Date: 22/04/2015 | By: Liz Painter

Our sales specialist Nigel Dunand from Sandler Training shares some of the excuses that your sales people are probably making to you. Or perhaps you might have made some of these excuses yourself?


We all know the old, well-worn joke;

Q. How do you know when a sales person is lying?

A. Their lips are moving.


This joke resonates with many of us as we remember all the times we have been miss-sold, or listened to exaggerated claims made by those over enthusiastic sales people. By that I mean “Those” sales people. Not us or our people. Of course not!


Yet the real whoppers, the most damaging untruths are not what sales people tell prospects. It is actually what they tell their colleagues, it’s what they tell you, the boss, and most insidiously, themselves… Lies and excuses masquerading as reasons.


Have you ever noticed when a sales person wins a deal it was because of what they said or did? Yet when they fail to close the deal it was always because of something apparently outside of their control?


Here is what I mean.


See my list of top 10 excuses. (Feel free to send me yours!)






The target was not realistic

I failed to build/action/fine-tune the correct plan to make the mutually agreed plan achievable.


It’s the economy/market

I failed to update the old plan that used to work to fit the new reality.


Lost a big account unexpectedly

My plan failed to take into account the likelihood of losing a big customer.


Our delivery/quality/service has issues

Our plan was based upon false assumptions. I did not adjust it to the reality of the company’s capabilities.


Marketing is not generating enough leads

Our prospecting plan and our prospecting skills did not get us in front of enough new opportunities.


Our price is sometimes too high

Our prospecting plan and our prospecting skills did not get us in front of enough right opportunities.


Competitors have an unfair advantage

We do not have the skills to effectively identify how we need to position ourselves when we face competition.


Lost a key salesperson

My plan failed to take into account the loss of a key person.


Customers can’t make timely decisions


We don’t have the skills to identify the real decision making process.


It’s just not possible to build and implement a plan that guarantees success

 My self-fulfilling beliefs provide me with an excuse for inaction.


So, why do they lie to themselves and us?


One reason is that it is more comfortable to do so than confront the truth, the other is that we let them.


We let them and ourselves get away with failing to take responsibility and ownership, we fail to get to the uncomfortable truth. We avoid the difficult conversation and we too choose the lie instead because… It is easier.


“Truth will set you free”


Tired of falling victim to these types of lies, excuses and B.S? If you’re open to an alternative then contact Nigel about his sales masterclasses. Visit his profile here for his contact details.