Plain And Simple... Sales Professionals Do The Things That Sales Reps Find Excuses For!

larry levine Mar 13, 2023
“When you are willing to replace mundane excuses with hard work and your laziness with determination, nothing can prevent you from succeeding.”
Prem Jagyasi

What's preventing you from succeeding and soaring to even greater heights?

What's preventing you from becoming the best version of you?

Have you ever wondered why some salespeople pass the blame when the blame is obviously self-induced?

Let's face it, we've all made excuses. It has been a fluent rhythm in all our lives, it’s like breaking an addiction.

We do it way more than we care to admit! I'm raising my hand in guilt, as I have made mounds of excuses throughout every aspect of my life.

The stories in our head become the stories of our lives.

When we make excuses, we aren't giving ourselves a shot to succeed.

What would happen if you stopped the excuses, the mental gymnastics and trained yourself to try new things?

What would you learn?

What would happen to your sales results?

What would happen to your professional growth?

How are excuses hindering you?

One of my favorite quotes is by Craig Groeschel,

"We can make excuses, or we can make progress but we can't make both."

I have stopped counting the number of articles and comparisons between professional athletics and sales.

Let's just all stop for a moment, as we reflect upon the following...

Can you imagine a professional athlete operating with a sales reps mindset?

Once asked why he was so successful on the basketball court, Kobe Bryant looked right at a reporter and said: “Have you seen Los Angeles at 4am? I see it often because that’s when I start training.”

What time of the day do you start training?

In some instances, it's difficult to find the subtle differences in elite athletes which are noticeable. Their level of physical imbalance is minuscule.

What separates the good from the great? What separated Kobe Bryant from good athletes?

Elite athletes are skillfully tuned machines. They spend their lives perfecting their craft as they look to gain every conceivable physical and mental advantage over their opponents.

Success as a professional athlete or as a sales professional is simply a consequence of practice, repetition and discipline. There are no shortcuts. It's based on pushing yourself to do better and better.

Sales professionals remove the word excuse out of their vocabulary.

Sales reps consistently and openly talk about their work ethic, BUT are they really committed to it? Does the walk match the talk when it comes too putting in the necessary work? Where's the consistency and discipline?


I highly recommend reading The Power To Change: Mastering the Habits That Matter Most, by Craig Groeschel.

He opens part three of the book by asking, "Assuming today was a normal day, what did you do?"

"Whatever you did, chances are it was pretty much what you did yesterday and what you will do tomorrow."

Follow along with me as I share this excerpt from his book. As you read this, please think of your sales life.

"Much of what we do is not the result of conscious choices but daily habits. Duke University did a study and found that 40 percent of actions people take in any given day are the result not of decisions but of habits. We do much of what we do because it's what we always do. Your choices create the course and contours of your life. Your decisions determine your destiny."

If you want to change your sales life, change your sales habits.

If you want to change the direction of your sales life, change your sales habits.

If you want to become a sales professional, remove the excuses.

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“An excuse is a way of promising ourselves that we will have the same issue again.”
Henry Cloud

Plain and simple, excuses stunt sales growth. Excuses stunt relational growth.

They are invented reasons we create to defend our behavior, to postpone taking action or simply as a means of neglecting responsibility.

Excuses are a means of placing the blame of an internal problem on an external condition.

Excuses lead to stagnation, regret and finger-pointing.

Excuses are used to avoid responsibility. Shifting the blame avoids responsibility for failure, but it also removes the responsibility for learning from that failure.

“Excuses are tools of incompetence used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness, and those who use them seldom specialize in anything else.”
Vernon Brundage Jr.

Why do we make excuses?

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of success
  • Fear of change
  • Fear of uncertainty
  • Fear of what others may have to say
  • Fear of not meeting expectations

The roadmap to success for a sales professional is based upon disciplined work, personal ownership and practice. They hold themselves accountable to a process and they just do it!

Why do sales reps have difficulties doing what sales professionals do?

How willing, able and committed are you to practicing, planning and preparation?

This is what sales professionals hold themselves accountable to do every single day!


Sales reps with an excuse mentality fear negative outcomes and conjure up excuses to avoid responsibility.

Sales professionals hold themselves radically accountable. They hold themselves to higher degree of standards than sales reps. They have a no excuse mentality, and they don't point fingers when they fail to hit their sales plan.

Check this out... They hold themselves accountable even if their manager doesn't. What say you?

"He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else."
Benjamin Franklin

Sales reps love swimming in the sea of excuses. Many use excuses to rationalize their actions regarding the circumstances they've created for themselves such as... Why they didn't hit their sales plan, why they lost one of their best clients and why they don't have time to prospect.

One excuse follows another excuse which follows another excuse. You want to know what the real issue is here... lack of commitment!

When you only put half of yourself into something and then proceed to make excuses, you disrespect yourself, your manager and your company.

Half-ass efforts get you half-ass results.
  • How committed are you to the sales profession?
  • How committed are you to practice?
  • How committed are you to yourself?


A huge issue with salespeople can be traced back to lack of consistency and discipline. Simply, doing the right things right. 

Sales professionals do things differently than the sales reps. They practice with purpose, passion and pride.


They set goals and invest the mental and physical energy towards achieving them. They arm themselves with an arsenal of effort, patience, and persistence. They understand their journey is difficult. They are realistically optimistic.

Can the same be said for sales reps?


They understand, no matter what, there's always room to improve. This may involve learning a different technique, strategy, or even hiring a coach.

Can the same be said for sales reps?


Their success is built upon small sustainable and incremental changes. When those become second nature, they add in new challenges. Whatever their goal, they track their progress and are consistently consistent with practice.

Can the same be said for sales reps?


I encourage the self-centered and the "all about me" sales reps out there to kick your complacent mindset right in the backside.

Do you think a complacent mindset lands an elite athlete a new contract?

Athletes don’t come out of rookie training camp saying, “I’m shooting for average – average skills, average income and average performance.

Think back to when you started out in sales. I bet you didn't set out with the goal of hanging on, doing enough to just “get by”, or "winging it" by figuring out how to survive until you can inherit other sales reps accounts. Well, at least not in the beginning, correct?

You developed that mindset. You developed that behavior. You learned to settle. You failed to practice. You started to make excuses.

I'm positive the mind can be convinced of almost anything if you tell it the same story repeatedly.

So here lies the question to all of you in sales...

Are you happy with average results or have you just convinced yourself that’s the case?

Successful sales professionals are not lucky. They're consistently consistent!

Successful sales professionals do consistently what sales reps do occasionally.

Proverbs 13:11 NLT sums this all up well...

Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time

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