In several posts recently, I’ve been railing against lazy, unimaginative selling. I have to confess, I have no tolerance for laziness, and tend to be pretty hard-nosed when I see it. Pardon my venting, but I just need to let it out.

Laziness is all around us, but it’s often hard to spot. Often it’s cloaked in a frenzy of busyness. We see it everyday.

  • It’s the tired old email campaign–poorly written, poorly executed, poor follow up (If you want to see me rail, read “The Email Query.“)
  • It’s not preparing for the sales call. After all, we’ve made 100′s of them, we’re fast, we’re nimble, we can shoot from the lip. And if we didn’t accomplish what we wanted, we can just arrange another meeting.
  • It’s pitching our products rather than helping our customers solve their problems. Why take the time to learn our customers’ business and how we can help them. We get paid on what we sell.
  • It’s not prospecting. Prospecting is marketing’s job–they just need to get the right leads–people ready to issue a PO!
  • It’s not following the sales process, instead, just letting the deal take it’s own time. We know the sales process maximizes our ability to win, shortens our deal cycle, and maximizes our margins.
  • It’s being so consumed by activity that we don’t take the time to plan. We’re just to busy doing things or making ourselves look busy to keep our manager’s off our backs.
  • It’s letting the competition set the agenda, not leading the customer yourself.
  • It’s not having a healthy pipeline. We load our pipeline with garbage–then we keep busy going after bad deals.
  • It’s chasing bad deals, deals outside our sweet spot, unqualified deals. At least there’s a lot of activity. If we start chasing quality deals, then we might need to find more, which means we have to prospect, which……
  • It’s not fulfilling commitments you’ve made to the customer, or being slow in responding.
  • It’s making excuses. We’re working hard, but marketing is not giving us leads, customers are dragging their feet, they don’t have any budget, our products aren’t competitive, our prices our too high, managers don’t understand us.
  • It’s not continuing to learn and develop. We’ve gone through training before, why waste our time on more training?
  • And on and on and on…..

I have a couple of big complaints about laziness. I think the biggest is laziness just takes too much time and effort! I’d rather just get things done.

It takes a lot of time to do things wrong, or poorly, then spending the time fixing it. It takes a lot of time to make excuses, whether they are to our customers, peers, or managers. It takes a lot of time getting back in to see the customer, because we didn’t ask them the right questions in the first place. It takes a lot of time and effort convincing the customer we won’t waste their time this time. It takes a lot of time to chase bad deals, calling on the customer, hoping, wishing, crossing our fingers, hoping some sort of miracle will happen. It takes a lot of time and effort trying to look like we are actually accomplishing something.

I guess I’m just too lazy to be a lazy sales person, I just want to get things done, then hit the waves to surf or the road with my bike — or do a few more deals to earn some more money.

Laziness just sucks the energy out of everything. It’s just boring and dull. It’s a drag on the whole organization. There’s nothing creative or innovative about laziness.

We owe it to ourselves to be better. We owe it to our organizations–our peers and managers to be better. We owe it to our customers to be better.

Yes, we all slip up. It’s human nature. It just can’t become habit.

Well I’ve spent too much time avoiding those prospecting calls by ranting, have to get on with things ;-)