Top 5 Reasons That You Might Suck at Sales

#5) You’re Lazy

You “fell into” sales because you believed there was no structure or rigorous discipline required.  And while there is no one telling you when to get your sorry ass out of bed, or watching you when you clock out after lunch, there is a structure and discipline that is required for successful selling; especially today.  If you don’t have the gumption to create this structure and discipline for yourself, for God’s sake get someone to help you.

#4) You Speak Like a Moron

If every phrase or sentence that comes out of your pie hole is an overused metaphor, buzzword, or analogy, then you need to relearn how to speak.  After all, if you want to be on the same page, hit the ground running, and have your ducks in a row, then you need to zoom out to a 30,000 foot view and realize that your buyers have seen this movie before.  They’ve seen all the robust, seamless, cutting edge, actionable, and epic products and solutions out there.  If this sounds like you then you need to reach out to someone for help.


#3) You Don’t Care About Buyers’ Goals and Objectives

Being in sales presupposes that you have high economic values.  However, if all you care about is YOUR financial gain then you are wasting your buyer’s time AND you won’t achieve your goal.  The current buyers’ landscape requires that sellers have a vested interest in the outcome of their buyers.  While not caring about the buyers’ outcome may have short term success, you will eventually be found out.  The law of Karma is amplified in a hyperconnected world.  If this describes you then you need help reconnecting with WHY you are doing what you are doing.  Get help please.

#2) You are not prepared

Because of #5 and #3, you don’t bother to prepare.  You believe that your looks, charm and ability to think on your feet will win the day.  Buyers aren’t impressed.  Not only do you have to understand your buyer’s business but you have to add something to their understanding of their business. You have to change their minds about how they view their business.  This requires preparation.  If you don’t know how to effectively prepare for a buyer engagement then please get some help.

#1) You are Completely Full of **it

There is absolutely no connection between who you are and what you do.  Some call this a lack of congruence.  I call it living a lie.  Your buyer calls it an endless and unrelenting stream of BS.  Breaking through in this selling environment requires authenticity.  That means being in true alignment with why you are doing what you are doing.  It also means being in true alignment with your buyers’ goals and objectives which, in most cases, occur AFTER you close the transaction.

If you are afflicted by these symptoms don’t be too hard on yourself.  These symptoms are the result of years of poor instruction and bad conditioning.  It takes real commitment and courage to eradicate them from your life.  If you or someone you know are plagued by these issues please do us all a favor, and reach out for help.

Where is your power going?


Have had the pleasure over my lifetime to study the art of Aikido.  My Sensei was David Shaner, pictured above.  The value of Aikido for me has been to apply the principles to daily life.  In Aikido training, the question is frequently asked, “where is your/their power going?  Most commonly it is asked when the uke (attacker) grabs the nage (one being attacked) in any number of ways.  The job of the nage is to respect that direction, sense where the uke’s power is directed, put him or herself in alignment with that direction and safely immobilize the attack.

I was thinking of this concept in the context of “closing” a deal.  As I wrote in a previous post, closing is purely a sellers term generated from a seller’s perspective.  From a buyer’s perspective there is an entirely opposite perspective on this part of the process.  For the buyer, “closing” is in fact “opening” or commencement of the journey to value for what they have purchased.

I would guess that 80% of all sales training, coaching, management focus, is directed towards closing.  But the focus on closing is way out of alignment with what the buyer’s focus is on — which is ultimately recognizing value for what is purchased.  Finishing up the initial agreement – closing –  is simply a step towards achieving the value.

One of the reasons that salespeople lose control of deals towards the “close” is because the prospect senses that they are not in alignment with helping the client generate value.  In your next sales cycle, constantly ask yourself where your power is going?  Focus your power on value and generate excitement about getting started!

The Sales Lexicon


Have you ever heard how most salespeople talk?

Let’s take for example the sales “pitch”.  Salespeople make
“pitches” to their prospects.  Salespeople are the pitchers, and
prospects are the batters.  If we take the analogy further, the pitcher
tries to strike the batter out and send him back to the dugout with
nothing for his effort.  Wait, there’s more… Companies want their sales
people to be able to make this pitch, if, by chance, they are in an
elevator with one of their prospects.  Is it any wonder that
salespeople get a bad wrap?

Salespeople struggle to “close” deals.  The prospect  wants or needs
the product or service but it seems that they are trying to keep the
deal “open”.  The problem is that while it may be the end of a process
for the salesperson, it is just the beginning for the prospect.  The
process of achieving value from the product or service has not even
started for the prospect.  No wonder there is resistance.

My point is that the sales lexicon is wrought with contentiousness
between sellers and the prospects that we are supposed to be trying to
help.  By talking this way we prepare ourselves for conflict with the
prospect. The way we talk and think about our prospects &
customers when they are not around, will affect the way that we treat
them when we interact with them directly.

One way to practice this is to go through an entire day pretending
that your prospects can see and hear everything you say and do.  Try
this and you will be surprised at what you discover.  My experience was
that I first noticed myself thinking carefully before I spoke with my
colleagues about different sales cycles.  After I got used to it, I
began to notice a heightened energy level within myself and my own
sales culture.  A much more constructive dialogue began to occur around
my sales cycles.  After all, if my prospects/customers were watching
me, I would want them to see a positive, constructive person who
is calmly and firmly looking out for their best interest.

The same rule applies here.  The way we talk and think about our
prospects & customers when they are not around, will affect the way
that we treat them when we interact with them directly.  Try this, and
you will be surprised at the change that takes place in your sales
culture and in your sales cycles.

Competitor or Partner?

We spend a lot of time strategizing about how to win over our competition in a sales cycle.  We have entire departments dedicated to finding out the strengths and weaknesses of our competitors.  And we should study and understand our competition.  But not to the point where we are blinded to what our competitor can teach us in a sales cycle.

If we look at the ecosystem of a sales cycle as a whole, competitors are necessary for us to win.  In that sense, your competitor is your partner in the selling process.  For example, if we end up on a short list with a particular competitor we can learn a great deal from them.

Before we begin “setting traps” or “creating FUD” (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) about our competitor we should unbiasedly ask and answer these questions:  What about their product, company, sales team is attractive to the prospect?  What is cool about their product?  Are they providing something beyond the product or service itself?  Who in the prospects organization is their champion and why does their champion like them?

If we think of our competitor as a partner in the selling process and honestly and objectively answer these questions (and others) it will give us great insight into what the prospect is looking for.  And if we combine what we learn with what we have independently discovered about the prospect, we will have the information we need to win the business.