Sales Leadership Friday: Two Deadly Words in Sales… “If” and “Then”

IfI can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard salespeople and sales managers use what I refer to as the two deadly words in sales: “if” and “then.”

Here is how this plays out:  If we could come out with a cheaper model, then I know I could sell more.

Here’s another one: If we had a decent CRM system, then I know I could track leads better.

You can insert almost anything you want into the “if … then” scenario, and that right there is the problem.  It’s too easy for salespeople and even sales managers to believe if only something, then they could something.

This kind of talk drives me nuts. And if you are a leader, I hope it drives you nuts too.

Salespeople and everyone else for that matter need to assume control and quit making excuses for what they are not able to accomplish.

The number of failures in sales that get blamed on something other than the salesperson is simply staggering and it has to stop.

As a leader, it’s your job to put a stop to any discussion you hear that has “if” and “then” in it.  Success is not dependent upon having everything handed to you.  Success comes by using what you have, regardless of what it may or may not be, and making it work.

Next time you hear a salesperson or anyone else use the “if … then” phrase with you, may I suggest you respond with something like this:

“If I had a decent salesperson, then I suspect we’d be closing more sales.”

Let them think about that for a moment.

No, it’s not about replacing salespeople. Rather, it’s about getting salespeople to use the resources they do have.

Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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