• Gert Scholts

Stop buying excuses


Here is a short blog about excuses and how buying them jeopardised my first months in sales.

At the start of my sales career, I soon learned why I was selling products and how these products benefited customers. The key was speaking to as many potential customers as possible and eventually some would buy my products. It became a very successful formula until I started to take a few short cuts. The worst shortcut was to do the minimum amount of fact finding and presenting my products before the customer had committed to a solution.

I also learned more about excuses instead of getting results.

Here are some of them:

“customer was not in”

“could not get to the decision maker”

“she is thinking about it”

“they think our solution is too expensive”

“they will proceed after Easter”

“his boss was against it”

“the purchasing director will look at it"

"they have a supplier already"

"he is very happy with his supplier"

"he left the company yesterday"

"their needs have changed"

"there is not budget for this at the moment"

Sales started to drop and I found myself with a bigger pipeline every day. I was hanging on to every prospect's promise to buy. Every time my Manager asked me about deal progress I cited the excuses as clear next steps. I clearly believed in them. I had bought these excuses rather than sold my products.

Things got worse when I decided that my time was best spent chasing these potential deals rather than prospect for more. My pipeline stagnated and one by one the so-called sales opportunities dropped out. So I was back to square one again and had to build my pipeline from scratch applying the basics in sales: prospect, qualify, present, close.


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