Do you lie to yourself? You may not think so but I suggest that you probably do. Here’s what I mean…
Sales Lie #1: “I could reach my quota if my company lowered their prices.” If I had a nickel for every time I heard this… If you rely solely on price to close deals then you condition your customers to constantly push you for a larger discount or a better price.
Sales Lie #2: “I’ve got this deal in the bag.” I think this is one of the most common lies sales people tell themselves. In fact, I hate to admit that I’ve been guilty of this from time-to-time. It’s easy to think that because someone says, “This looks good, let me get back to you in a couple of days” that they are seriously interested in your product or service. I’ve heard prospects say, “This is great, what do we do next?” only to balk at making a final decision. No deal is guaranteed until the other person signs the agreement, gives you confirmation, or places the order.
Sales Lie #3: “The competition is always offering better prices.” While some competitors will consistently beat you on price, the reality is that most companies are competitively priced. It’s a rare situation when a competitor will out-price you on everything you sell unless the products are different.
Sales Lie: #4: “My territory is too big (or too small).” In the 16-plus years I have worked with sales people I have never heard anyone say, “I have the perfect number of accounts. In an ideal world, you would be able to see or meet with every account or customer in a perfect cycle. However, the reality of today’s sales world is that companies are struggling to do more with less which less which means most sales people have to manage a big sales territory. The key is to manage your accounts more effectively. Invest the bulk of your time managing your best and most profitable accounts (top 20%) and customers that have good potential to grow (next 20-30%). Wean yourself from responding ultra-fast to your high-maintenance, low-profit customers (bottom 20%).
Sales Lie: #5: “If I don’t set a sales target I won’t be disappointed.” First of all, let me say that I’m surprised how many sales-based organizations don’t require their sales team to establish sales targets and goals. After all, how can you monitor performance if you aren’t tracking results? Okay, now that I have that off my chest, let’s take a closer look at the lie. In my eyes, people who don’t set sales targets are essentially saying, “I’m not sure what I’m going to do this year and I don’t want to work harder than I have to.” Top performing sales reps always set high, ambitious goals and their targets are usually higher than those set by their company. They use these goals to inspire and motivate themselves to achieve more.
Sales Lie: #6: “No one is buying.” I recently spoke to someone who sells cars, an industry that has been particularly hard-hit in the last few years. However, his sales continue to increase even though many people in the same business complain of declining sales. Regardless of the economy, people still make buying decisions. They still make purchases. Companies still need products and services. Stop wasting time thinking about the people who aren’t buying and find the people and companies who are buying!
Sales Lie #7: “I don’t need to practice my sales presentation.” Yeah, and professional athletes don’t need to practice because they are at the top of their game. The best sales people seldom take their sales appointments and meetings for granted. They rehearse the questions they need to ask. They run through their presentation to make sure they have included the necessary details and that their presentation flows in a logical manner and that it addresses their prospect’s situation and/or needs. As painful and difficult as it can be you are better off telling yourself the truth instead of lying to yourself (and perhaps your boss, too!).
Avoid telling yourself these sales lies because they limit your ability to increase your sales and fully achieving what you are capable of accomplishing.
About the author
As President of The Robertson Training Group, Kelley has helped thousands of sales professionals…