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elizabeth1985's avatar

Am I out of options?

Asked by elizabeth1985 (20points) November 10th, 2014

I’m in sales and recently my numbers have been low. I was given 12 weeks to boost my numbers, but they just haven’t been there. Today marks the beginning of week 12 and I don’t know what I’m going to do or if there’s any options. I’m nervous about this coming week and any advise would be great.

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7 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Welcome to Fluther!

There are options. Here are a few:
1.) Talk to your supervisor now vs. waiting to be called into the office.

2.) Put together a business case, if you don’t have one already. It’s not about providing an excuse, but an explanation for the low numbers. Are your counterparts also not meeting
goals? Have you been tasked with targeting a specific type of customer where there just isn’t a market for the product or service right now? Can you prove that attempts are being made?

3.) Do you really like the job? Are you selling a product you truly believe in? Is there another career path within the company that holds interest? If the answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions, then maybe this isn’t the job or company for you. It may be time to update your resume.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

Having left the resolution of this issue to the last week, you may very well be out of options. If I were your manager and you came to me at the start of Week 12 of a 12-week grace plan and said, “Okay, now what can I do?” I’d guess that you really hadn’t given a lot of thought to the process – and the consequences.

So maybe I’m wrong about that. Let’s hope so.

What you do need to do, and the sooner the better, is request the meeting with your boss to review the serious, defined and quantifiable things that you have done to attempt to rectify the previous shortcoming. If you don’t really have a lot to talk about in this meeting, then (seriously) I would simply be asking for a recommendation for your next job, elsewhere, because if you were given three months to show improvement and hadn’t even made serious plans and attempts to fix the problem, then you weren’t very serious about it. That would be a lesson for next time, on your next job.

You cannot simply shrug and take a fatalistic “there was nothing I could do” attitude, or “it’s the weather” “the economy” “the season” etc. You have to have made some real attempts – documented – to fix the problem. Ideally, you would have had this meeting with your boss two months ago after the first month saw no measurable improvement, and still you have to be able to show “this is what I tried.”

Buttonstc's avatar

The plain truth of the matter is that not everybody is meant to be a salesperson.

If there has really been no measurable improvement in your numbers (as compared to your colleagues) then you might have to just face the fact that sales is not a good fit for you.

3 months is a pretty decent amount of time for your supervisor to have given you, objectively speaking.

Perhaps the reason for your not having shown more initiative to improve is that you just plain don’t like the whole process of garnering sales.

There was a period of time in my life when I was taking a series of sales jobs temporarily just to get by until I could get back to teaching.

And I eventually came to the point where I just had to face the fact that even tho I was pretty good at sales (I was never fired but I often quit and moved to a different product) I just did not like sales. It just wasn’t a good fit for me. No matter what I tried, it just wasn’t exciting or rewarding for me, even tho I was having some amount of success at it.

So, only you can decide whether this is true for you. I’m guessing this may be the case because you’re almost at the end of this 12 week period and haven’t shown much initiative on your own to make whatever changes were necessary (or to even find out HOW to make those changes.

That would suggest to me that you have little enthusiasm for sales but might very well blossom in some other type of endeavor. Sales can be a very discouraging way to make a living if you’re not loving it because there is a goodly amount of rejection that just automatically comes with the territory.

Someone who is a born salesperson has the attitude that it may take ten NOs to get to that one YES, so let’s get them out of the way as fast as possible.

Someone who is not a natural salesperson dreads every single NO that they encounter and it just discourages them further.

Try to honestly assess yourself as to which of these two best describes you. If it’s the second, then find something else rewarding ASAP.

Perhaps your supervisor is doing you a kindness to to bring this to light so that no more time is wasted in a fruitless endeavor.

Perhaps she may be able to give you some insight into what may be a better fit for you.

chewhorse's avatar

That’s what I despise about commission work (next to salaried) the boss’ expectation can far exceed even the state of conditions in the nation.. Most times they invision that a good salesman will find a way to excel regardless the nation’s condition.. That they were driven is one thing but not all of us are willing to lie, cheat and steal for personal recognition and profit. I say this because my mom got caught up in a sales scam, she paid at least five times the worth of a product that she really didn’t need because the salesman wouldn’t take ‘No’ for an answer. I would never become a ‘salesman’ because I value my morality and would not sacrifice it lightly. Insurance and such are not salesman as the customers come to them so don’t mistake my interpretation of the profession..

Buttonstc's avatar


You have a valid point there.

Interestingly, I figured out early on how to weed out the pyramid schemes (scams) and other dodgy endeavors.

But still, even if the product was as promised and not being misrepresented, sometimes the tactics themselves were kind of dodgy.

But, it’s still possible to have a decent product and a straightforward (non-deceptive) commission structure along with ethical training and it still sucks if one just isn’t cut out for sales.

I worked for several companies where there was no deception required and no ethical compromises taught in training and STILL couldn’t work up the necessary enthusiasm to excel. To get by? Yes. But to really look forward to showing up for work every day? Nah, not so much.

That’s when I knew for sure that it just wasn’t a good fit for me. If there we’re no ethical problems with the company, the product or the sales methods then the only conclusion was that the problem was with me.

The folks who truly excelled at it had that attitude of “Every NO gets me that much closer to the one YES that I need”

That just didn’t work for me and no amount of trying to talk myself into it was sufficient.

I knew for certain that I wouldn’t associate myself with an ethically compromised operation, but even the decent ones just weren’t for me.

But it still surprised me to finally realize that.

Some lessons you just learn the hard way :)

josie's avatar

Maybe you’re just not a sales person. I know I am not. The secret to success is not do something you can fail at.

ibstubro's avatar

It depends on your age, education and experience.

Then we can give advice.

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