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Sales Pitfalls: Lack of System and Lack of Head Work

31 July 2014 4 Comments

Sloppy methods in any business produce failure. Lack of system may not make a person fail entirely, but unless a person is systematic she is subject to a tremendous waste of energy and money.

System means success; saving time; carrying out your resolves; having a definite time each morning to start to work, and starting; planning your work for a day, a week, or a month ahead; establishing regular habits of diet; doing things when you are not busy; keeping a personal cash account; having no time or strength to waste in dissipation of any kind.

Try to find a good source of information concerning your business, your industry, and your sales skills. Never depend upon the company for your inspiration, your sales scripts, new ideas, or anything else. Make use of everything you get from them and everything you get from other sources, but don’t depend upon them. Take care of this part of your business so thoroughly that the company can with profit borrow ideas from you, and do not be a bit afraid to supply them.

A person who is generous with his good will and his thought is the greatest philanthropist, and it helps to gravitate him to where there is more power. Don’t try to drive bargains so sharp as to be questionable. Don’t take advantage of the misfortunes of others or of the company to boost you. Be loyal, though you see the world slipping from beneath your feet.

Lack of Head Work

Head work means steering clear of pitfalls and yielding not to temptation. Let every struggle be up, up, up, and always up. There is sunshine above the clouds. Success is found only as you lift yourself above the pitfall stage. Head work means:

  • making friends
  • being a life of the party
  • cultivating a cheerful, entertaining attitude
  • doing things differently
  • making opportunities and using them
  • saying the right thing at the right time
  • adapting your sales presentation to the individual client
  • saving energy whenever possible
  • allowing your appearance, your tone, and your feelings to say more than your words
  • prospecting where others do not
  • getting others to work for you
  • making people glad you called, whether they buy or not
  • giving the customer credit for his opinion
  • turning objections into business
  • guiding the thoughts of others while apparently following them
  • making up your mind to get the fullest possible enjoyment out of your work and out of your life.

Be businesslike; collect your money when it is due. Put it off and you will lose the customer and perhaps what he owes you. To sum up, not to be alert is a dangerous pitfall. Perhaps disinclination is one of the greatest pitfalls of all. The person who doesn’t make himself do what he knows he ought to do digs his own grave.

Remember it never alights on activity. Don’t  put things off; don’t hesitate; don’t make excuses. You can occasionally fool your customer or your company, but you can’t fool yourself, and every excuse you make to yourself becomes a pitfall.

Lack of Self -Discovery

Another pitfall is lack of self -discovery. Thousands of salespeople fail because they don’t know they can succeed.

Dig down deep into the inexhaustible supply of power that has been yours from the beginning. You know you can. You have within you the key to power — the key that will unlock every door — the door of success, of fortune, of genius. Shake yourself  loose; make yourself do what others are doing.

These are pitfalls not only in selling but in every other business. They can be bridged. They can one by one be filled with obstacles that have been overcome, and paved with the pure gold of character, of  intelligence, and enthusiasm.

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  • Alen,

    This is a great article for all of us to study. So often we try to do the physical work over and over again. Though the head work is what will save us and our business in the end.

    By systematizing the process we are able to create an experience for our clients and customers that gives them confidence to continue the relationship.

    Without these systems in place we are not able to create the confidence that our customers need to continue to work with us.

    This is probably the single most important and missing component in businesses today. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us!

    -Jared Knowlton

  • Jared,
    your comment is much appreciated!

    Let every struggle be up, up, up, and always up.

  • Hi Alen,

    What a collection of words you have strung together. My business is just a year old and though I have been very successful working for other companies, it’s a different ballgame when it’s yours.

    Reputation is so important when your own name is on the door. That said, I always do what I say I will do and represent companies that operate by the same rules. Credibility is all I have and I need to keep it with every person in my sphere of influence.

    Thanks for the inspirational piece!


  • Another great post Allen. I’m really enjoying what you say here. As a sales trainer and business owner, I can use every pearl of wisdom in your well written and well thought out post.

    Thank you!