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What Manchester City Can Teach You About Selling

Did Manchester City win the English Premier League because they made the least excuses?

As the football season progressed I definitely detected less regular excuses from the manager of Manchester City than I heard from the managers of the other major contenders.

“The referee cost us the match” “We can’t play our football if they won’t let us” “we’ve had too many injuries” “The fixture list is unfair”. That’s what the others said.

But whilst others made excuses, Manchester City took the initiative.

What excuses are you making?

Excuses can be very easy to find when it comes to explaining away disappointing sales performance – and especially when we allow ourselves to go and search for them. In 30 years in selling I’ve heard them all…

“The economy is against us”

“The competition is much cheaper”

“Our stuff just doesn’t appeal to old/young people, or men/women, or rich/poor people”

“Their budgets are frozen for three months”

“He’s leaving, I’ll have to wait for the new person to settle in”

“The leads we are being given are rubbish”

“Nothing but timewasters today”

And so on…

The problem is…

if you focus on searching for reasons and excuses for under-par results, sure enough you’ll end up with a world class list of reasons why you don’t have to reach your sales targets!

You’re in what I call ‘The Valley of Reasons and Excuses’.

Being in ‘The Valley’ is when you’re letting things happen to you and then using these circumstances as an excuse for a lack of action and lack of results. You’re being affected by stuff, letting it influence your thinking and stifling any actions you could take.

Take 100% responsibility for your sales results

Let’s be clear here – you are not responsible for the recession. You are not responsible for your customers being made redundant, or for their spending budgets being frozen. You are not in charge of every challenge that gets thrown at you as you set about trying to reach your sales targets.

But…you ARE ALWAYS responsible for how you respond! This is Sales psychology 101!

We can all find an excuse to shift the blame and place it on something or someone else when it comes to sales – but finding that reason doesn’t bring you any closer to your sales target. In fact it hinders you.


Before you start believing them! Instead, just keep asking yourself one magical question…

“OK, so if all that is true…what action can I take to get me closer to where I want to be?”

Everyone goes into The Valley at some stage, but the most successful people get out of The Valley the quickest and restore ‘normal service’.

Instead of languishing in The Valley, take control of your thinking – and your actions. Instead of thinking about reasons for a lack of performance, think about what options you have. It is this subtle change in thinking that can change your whole outlook – and results.

When you feel yourself going into The Valley – all you need to do is ask yourself that one question… I repeat it here “OK, so if all that is true…what action can I take to get me closer to where I want to be?”

And repeat that question to yourself every time you spot yourself entering The Valley of Reasons and Excuses. Instead of scouring for excuses, your brain will search for solutions.

Take back the responsibility for your sales results.

It’s all about the psychology of selling

Until next time.


For previous ‘Tricks of the Trade’ go here

About the author

Hi I’m Leigh Ashton of The Sales Consultancy

Whether you’re a small business or a leading brand, an area manager or a Chief Executive, whether you’re new to sales or an experienced sales professional. Even if you’re not in sales at all but want to understand it, you’ve come to the right place.

The World of Sales is changing.

Today’s conventional sales training doesn’t address the psychological barriers that get in their way.

My approach takes your sales team through a process that:

* Helps them identify their psychological barriers and gives them the tools to overcome them
* Teaches them how the mind works so they can keep motivated and stay focused
* Gives them the ability to identify the psychological patterns of their clients and prospects so they connect with them at a deeper level and close more sales

And at a higher level…

* It creates more success in other areas of their lives so they are happier generally…and happier sales people generate more sales

Wherever you are on your personal sales journey what’s the best course of action for YOU.

– Sales Training – that actually gets results
– Leadership and Management
– Personal Coaching and Mentoring
– Sales Mentoring Programme
– NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and how it can help you accelerate your success
– Keynote Speaking