Excuse Making

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Aug 15, 2005 @ 23:08 PM

One of the most misunderstood findings from the evaluation of a sales force is Excuse Making. 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 and excuses are one in the same and until we recognize that the 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.

(c) Copyright 2005 Objective Management Group, Inc.

Topics: Management, assessment, Lessons

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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