Excuses and solutions for slow sales

Excuses and solutions for slow sales

By Vishnu Annapareddy, Centurion Organisation. He is a strategic partner to Appco Group Asia, conducting face-to-face sales and fundraising for Appco’s clients in both Malaysia and The Philippines.

In every industry, workers will come up with excuses for lacklustre performances, and sales is no exception. Here are five of the top reasons sales professionals give, and how they can be resolved:

Excuse 1: The customer is not interested

If every customer was interested in what a sales professional had to say, then why would the company need representatives? They might not be interested at first, but remember, the first no actually means customers don't know what you are proposing.

Make it interesting straight away. Say something to capture and keep the customer’s attention within the first 10 seconds of meeting them.

Excuse 2: The customers are busy

It would be a strange world, indeed, if every customer was constantly ready, waiting and available to hear your presentation.

Make sure you can break down your presentation for anyone on the run. Always have a 'movie' and a 'trailer' prepared. When customers have lots of time to listen, give them the movie, if they are busy, present them with the trailer.

Excuse 3: The economy is bad

This is not really in our control, but it’s no reason to give up.

The economy seems to be an intelligent excuse that smart sales professionals give. But no matter what the economy, people need to hustle to get their sales, so it’s not worth accepting as an excuse. Sometimes we just need to hustle a bit more.

Excuse 4: My territory is burnt

This is such a general excuse and often isn’t based on anything specific.

There are sales to be had in every territory. If a sales professional claims that a particular area is exhausted, they need to look at the number of sales done in that territory and then decide whether it needs to be rested or not. From my experience, we make this excuse because of two or three encounters with existing customers. Let the numbers speak.

Excuse 5: Customer is happy with existing vendor or supplier

Often they are and that is why they are doing business with them.


Don’t badmouth the competition and give yourself an unprofessional reputation. Instead, try to understand why they are happy with their existing vendor. It’s a great way to educate yourself about what customers really want.

Maintain a relationship with the person and keep them updated with your product developments - as long as you have a fishing rod in the water, you have a higher chance of catching the fish.

These reasons for poor performance often appear real, but they’re not going to help you improve. Instead, put the energy spent on complaining into sales and you’ll find there’s far less need for the excuses.

At the event learn 8 secrets to sales, which will be held on the 24th September at the Hilton Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, I will be one of four speakers from Appco Group Asia who have over 50 years’ collective experience in sales making this an unmissable event.

This event is now open for registrations, go to