When “won’t” masquerades as “can’t”

When you’re leading an inside sales team, you might hear individuals tell you they CAN’T do something. It may be as small as a question they just can’t ask, or as large as being able to successfully win a complex business opportunity.

Today, let’s talk about all the times when a salesperson’s “won’t” comes masquerading as a “can’t”!

psst: click here if you need or want a full review of the Can’t, Won’t, Don’t Know How model.

maskCan’t are the things that someone is completely unable to do.

Won’t is where the person is capable, has the skills and knowledge they need, yet aren’t doing what needs to be done.

The big thing is to figure out if they are unable or just aren’t doing that something.

I’m not going to tell you that is an easy task to see past the mask, but my experience is that one reason many people say they CAN’T because they believe it is more socially acceptable than the flat out refusal of WON’T.

Think about the difference for yourself. When looking at something you don’t want to do or that makes you uncomfortable, are you going to tell your boss “nope I’m not willing to do that” OR is it easier to say “I’m not able to do that”?

The second reason is a little more difficult to unmask; the salesperson is saying CAN’T because that answer is their truth, right then. The barrier that they are facing is more of an emotional block or inside dilemma than one based on capability, skill, or knowledge.

Regardless of the reason, it is time to put on your sales coach hat and help the salesperson move through the realm of possibility, unmask their won’t and into real sales success.

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