Credit: Illustration: Barry Blitt

Salespeople don't like to sell. I say this at seminars and sales reps and their managers protest, evoking their love of selling. Then I ask pointed questions and request that participants raise their hands in response. I ask: Have you ever ...

  • Had an appointment where the prospect was an hour late?
  • Had a lead where the prospects didn't show up at all?
  • Been allotted half the time you anticipated to make your presentation?
  • Been promised an order but didn't get it?
  • Lost an order to a lower price?
  • Had the contract turned down by the bank or finance company?
  • Had a contract cancelled by your customer?
  • Been required to work (solicit) around an installation?
  • Made a call in temperatures over 95 degrees or under 30 degrees, or when it was raining or snowing?

Then I ask: How many of you like or enjoy these tasks or circumstances?

Part of the Role

None of these situations are fun, yet they constitute a major part of a salesperson's responsibility.

Getting an order, receiving kudos for performance, being paid sizeable commissions, or winning a sales contest are the enjoyable parts of selling, yet they represent a relatively small part of a rep's time and activity.

Once managers recognize that most salespeople don't like to perform the less-enjoyable tasks associated with selling, there is a greater possibility of creating advanced training and employing motivational techniques.


Disciplined salespeople achieve the greatest earnings because they recognize that calling on prospects, staying organized, having appointments or orders cancelled, facing possible rejection, and overcoming objections is all simply part of the sales process.

In this tough economy, what changes have you made in training your sales reps to deepen their understanding of the sales role?

?Dave Yoho Associates is producing a Home Improvement Economic Summit ? Phase 2 in conjunction with the Remodeling Show, Oct. 27 and 28,