Myers Barnes' Editorial Archives
Great salespeople are always prepared whenever they are faced with quarterly performance evaluations. That's why they are never caught without a grab bag of sound excuses when confronted by their sales manager for not making enough sales. Here are a few excuses a salesperson can use to encourage nods of agreement and maybe even elicit a word or two of sympathy.
Sales Manager: So, I notice your sales are down this month. What happened?
Salesperson's response (choose one):
- The construction schedule for amenities was not met. How can I sell something my customers can't see?
- You made me role-play in front of a group. It unnerved me for the whole month.
- My people always come in when we have sales meetings, so I miss them.
- I haven't had my morning coffee and can't think right now.
- I took your advice, and it didn't work.
- I didn't take your advice and should have.
- My horoscope predictions said to take it easy this month.
- My best appointments are always scheduled during sales training.
- How can I make new sales when I'm focused on holding my deals together?
- Walk-in traffic is off.
- I couldn't get my mind off the declining economy. People just don't have money to spend right now.
- Hey, aren't I entitled to a social life?
- Weather or other natural events I have no control over have impacted the market and affected my sales totals.
- Walk-in traffic shows up during the most inconvenient times, usually when I'm trying to catch up on my follow-up. I can't do everything.
- It's not easy being me. I have a lot of emotional baggage to deal with, you know.
- I've been doing this for 10 years and have never had to use a computer or the Internet to make a sale.
- You expect me to memorize a script? I don't think so.
- The brochures are outdated.
- My spouse/significant other just won't leave me alone, so I'm having trouble concentrating.
- There's so much pressure knowing this is the month the professional shopper is doing on-site evaluations.
- My allergies are killing me. I'm not as productive as I normally am.
- I'm overwhelmed with work. I need an assistant.
- Once this (whatever) is behind me, I'll be able to focus.
- We need to negotiate prices.
- The orange barrels around the entryway construction have confused my customers, and they can't find me.
- Our registration policy is bad. Other salespeople keep stealing my customers.
- The co-broke community just doesn't cooperate.
- Space debris fell into the parking lot, and I've been busy helping NASA.
Of course, many more time-tested excuses can be used, abused and embellished. So salespeople should be creative but careful. Especially if they begin repeating the excuse, "My sales are down because my competitor is taking all my customers." That one just might be true.
Myers Barnes writes articles for many of the nation's top sales-related magazines and trade publications. Myers is also the best-selling author of Reach The Top In New Home & Neighborhood Sales and Closing Strong: the Super Sales Handbook. He is a nationally known motivational speaker and a consultant on new home and resort property sales. You may visit Myers' web site, www.myersbarnes.com or reach him at his e-mail address email@example.com .