Excuse Making

One of the most misunderstood findings from the evaluation of a sales force is Excuse Making. Sales Managers often don’t recognize the excuses but they are aware of the reasons why performance or results fail to meet expectations. In some cases, those very managers are the ones providing the ‘reasons’ for this month’s numbers. Reasons are essentially rationalizations and therefore, one in the same with excuses, and until we recognize that, excuses will continue to mount.

Excuses generally show up in one of four categories, which I call DUDE:

  • Defensiveness – why you are wrong in your appraisal of them
  • Understanding – why my prospect is doing what he said he is doing
  • Denial – they never agreed to that
  • Explanations – why they didn’t do what you expected them to do

How then do you eliminate excuse making from your sales force? I call this RAW:

  • Recognize it
  • Address it – “That’s an excuse.”
  • Warning – “I won’t allow that any more. You’ll have to take responsibility for your results.”

If an excuse maker is a DUDE, how many DUDES do you have? How often have you gone RAW? It’s never too late to start.