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Laziness Takes Too Much Time And Effort!

by David Brock on July 23rd, 2013

In several posts recently, I’ve been railing against lazy, unimaginative selling.  I have to confess, I have no tolerance for laziness, and tend to be pretty hard-nosed when I see it.  Pardon my venting, but I just need to let it out.

Laziness is all around us, but it’s often hard to spot.  Often it’s cloaked in a frenzy of busyness.  We see it everyday.

  • It’s the tired old email campaign–poorly written, poorly executed, poor follow up  (If you want to see me rail, read “The Email Query.“)
  • It’s not preparing for the sales call.  After all, we’ve made 100’s of them, we’re fast, we’re nimble, we can shoot from the lip.  And if we didn’t accomplish what we wanted, we can just arrange another meeting.
  • It’s pitching our products rather than helping our customers solve their problems.  Why take the time to learn our customers’ business and how we can help them.   We get paid on what we sell.
  • It’s not prospecting.  Prospecting is marketing’s job–they just need to get the right leads–people ready to issue a PO!
  • It’s not following the sales process, instead, just letting the deal take it’s own time.  We know the sales process maximizes our ability to win, shortens our deal cycle, and maximizes our margins.
  • It’s being so consumed by activity that we don’t take the time to plan.  We’re just to busy doing things or making ourselves look busy to keep our manager’s off our backs.
  • It’s letting the competition set the agenda, not leading the customer yourself.
  • It’s not having a healthy pipeline.  We load our pipeline with garbage–then we keep busy going after bad deals.
  • It’s chasing bad deals, deals outside our sweet spot, unqualified deals.  At least there’s a lot of activity.  If we start chasing quality deals, then we might need to find more, which means we have to prospect, which……
  • It’s not fulfilling commitments you’ve made to the customer, or being slow in responding.
  • It’s making excuses.  We’re working hard, but marketing is not giving us leads, customers are dragging their feet, they don’t have any budget, our products aren’t competitive, our prices our too high, managers don’t understand us.
  • It’s not continuing to learn and develop.  We’ve gone through training before, why waste our time on more training?
  • And on and on and on…..

I have a couple of big complaints about laziness.  I think the biggest is laziness just takes too much time and effort!  I’d rather just get things done.

It takes a lot of time to do things wrong, or poorly, then spending the time fixing it.  It takes a lot of time to make excuses, whether they are to our customers, peers, or managers.  It takes a lot of time getting back in to see the customer, because we didn’t ask them the right questions in the first place.  It takes a lot of time and effort convincing the customer we won’t waste their time this time.   It takes a lot of time to chase bad deals, calling on the customer, hoping, wishing, crossing our fingers, hoping some sort of miracle will happen.  It takes a lot of time and effort trying to look like we are actually accomplishing something.

I guess I’m just too lazy to be a lazy sales person, I just want to get things done, then hit the waves to surf or the road with my bike — or do a few more deals to earn some more money.

Laziness just sucks the energy out of everything.  It’s just boring and dull.  It’s a drag on the whole organization.  There’s nothing creative or innovative about laziness.

We owe it to ourselves to be better.  We owe it to our organizations–our peers and managers to be better.  We owe it to our customers to be better.

Yes, we all slip up.  It’s human nature.  It just can’t become habit.

Well I’ve spent too much time avoiding those prospecting calls by ranting, have to get on with things 😉

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  1. Great post, Dave. None of us likes to admit they’re lazy. But when you spell it out, I’ve got to admit I’m guilty of quite a few of these. If you do lazy things, you are a lazy person. Thanks for the wake-up call 😀

    • Doug, great to see you commenting/tweeting again! Of course you are the only one who is guilty of doing a few of the things I outline 😉 We all do it, the important thing is to recognize when it’s happening and stop.

  2. John Sterrett permalink


    I enjoyed this one, because from time to time this is all of us. Hopefully not all these points at the same time, but certainly a few of them. Ours is a constant re-dedication mantra to get back in there and do it right.

    I am reminded of George Costanza on Seinfeld, when he worked with the Yankees. His actual job only kicked in during the playing season, so he spent the entire off-season trying to make the boss think he was busy.

    Then he had an epiphany. All he had to do was look annoyed all the time, and everyone thought he was too busy to bother him. One time they looked in on him, and he was frustrated from not being able to do the crossword puzzle, and they thought he was busy. Another time he was maniacally trying to swat a fly on the wall behind his desk with the nearest thing he had handy – the file he was just given to work on. Nobody gave him another file all week…. 🙂 Keep busy!

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