How to Turn Failure into a True Disaster
The club my wife I belong to is owned by its members. We are all expected to pitch in and volunteer in one way, shape, or form. Some do, most don’t. Not that I’m bitter. Much.
I remember being on one committee and planning an annual social event. Since committee assignment lasts two years, I figured there would be some members present who could tell us how things were handled in the past.
Well, surely there must’ve been notes taken. Who was the caterer? What band played? How many people were there? How did it go? What changes were suggested?
So, we dredged along with a plan, making the same mistakes as the last committee’s attempt.
John Wanamaker famously said, “Only half of my marketing works. The problem is, I don’t know which half.” My guess is, no one kept records from one campaign to the next. He would fit right in at the Club.
Printers suck at marketing. If it’s done at all, it’s not done very well. But even if you do it poorly, keeping track of what was done, how it was done, and the results keep it from being a total failure. Many successes are built on the foundation of a disaster. Case in point: transition lenses that turn dark in the sunlight were a failed attempt at something else. And Post-it notes only happened after a glue formula wasn’t sticky enough for its intended purposes. Even if trial and error results in nothing but error, there are lessons that can serve you, but …
… you’ve got to keep careful records.
The point of this tip is to encourage you to fill out your CRM with every detail possible. The point of this tip is to get you to document your marketing efforts. The point of this tip is to get you to evaluate your selling efforts with an honest eye. Otherwise, you are doomed to turning failure into disaster.
As the founders of Twitter once wrote to their early employees, “Let’s make new mistakes today!”
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.