By Leigh Ashton, Speaker, Trainer, Coach and Founder, www.sasudi.com

When a company fails, the usual reasons get trotted out; “unfavourable market conditions” “the longest recession since xxxx” “fashions have changed” “the internet”.

Maybe it’s the same if you don’t reach your sales targets?

In my book these all group together into one ‘not me guv’ excuse. Anyone hiding behind these reasons for a failing business or (closer to my specialist subject) lack of sales, is what’s called ‘in effect’. They are letting those external factors be an excuse for their own lack of achievement.

They need to look somewhere else. And if you know me well you’ll probably know where I’m going with this.

If you are not having the level of sales success you need right now, my question to you – and it’s a challenging question is…

How, by your actions or your non-actions have you contributed to your current situation?

Ask your team that question too, or these coming up…

For example…

Where have you procrastinated?

This is one of the most common causes of failure. Most of us are waiting for the “time to be right” to do those things that will make a big difference. Well the time will never be “just right”, so start where you stand, work with whatever tools you have, and find better tools as you go along.

Where have you shown lack of persistence?

Most of us are good “starters” but poor “finishers” of everything we begin. Many give up at the first sign of defeat. There is no substitute for persistence in sales.

How defined is your purpose in your job and your life?

The most successful people in sales and business that I’ve ever met knew exactly WHY they were on the path they were on. It wasn’t just for their professional success; it’s that they had a crystal clear vision of what they were going to do with that increased success. Many I meet who are struggling do not have that beautifully defined aim.

How are you developing your personality?

There is no hope of sales success for the person who repels people. When you reflect honestly, is your persona drawing people to you – or driving them away? If you’re driving them away, what adjustments can you make?

What do you believe about you?

What do you believe about your own sales ability? If you’re not achieving the sales you need it’s highly likely that your limiting beliefs are at play. You may be aware of some of them. Others are buried beneath the surface. Beliefs about yourself will massively impact on whether you hit your targets or not.

Where have you been over-cautious?

If you take no chances at all you’ll be left with whatever is left when others have finished choosing. Over-caution is as bad as under-caution and both should be guarded against. Remember though, life itself is filled with the element of choice, all day, every day.