You’ve Failed! Well Done!

Hey, Newbie!

Congratulations on making a complete idiot of yourself on that phone call. That was awesome. And that meeting where you fumbled over your words? Brilliant!

You’ve had a heckuva first week, Rookie!

Failure is a great teacher. Years ago some guy said, “I have not failed. I’ve learned 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

I think his name was Edison or something.

Consider the alternative for a second. You play it safe. Your calls are boring. Your meetings are boring. You take no chances. You stay in the shallow end of the pool.

As a result, you never grow. You never change.

And, ultimately, you fail. But this failure costs you your job.

Good failure is your goal, Rook. Go make some mistakes that teach you what not to do. Think of making errors as one more way that doesn’t work. If your boss is smart, he’ll/she’ll create a safe environment in which you can mess up and recover. If not, he’s/she’s probably gone through a bunch of sales reps and is wondering why they just don’t work out, not realizing that the real problem is in the mirror each morning.

So, get out there and fail. Say the wrong thing. Do the wrong thing. But, listen…

Make new mistakes today, okay?

Bill Farquharson is a Vice President at NAPL. His training programs can drive the sales of print reps and selling owners. Check out his Sales Resources page and contact him at (781) 934-7036 or

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
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  • Kelly Mallozzi

    Wise words from a guy who’s probably failed a million times given how old he is!