Have you ever had a perfect sales call?  I’ve had some but the majority are near-perfect at best. Striving to be perfect is great – and using all our great skills,  processes and tools helps us accomplish what we need.  And yet I see some sales people’s need for perfection as a barrier to higher success for themselves and their company.

As you read the following scenarios, who comes to mind?

  • Spending hours finding the “right” font for the PPT slide.
  • Revising a proposal dozens of times and having several others look too.
  • Using the dictionary, thesaurus and other reference sources to find the “perfect” word to describe something in a follow-up message.
  • Focusing on the “what” of a presentation more than the “how” to tie into the audience.
  • Stressing knowledge and features when explaining what they do.
  • Working and reworking a message before picking up a phone.
  • Delayed contacting of prospects because there isn’t enough yet (enough info, detail, specifics).
  • Not knowing when to stop looking for more information to add in – after all the Internet has EVERYTHING if you search long enough.

Recognize any of these tendencies in yourself?  Or others on your team?  These are all signs of what we call Over-preparers.

Many sales pros have some over-preparer tendencies, and sometimes they serve us well.  Yet many times they cost us more than we gain.  How much productive and proactive activity is not completed because of the focus on small details? Are the gains a good return on the input?  Something to think about isn’t it?  Sometimes 5-10 minutes of focused preparation for a sales call is MUCH more effective than two hours.

Instead of striving for elusive perfection, step back and consider your efforts, at what level of “rightness” can you stop and move forward to something we know works…ACTION!  Sometimes imperfection is perfectly acceptable.   And memorable…


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