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Trustpointe, Inc. | Indianapolis, IN

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by Tim Roberts

In a recent management session here at Trustpointe, we were examining the reason for underperforming salespeople. I posed a simple question: What holds your mediocre performers back from improving? The answers were many. Or should I say, the excuses were many.

The managers said their salespeople are not driven.
We say that's not because they are lazy, but because they don't know where they're supposed to be going.

They said salespeople are good at getting appointments but not at closing.
Not because they want to be professional visitors, but because they like people and want people to like them. Good Lord, what if the prospect would say "no?" Then they'd have to find someone new to visit and that would mean...the phone. Yikes!

The managers said salespeople can't hold margins.
But not because profitability isn't important to them. Many salespeople believe "It's not polite to talk about money."

Salespeople can't get to the decision makers.
We say it's not that salespeople like long selling cycles but that they tell themselves "It's not proper to bother important people; their time is more valuable than mine."

The managers said salespeople won't make cold calls.
Not because they won't go the extra mile, but because they think "Cold calling makes me a telemarketer--and I don't want to sound like a...salesman."

Salespeople give up too easily.
They don't enjoy the wimp designation, but back off because "Conflict is bad and I'll need to live to fight another day."

They don't listen well
We say that's not because salespeople suffer from "shiny object" syndrome, but because mom kept telling them to "Stop asking 'why' all the time. Don't question authority!"

Managers said their salespeople don't have a people orientation.
That's not because they don't like people, but because they tell themselves "It's not safe to talk with strangers."

What messages are your salespeople telling themselves that keep them from achieving more? If you'd like to find out how to "take out the trash," contact Tim Roberts at Sandler Training, Trustpointe, at or 317-845-0041.

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