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I’m Negative Because My Team Is Failing! Now What?

Two days ago I wrote that negativity about your company is really an excuse, a diversion from the negative person’s own poor sales results. That’s my experience. It’s also my friend Mike Weinberg’s experience.

Yesterday I wrote about how you can help make improvements within your own company without being negative and without being a complainer.

And some time before that I wrote a post about some things you should consider before you quit your job. That post was also about making sure that you work on the one thing that you have reasonable control over: you.

Today, the mailbag brings this from Anonymous:

What if you’re negative because the company you work for has caused you to lose confidence in them because they can’t perform for the customer after you brought them in? I’m more than making my goal numbers, but I feel I either have to lie to the customer to get them to buy from us (not an option) or not really even try, because I can’t honestly say we can do better than our competition. Am I an exception to this rule? I don’t want to be a whiner, but I’m so frustrated…

Anonymous: Here are some ideas you might consider.

Dealing with Your Loss of Confidence

You cannot sell if you don’t believe. You have to believe in what you sell, and you have to believe your company is going to deliver what you sell. Your team has to keep your promises. This is why you feel that you will be lying to your customer if they buy from you. You don’t want to make promises that you know are going to be broken. We in sales deal in trust.

Your fear of your team’s failure to deliver is also why you are sandbagging your sales efforts. By not bringing your company the business, you don’t have to worry about the failure to deliver.

Anonymous, you can be a force for light.

From reading your email, I am not sure what you have or haven’t tried from my list from yesterday, but let’s explore a couple ideas.

Have you done everything you can to help understand why your team is failing? Have you taken your teammates to lunch to get a deeper understanding of the challenges and problems they are experiencing? Have you spent time in the trenches so that you can understand how you might help them?

Sometimes there are issues that can be resolved by asking your clients to change some of their business practices. They can help you make it easier for your team and still get them the results that they need. Have you explored how your clients make it harder for your team to serve them? Have you met with your clients to ask them to make changes that will make it easier and more efficient for you to serve them?

Have you included your team on sales calls early in the sales process to understand your client’s needs? Have you asked for their input into the solution that you sell the client so that you can gain their buy-in and so they can bring their resourcefulness to bear on the challenges? Do you know for certain that your handoff isn’t part of the problem?

Have you done everything you might to bring your team’s failures to the attention of your leadership team? Did you bring your leadership team ideas as to how to make the improvements necessary to deliver for your clients? Have you asked them how you can help them help you to make changes?

Are you certain your team cannot do better than your competitor just because they aren’t right now? Could you build a crack team of willing change agents to address the issues you are experiencing and brainstorm ways to leapfrog your competition?

You Are Not an Exception, But You Could Be Exceptional

Anonymous, your frustration isn’t anything that the rest of us in sales haven’t felt at some time (and if you are in sales and you haven’t felt this frustration, just wait. I assure you that your time is coming).

You aren’t an exception. But you could be exceptional. You can work with your company to help them improve and catch up with your success in sales. You can be the positive force and take a leadership role in making the necessary improvements. No one makes you a leader; you just take the role. You can use all of the attributes and skills that allow you succeed in winning clients and turn them inward to use them to sell your company.

I don’t pretend that this is easy. It isn’t. But you can choose to feel frustration, or you can choose to chip away at making things better.

Your success is directly proportional to how much you can take, and how much of a difference you can make. Be a force for light.

You don’t really need more questions than the ones embedded in this post, do you?


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