-by Shamus Brown
Sales is a profession - yes a profession - that demands more responsibility of you than other jobs.
I've heard many excuses for not making your sales quota. Some of these I know well because I am guilty of using them myself.
Yes, some companies are screwed up.
And yes, some quotas are unrealistic for a variety reasons.
But excuses belie the real problem.
The real problem is not doing sufficient research before taking your sales job.
Before committing yourself to a sales position, you must determine for *you* if what you are being sold about the company, its customers, its products, and its competitors is accurate.
Ask lots of questions. Interview your new employer and its customers as much or more than they are interviewing you.
And realize that the only case where it's not your fault is when your employer out and out lies to you. This does happen on occasion - it happened to me in 1992. But this is by far the exception and not the rule.
If you ask lots of the right questions of the right people, then you can make a well-informed decision, and you won't have to make these excuses about not making quota again.
1. There is too much competition in my territory.
2. All of my prospects have already bought similar products from my competition.
3. My competition's headquarters office is right in my territory.
4. Our products are weak.
5. I don't have enough prospects in my territory.
6. My prospects are all broke.
7. My prospects are a real pain to sell to.
8. I don't have any prospects in the right industries.
9. The economy is really slow here.
10.Management had no clue when making up my quota - they figured it on the back of a bar napkin over a couple of scotches at this year's sales kickoff meeting.
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