How many times have we heard these excuses? A better question might be, how many times have we used them?
1. My company is not giving me enough leads.
If you are saying this, you are not a salesperson you are an order taker.
Or you might be saying:
2. The leads I am given aren’t quality leads.
Your company can’t give you the good leads because the good sales people already got those and developed relationships. You got what was left over.
I’m not a fan of buying, selling or using leads and I don’t like to be one either. Think about it. How do you respond to someone who cold calls you versus someone who was referred to you by a person you know and trust? My advice is to focus on growing your referral business through whatever means works for you and your industry. Of course, I’m partial to the Bass-Ackward way.
3. My company wants me to fill out reports and do administrative tasks.
I would have you do reports too if you weren’t making any sales, especially if I was paying you a base or draw. Keep in mind that if you were a top performer, your company would probably find someone to do those reports for you. Focus on making sure your time really IS too valuable to be doing anything besides selling. It might not totally eliminate the report writing requirement, but it can’t hurt.
4. The economy is bad and/or my industry is suffering.
Having just been through this and still dealing with some of the fallout, I understand. This situation can be hard to work around, especially when there really isn’t any business to be had or a lot of people are competing for the same customers.
Consider a part-time opportunity that would allow you to meet new people. It’s possible that new contacts could help you grow your regular business when it comes back. Wholesale clothing reps carry more than one line because sometimes the shoes are selling better than the ties!
5. I have the worst territory.
The cream always rises to the top. Your boss knows you have the bad territory but if you are on top of your game, you will become creative in finding ways to do better than the last guy.
One of the best insurance reps I know is in a little town in Kansas. When things got slow for him, he rented an old abandoned space in a downtown area and made it nice. He hired a few Spanish-speaking employees and taught them the business, and encouraged the bank next door to do the same. His newly trained employees went out into the Hispanic community to talk about insurance and when potential customers came in to learn more, the rep introduced them to the people at the bank so they could learn about car loans and charge cards. The community was not used to being treated well by business people but they responded and business grew. This rep is now one of the biggest producers in the country because of his creative approach to turning around what was once a “bad territory”.
6. My price is not competitive.
Make sure your customers have a reason to pay more. Give them your cell number and tell them it’s like 911. I tell my customers I’m open 24/7 like the Waffle House – and I am! Advise customers not to buy online because they won’t be able to reach a live person when they need one. Introduce them to people they would like to meet – nobody else is going to do that. Be interested in what is going on in their lives and help when you can.
And last but by no means least, take good care of your customers. Not only will they be willing to spend a little more, but I’ll bet they will also tell someone else about their experience. And then your referral business is off and running!