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The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales:

30. Not Holding Yourself Accountable

By Steven J. Schmidt (4/11/09)

When sales people are heading down the dark alley of slumping, many of us put blame in the wrong area. We blame the territory, and say, "I need new area because I usually get a lot of sales, so THIS area MUST be bad." Or, "The people in this territory are not receptive. It's not me, so it must be the negative vibe on these streets." Oh, and you can't forget, "The competition's offers are so much better than ours. There is no way we can sell our product or service, because their PRICE is cheaper."

Well, I hate to burst the bubble, but all you are doing is not holding yourself accountable. There are always sales to get in any territory. You have to give yourself enough time to make a fair assessment of the area. If you are in a territory for 30 minutes and you just leave, that is not an accurate amount of time to tell if the area is lucrative. However, if you are in a neighborhood for at least 2-3 hours, and you do not have a sale or at least a solid lead, then you can think about moving to another territory. But, if you are ready to leave after 20 or 30 minutes, you need to ask yourself, if the problem is with you or the area.

Maybe you need to completely change your sales approach, from your personality of being extremely energetic to more mellow, or the other way around. Maybe you need to try and be more relaxed, and act like you are supposed to be there, instead of sounding so anxious or desperate.

That also relates to thinking that the people in the territory are not receptive. You can find out if they are receptive or not as long as you try to different approaches. The reason you need to change up your sales pitch is because what may work for one customer, may not work for another. Once again, try different sales approaches, such as different pattern interruptions, which you can read about in the Sales Planning - Attention Grabbers section.

Once you have tried various tactics and approaches, and you are not getting a strong response, such as a sale or a strong lead within 2-3 hours, then you can think about going to another territory.

Blaming the reason you cannot sell on the competition is a cheap way of not being able to sell the product or service you are supposed to promote. Think about it - what does that say about you? It says that you are only able to sell on price, and not sell on value or benefits. My next question, if I were your manager, would be, "Do you know our benefits? Do you know the value that a customer gets when they decide to choose our Internet service as their provider?"

The first question that you should always ask yourself when you are in some type of slump is, "What can I do to improve my selling technique?" Pointing the finger right away at anything besides yourself is taking the easy way out. When you hold yourself to higher level of accountability, you will be able to conquer your problems.

Remember that in sales, your job is to do as much problem solving as you can. Accountability is one giant step of problem solving, and will get you out of most sales slumps. You will feel good about yourself once you fight through your problems as opposed to run away from them. You do not always want to blame others or make up excuses. If you do that, you will always point the finger and never learn that holding yourself accountable is the true answer.

Hold yourself accountable, solve your problems and make more money along the way. That plan is a good recipe for success in the field.

More from The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales

  1. Walking Away - 2/16/09
  2. Not Looking Customers in the Eye - 2/16/09
  3. Talking Too Much - 2/16/09
  4. Not Listening to Customers - 2/16/09
  5. Not Knowing Your Product - 2/16/09
  6. Not Being Organized - 2/16/09
  7. Getting Distracted - 2/16/09
  8. Selling Price Alone - 2/16/09
  9. Not Getting Proper Rest - 2/17/09
  10. Getting Flustered (Lack of Production) - 2/19/09
  11. Leaving Territory Too Quickly - 2/20/09
  12. Being Rude to Customers - 2/23/09
  13. Being Too Content - 2/24/09
  14. Maintaining Poor Hygiene - 2/26/09
  15. Pressuring Customers - 2/28/09
  16. Not Having Fun - 3/2/09
  17. Not Closing - 3/3/09
  18. Lacking a Powerful Introduction - 3/4/09
  19. Not Following Up With Customers - 3/6/09
  20. Not Having a Strong Mentality - 3/8/09
  21. Lacking Discipline - 3/10/09
  22. Not Handling Objections - 3/12/09
  23. Sounding Desperate - 3/14/09
  24. Having Poor Customer Service - 3/17/09
  25. Not Taking a Vacation - 3/21/09
  26. Misreading Customers - 3/27/09
  27. Lacking a Unique Sales Identity - 3/31/09
  28. Not Letting Yourself Be Known - 4/6/09
  29. Not Having Patience - 4/9/09
  30. Not Holding Yourself Accountable - 4/11/09
  31. Hitting on a Customer's Wife - 4/13/09
  32. Acting Like a Salesperson - 4/23/09
  33. Overview - 5/23/09

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