Avoid These Common (and Lousy) Sales Excuses

When goals aren’t being met, it’s easy to try and find excuses to fall back on, rather than accepting responsibility. While you think these excuses may be valid, in most cases, they are not. With an adjusted perspective, some extra training and a good work ethic, you can accomplish your sales goals. Below you’ll find some of the most common sales excuses, and how to fix them:


“The competition is beating us.”

It’s inevitable that your competition is better than you in some way, yet you are better than them in other ways. Competition shouldn’t be a reason as to why you aren’t hitting targets.

According to Salesforce, a customer is four times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service-related vs. related to price or product. Being the cheapest does not always guarantee an appointment or sale. In some cases, lower prices can also lower the perceived value of a product.

Instead, sell value and service. Explain how your company is great for service or that your product is superior. If you can build a relationship, identify problems and present clear solutions, the customer will choose you over the competition. Simply define who your company is and what makes you different, then focus on being as exceptional as possible in those differentiating areas.


“Marketing isn’t generating enough leads.”

While website design and branding is important, it should not ultimately decide whether or not you are able to close sales. Maintain full transparency and constant communication to synchronize your respective processes. Everyone must be on the same page all the time, especially when solving challenges such as website design, product messaging, and lead generation. Blaming another department isn’t a valid excuse, even if some of your points are valid. Taking ownership of this issue and maintaining synchronization among teams is crucial in resolving this. Pick the best CRM (customer relationship management) software for your company with this comparison list.


“They’re happy with their current provider.”

…For now. Contracts end, and in a few months, they may be open to having a conversation about looking at other options for service. First, find out why they’re happy, as well as their level of satisfaction with their current provider. Learn how long they’ve been with the company. Once you know what you’re up against, you can be more strategic in your next moves. Be patient and nurture the lead. By maintaining the relationship, they will see you care about doing business with their company, and in return be more likely to do business with you. This indifferent excuse doesn’t have to be the end of a sales opportunity; it can actually be just the beginning. You can find more tips here to turn this icy prospect into a hot lead.


“Our goals are too high.”

Leaders sometimes do set high, overly optimistic goals. However, question their judgment only if no one else, or very few outliers have achieved those objectives. You can also look at the objectives and evaluate whether or not they are SMART goals. If a fair number of sales professionals are actually achieving their quotas, then using this line is a weak excuse. You have to stay committed, really want to achieve your goals and plan steps in order to accomplish them.


A positive environment and optimistic team is the key to achieving sales goals, so these excuses have no place at your company. The answer to most of these excuses lies in accountability. It’s easy to point fingers. It’s more difficult to admit shortcomings and seek help. A culture of accountability and responsibility starts at the top, with executives. Once it’s demonstrated that your company holds everyone accountable, excuses will be heard less and goals will be achieved.