"
Going with option 1 keeps us where we are: Unsatisfactory number of callbacks with no hope of improvement.
Where as option 2 would allow us to investigate how to solve the problem, which would help us get to where we want to go.
- Do I have a consistent message, designed to pique interest and entice a callback with a valid reason, prepared well in advance? Or do I put on the “Captain Wing It” cape and say whatever comes to mind or feels right at the moment?
- When was the last time I recorded my voicemail message and played it back?
- How can I change my message to improve my callback %?
- When was the last time I role-played with my peers in order to get constructive criticism?
Excuses rob us of happiness, pride and the ability to reach our potential. They also take away our accountability. And without accountability, destructive behaviors run rampant.
Defenition of ex·cuse
VERB: Attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify.
If we continue to justify our failings, how will we ever achieve our goals?
Don’t accept excuses from yourself (or anyone else for that matter). Only accept solutions and watch how quickly your situation goes from “failing” to “winning”.
Hope this helps.
By Michael Pedone