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6 Lies Sales Reps Tell Themselves (That Hold Them Back)

Mark Jung

Jan 26, 2022

sales lies

Until fairly recently, salespeople have frequently (and incorrectly) been associated with lying, at least in the public consciousness.

However, thanks to the changes that have taken place in the profession over the last few decades, the days of the fly-by-night salesperson have mostly come to an end, and a new era of professional sales consultants has taken hold, whether it’s B2B tech sales, or your friendly neighborhood remodeling sales rep.

But many salespeople still fall back on lying. The difference is that it’s not their prospects who they’re lying to, it’s themselves. While we all tell ourselves lies to one degree or another, whether it’s because we are unable to see the truth, or because it makes us feel better about our situations and the problems we experience, the lies salespeople tell themselves can prevent them from succeeding at the level they’re capable of, and serve as a form of self-sabotage, despite their very best intentions. 

At Dooly, we’re are in the business of helping salespeople succeed, so we noted some of these common lies. While it might be difficult, facing the (sometimes harsh) reality of our situations is the best step one can take in order to perform at our highest capacity, and acknowledging the truth is critical for anyone who wants to go from where they are to where they want to be.

Here are seven lies sales reps tell themselves that frequently hold them back:  

1. It’s marketing’s fault that I’m not closing deals 

While there are plenty of instances where marketing might not be pulling their weight, an industrious salesperson will never shift responsibility to someone else.

Rather, somebody who takes their profession seriously will take it upon themselves to be a hunter, sourcing business through different channels and finding opportunities wherever they may exist. It might be comforting to blame marketing for all of our woes, but it won’t get us anywhere. 

2. Our competitors are always offering a much better deal 

Another way some of us tend to “explain away” our failures is by giving too much credit to the competition, and convincing ourselves that our products are not priced competitively enough to have a shot of winning the deal.

While this might be the case in some rare instances, most companies are priced according to market forces, and it’s unlikely they’d be in business for long if they chose otherwise. The competition might occasionally win, but if you’re losing deals to them all the time while your coworkers are closing deals, then you need to look inward.  

3. If I present everything the right way, this deal will close itself 

This is a lie that most sales reps grow out of at some point, but usually not before it costs them a whole bunch of deals.

Even the best sales presentations in the world aren’t enough if the sales rep doesn’t ask for the business, or, at a minimum, outline next steps and get commitment.

Sales reps tell themselves this lie because they don’t feel comfortable putting a prospect to a decision, but if they can’t get over their fear, then they won’t last long in the competitive world of sales. 

4. I don’t need to learn anything new to succeed

Salespeople sometimes think that once they’re adept at closing deals, the learning stops. This is usually due to misconceived notions about the profession.

Since sales doesn’t require a specialized degree, many of us assume that there’s little left to learn once you’ve mastered the basics. In reality, top sales reps are always striving to learn, whether it’s product knowledge, new technology, or new approaches to sales. Business is always changing, and sales reps who refuse to change along with it will inevitably be left behind. 

5. “I’ll change next month” 

At the end of the day, most of us know what we need to do in order to succeed. But there’s a difference between knowing and putting it into practice, and most of us are guilty of pushing the starting line into the future rather than making the changes we need to make right away.

For instance, a sales rep might understand that they’re not prospecting enough, and that they need to add a multi-hour prospecting sprint to their routine, but many will say that they’ll start the sprint the following month, or next quarter, rather than starting it today. Not only is this a bit of a cop-out, it’s also a waste of precious time. The sooner you can pull the trigger and get things moving, the faster you’ll get where you want to go. 

6. This deal is definitely going to close 

It’s hard to find a sales rep who hasn’t said this at one point or another. We all tend to convince ourselves that each new deal is a sure thing, especially when the prospect expresses interest and appears to be moving in the right direction.

That being said, if you have enough sales experience, you understand that there’s no such thing as a sure thing in sales, not until the paperwork is signed, payment has been made, and any rescission period has expired. It’s exciting to know that you’re on the precipice of closing a big deal, and it’s one of the joys that comes with working in sales.

But if you don’t fully understand that a deal isn’t closed until it’s closed, then you might just be lying to yourself. 

When you’re lying to yourself or stuck in a rut, Dooly nudges you to keep moving deals forward with call templates, live coaching, and notes and pipeline updates that sync to Salesforce. See Dooly in action.

Join the thousands of top-performing salespeople who use Dooly every day to stay more organized, instantly update their pipeline, and spend more time selling instead of mindless admin work. Try Dooly free, no credit card required. Or, Request a demo to speak with a Dooly product expert right now.

Mark Jung

Head of Marketing

Mark Jung is VP of Marketing at Sales Impact Academy. He builds B2B SaaS brands that dominate their categories by creating new strategic narratives that people rally behind. Mark is a great podcast guest, a stellar Fire Talks show host, and a bona fide leader in the revenue marketing space.