30 wonderful excuses not to sell

It’s amazing the overwhelming creativity that many sales reps bring up, when to explain why a sale was not made. From the global warming and economic situation of the country, to competitive prices and the lack of support from other areas of the company; Everything serves not to take responsibility. From another perspective, it would be like renouncing paternity because “Raising children is exhausting”, “They come without an instruction manual”, “It costs a million education”, or because “It is a sadness the world that would bring them.” Welcome to Planet Earth!

That’s what you get

With this I, do not want to say that many of these situations do not exist, of course they exist. That’s not the problem. The problem is that he does not do anything about it. “The customer does not answer my calls”, “The economic situation is difficult in this area” or “The customer is married to the competition” are simple situations, not death sentences. That is the problem with the attitude of many sellers: They spend more energy in justifying why they did not sell, than in doing something and finding ways to achieve it. The fight is lost without even trying. It cannot change reality, but it can change if attitude to that reality and do something about it.

Are you hoping that all the conditions are in place to close a sale? Are you waiting for the weather to change, for the competition to raise its prices or for the company to invest more in advertising? My friend, that’s what it’s all about being a salesman. In fact, that’s what life is all about! To play with the real conditions, not with the ones we wanted them to be. As the beautiful and corny phrase says, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Our mission is to find solutions, not excuses; Take responsibility for our own destiny.

But if you want to continue hiding in all sorts of arguments to not achieve your goals, not to fulfill your dreams and not become what you really can be, here are 30 wonderful excuses that you can bring to light.

  1. “Competition is cheaper”

It has variations like “We are very expensive”, “We are not competitive” or even a more shameful, “That if we match the price, they prefer to buy from us” But of course they will prefer to buy from us! That’s why it costs what it costs. That’s exactly what it’s all about, sustaining its benefits so the customer understands why you’re a better choice, especially if it costs more. Remember your main mission: Demonstrate value. To sell cheap does not need sellers, for that a call center. To stop competing for price, explain your differentials.

  1. “The year is over”

“At this time of the year they have no budget”, “We are very close to the holidays”, “It is the election season and they are not hiring”, and “It is the beginning of the year and people have to pay schools and debts in December” Fall into this category of “We’re Late”. For the customer, it’s never late when you really need to sort something out.

  1. “He is married to the competition”

If this were the case, what will you solve better than your competition to consider it as an option? Note that I say what will solve better, not what discount will give or what additional concessions you will make. We speak of generating value, not of destroying value. Do not talk about the products you sell, but about the problems you solve.

  1. “I have not been trained

Assuming the strange case that your company does not effectively provide training; This is not an excuse not to seek a solution. With information of the company or external sources. If anything abounds in the world today it is information. Not receiving “formal” training does not mean that you cannot train. There are even sites that offer free online business training.

  1. “The customer has a lot of inventory”

If the inventory is yours, evaluate alternatives to increase the rotation. If you are a competitor, be aware of the next replenishment and evaluate how your product behaves versus the rotation of the competition to identify advantages for the customer. Be careful in “putting” more account product. Usually you end up costing the extra volume, because you first grant discounts for the placement, and then you have to make additional investments for it to rotate. Regular business. “Pay” to sell and “pay” for it to rotate.

  1. “I called him but he did not answer”

There are ways to track the proposals without driving the customer crazy. Calling or sending mails does not solve anything. Identify other contact persons within the client, but above all, identify other clients. There are ways to follow up the proposals and define a response.

  1. “The customer is very friendly to the competition”

Then also make friends with the customer. Build relationships and start generating value especially before you buy. In the end, selling is a consequence of building relationships. The sale begins long before you meet the customer.

  1. “Only purchase by price”

Customers buy by price when they do not make a difference. When they consider it easily replaceable because they see it as more of the same. The antidote for this is not to focus on price, it is to demonstrate the value it generates and even evidence the risk of not working with you. Do not assume that everyone wants to buy cheap, many customers are looking for better solutions. And if after doing the task of explaining and sustaining its differentials, the only thing that interests him is the price, then he is not a potential customer.

  1. “This area has been badly hit”

At some point, economic circumstances will affect one region or another, it is part of the dynamics of the markets. Think of different portfolio options to compensate for volume decreases in critical products

  1. “The customer cannot afford it”

The customer always has the money. And if you do not have it you will get it: Borrow, draw budget from another side, steal a bank or make a raffle. The customer always has the money, what he does not know is why give it to you. That’s another problem. It is not a problem of price, it is a problem of argumentation. Do not presume the shortage. Customers invest in what they need.

  1. “Competition gives them more leeway”

The fact that the product of the competition leaves more percentage margin to the customer does not mean that in the end it is more profitable. It is of little use to have a large margin on a product that is sold very little. It is much better to trade a product with lower margin but with much greater turnover. Remember the formula: Profitability = Margin x Rotation. So, your margin is smaller, if it rotates more, it can be more profitable for the client.

  1. “The quota is very high”

In the end, the quotas themselves are not the problem, but the resources and tools that exist to achieve them. Although at times an atypically good year creates a greater base of growth for the following year, quotas must be established based on what strategies can achieve. Whether or not you agree with the figure, there are two ways to address the challenge. One is to ask what you can do with your resources (limited focus and resource centering), or ask yourself what you need to do to achieve it (goal-focused approach).

  1. “It’s okay to cost more, but not so much!”

He may be aware of his differentials, but he is skeptical at heart. He knows he can cost more but is concerned about his higher price versus the acceptable performance of his competitors. After all, what is a fair price? How much more can you charge for your spreads? The answer lies in monetizing its benefits and spreads.

  1. “We are a commodity”

One of the favorite excuses of those who sell bulk or highly competitive products with atomized suppliers is that “As we are commodities, the only thing that matters is the price”. The markets are not the commodities, it is the companies that become commodities for ceasing to innovate and differentiate. It only becomes commodity the day you see yourself as such. Commoditization is above all a mental state.

  1. “There is no product”

Sometimes lack of supply is a limiting factor. True, sometimes you have to sell despite the company. But we go back to the same thing, you can stay crying over the spilled milk or sell the products you have in inventory. Find out what is and what is not, before committing to customers. It is to assume reality and play the best cards.

  1. “Competition gives them things”

This situation will always exist. Always someone will be willing to leave the market before one. Always someone will want to buy market with all sorts of trips, bonuses and gifts. Focus on generating differentials and sustaining the value it generates. The vast majority of customers will not be willing to sacrifice certain guarantees or take risks, for a few bonuses.

  1. “We do not have marketing”

“It’s that marketing does not give us the tools”, “It’s that we do not do enough publicity”, “It is that we do not have promotions”. Take charge of what you control and use the tools at your fingertips. Get inspired, argue your differentials, take the initiative and surprise your customers with details they love. Do not stay waiting. Your results can not be at the mercy of whether or not you have promotions this month. They are different expectations. That is why marketing and sales are not understood.

  1. “I sell the full reports”

This is to translate the problem. Do not take responsibility for the results. Like everything in life, we must sell and fill out the reports. However, if you consider that reports do not generate any value and are a waste of time because you do not use them productively, that is another problem. Discuss it with the editors and adjust what you need to adjust. Simplify the processes but do not stay in the excuse of lack of time.

  1. “This area is very difficult”

If it were easy they would have given it to someone else. There are areas that historically have been difficult for certain brands. That is precisely why they put him in charge. Show that you are able to turn the results around. Start by identifying the root problems and set concrete actions to reverse the trend.

  1. “Our product / service is not so good”

We tend to overestimate what the competition offers and to underestimate what we sell. Sometimes it seems like we buy more from competitors than our own arguments. Competition products, activities and initiatives look more attractive than their own. Dig into your fortresses and be proud of what you sell. And if you do not believe or trust what you sell, why did you accept the job?

  1. “I cannot cover the entire market”

While it may be true, there are ways to get organized. Set priorities for care and rank your clients according to the profile of each. Prospects start with those who are most likely to become customers and follow in stages from then on. Stop chasing the wrong customer and focus on those for whom you generate more value and pay for it.

  1. “Other areas do not help”

The logistics, finance and portfolio areas have their own indicators and often the lack of communication is the main cause of bad customer experiences (and therefore low sales). Walk the complete route that clients follow and identify critical points of contact that can affect the experience and work with the area responsible to solve it.

  1. “No one is buying now”

It is a common generalization when there are specific economic situations or special circumstances that generate prevention in customers and consumers. However, the world continues to spin. People have to keep eating and businesses have to keep running. If it acts with prevention and presumes that people are not buying, it will not sell. Understand that the world continues and you will see the results.

  1. “At present they are not evaluating suppliers”

Of course, unless you have something relevant to offer and you solve something better than what exists and has proven your client, why would you take the risk of working with you? The problem is not the denial of customers to new options, the problem is that they are not really new options. That is your responsibility.

  1. “The business fell”

Business does not “fall”; Are dropped. Businesses “fall” due to lack of follow-up, lack of information or because they were never a viable business from the beginning. Understand the requirements and motivations of customers, as well as how best to solve them, and prevent many businesses from falling into the hands of the competition. It is always very risky to depend on few clients with large volumes, where with one that fails, the compliance of the month falls.

  1. “The boss is on the road”

It’s the same as saying, “I called but did not answer,” or “My contact has not been able to present the proposal to its boss.” If customers are clear about what you are solving, they do not solve their competitors in the same way and that is critical for them, they will pay more attention. This is what we call the Commercial Trinity. Evidential the risk of not working with you and how relevant is your solution.

  1. “Purchases are evaluated by savings”

Of course, already you by sales. This is like saying, “We have to give discounts because that’s why they evaluate the Purchasing person.” The savings are not only obtained through lowering the price of the suppliers but of achieving more efficient solutions that improve the performance of the client, so that in the moment it is seen as a major investment. Its mission is to demonstrate why even though it costs more, in the long run it is better business for the client (greater savings or increase in productivity).

  1. “That for now they do not need what we sell”

This is the excuse of a novice salesman who focuses on selling products and not solutions. Remember the principle: We do not like being sold, but we love to buy. Do not miss the radar of the prospects. The fact that someone is not a client today does not mean that it can not be tomorrow.

  1. “Not yet defined, I am pending”

Sometimes for lack of follow-up and sometimes for simple postponement of the client, a project can be delayed. However, a continuous follow-up and cultivating other clients and prospects avoids the need to depend on a large client.

  1. “Competition has multiplied”

That’s right, 10, 20 or 30 years ago, there were far fewer competitors. In every industry, specialized options have emerged that become attractive to many customers. The problem is not that there are many competitors, the problem is to remain the same to them. Differentiated brands are less vulnerable to attacks from new competitors, especially low-priced ones.


It is not that many of these situations do not exist, of course they exist. The point is that you cannot disable it to achieve your goals. Do not wait for things to change by the work and grace of the holy spirit. Stop complaining and make things happen. Take care of yourself.

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