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Greg Nanigian and Associates, Inc. | Braintree, MA,

If you’ve been a sales manager for any length of time, you’ve heard it all. All of the excuses…all of the “if onlys” that salespeople use to preface their explanations for lack of performance.

If you’ve been a salesperson for any length of time, you’ve likely used one (or more) of those “if only” excuses. They usually sound like, “If only this or if only that, I could or I would do such and such.”

Here’s an “if only” I heard recently: “If only the economy was better, I could get existing clients to buy more.”

Well guess what? The economy is better. It’s better this month than it was last month. And last month it was better than the month before… and the month before that.

The “if only” may have had some validity at one point in time (emphasis on “may have”), but you only get to use an excuse once. Then, you must do something. You must TAKE ACTION.

And what action do you take? The same action you’ve always taken. You get in front of prospects and customers, help them discover reasons to buy your product or service (or buy more of it), make your case, and close the deal.

When salespeople make excuses, it’s not because they don’t know what to do. They know what to do; they just don’t do it.

Why don’t they do it?

For some people, they don’t take action because they feel overwhelmed. There are so many things they could do, they don’t know where to start. If you’ve been in that situation, here’s a suggestion: start anywhere. You don’t have to do everything…only one thing to get started. It’s the “getting started” that counts. If you can identify one thing that will bring about a bigger result, or it will bring about a result more quickly, start with it. If you want to tackle the “hardest” task and get it out of the way, start there. If you want to pick the easiest task and “ease your way” into the process, do that. Just do something!

Other people don’t take action because they are afraid to fail. If fear of failure has ever held you back, here’s a dose of reality: you will fail. No one does everything perfectly every time. Not you. Not me. No one.


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