Recently, I was invited to a speaking engagement at a local entrepreneurship seminar in
Harare. Knowing the audience I was supposed to present to, I did my research and prepared my
presentation to suit the occassion, but fortunately or unfortunately I was then asked to present
about sales. I accepted the request though it was totally different from what I had prepared.
To start my presentation I asked the attendees this question, “WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE
REASON WHY YOUR BUSINESS IS FAILING TO SELL?” Nearly everyone raised their hands, and
many justified excuses started coming through, among the top excuses were:
1. It’s the economy
2. It’s the Inflation
3. People don’t have money.
4. We are out of season.
Justified reasons right?
But I went further to enlighten them on this, yes the economy is bad, we are experiencing high
inflation in the region, people’s disposable incomes are shrinking by the day, and for some
business, they might be out of season which is true, but as a business, there is one thing which
is certain you will never cash in on excuses. You will always need to make sales!!!
So I went further to explain, the secrete to making better sales in your organization is through
taking full responsibility of everything. Having that victor mentality instead of a victim
mentality is critical because no matter how much you will blame external factors, at the end of
the month expenses will still need to be paid. You are in charge of both your external and
internal environments and it starts by your attitude.
If you will ever have an opportunity to visit any of my offices, one of the things that you will be
welcomed with first are stickers written boldly NO NEGATIVITY IS ALLOWED HERE. The reason
is this as an organization we don’t entertain blame games or negativity around us. It’s never
about the economy or anything else, but it’s always solely upon us to make life what we want it
You see, a lot of people don’t like taking the blame, but rather they always want to find a fault in
someone or something. They feel better when they associate or accuse their predicaments to
someone or something else and this is typical with most business owners and salespeople in
Zimbabwe; they are quick to blame everything to external forces, excluding themselves.
If you want to grow a sustainable business forget about external factors; start taking full
responsibility and blaming yourself if anything goes wrong. The first thing to do is to perfect
and invest in your internal sales process before you start pointing fingers at the external
forces. Most of the opportunities we have in Zimbabwe or Africa are because of the crisis
within our economy for example right now for a company that is into manufacturing, they will
be affected by the load shedding but instead of crying and playing the blame game that
production is being affected by load shedding find a solution, whether be it solar or a heavyduty generator. You never know as your competition will be crying the power outage could be a
chance to win more market share.
When you stop complaining that’s when you will begin to identify ideas, that can grow your
To succeed in driving in sales to the company two things are important which are: #1. Everyone
in your company should be a salesperson maybe not fulltime but everyone should be in a
position to at least sell your company products. #2. You will need a dedicated sales team
specifically to handle sales. Such a team should be taught how to pitch, present a proposal and
also how to close deals.
Failure in making tangible sales in companies is through having salespeople who receive a
basic salary only. Salespeople are supposed to be paid on commission only, or rather a small
basic salary plus commission. Professional salespeople pay themselves, they eat what they
kill. Salespeople are not supposed to be limited in their ability to earn. Giving them a basic
salary will create lazy salespeople who are not hungry for more. In some companies it is
shocking that some salespeople do not even have targets, they just working randomly. Other
companies have targets but no consequences for failing to reach the sales targets.
There is no need of keeping unproductive sales people, no matter how nice of beautiful they
are . You should keep sales assassins, heavy target hitters, who can give you more in your
organization. If you want to grow your business, don’t allow yourself and your staff members to
blame the economy or any external forces. If you fail to reach targets, the solution is internal,
Always remember that.