I recently watched a video featuring a Sandler sales trainer, Jody Williamson. He made the point that we are living in a victim culture. We look to blame everyone else for our own troubles and misfortunes, rather than take responsibility for our own role in the situation.
This mentality is a deadly trap for expansion stage sales teams. As the sales manager, it’s important that you don’t enable this thought process, but rather push your reps to always take responsibility for their own performance. Because…
Until your sales team takes responsibility, they will never be truly successful.
So what are the reoccurring “sales victim” excuses for poor performance:
“My leads suck.”
“My technology sucks.”
“My marketing sucks.”
“The economy sucks.”
When I speak with sales people who sold in previous decades they are SHOCKED by these excuses. The classic line I hear is: “I remember when all I had to do my job was the Yellow Pages, my telephone, and a fax machine.”
It’s true. No matter what your situation is, remember — there is someone else out there (perhaps even your competition) who has less leads/less marketing than you, and they are still achieving their goals. Why? Because they are making due with what they have, and taking responsibility to get the job done.
At the expansion stage, if you have leads, consider yourself lucky. If you have a marketing department in place to support your sales team with content, consider yourself lucky.
In Williamson’s video, he challenges sales people to write down all of the excuses that they make for their poor sales results over the course of the month — “self talk” if you will. At the end of the month, look back — are you blaming others for your shortcomings? What could you have done differently to solve those situations?