When It's Acceptable to Fail in Sales
I was a failure in my first attempt at sales. Looking back now, it was a learning experience but still I view it as unacceptable.
Another blemish in my past is when I filed for bankruptcy. That one, however, I accept and have made peace with. It’s nothing I am proud of, certainly, but I consider it an acceptable failure.
The difference is effort.
I could have tried harder to be a successful life insurance rep for Northwestern Mutual. I might still have failed, but at least I can say that I gave it my all and left nothing on the playing field.
As for walking away from massive debt, I know that I did all I could before standing before a judge and asking him to exonerate me from my financial burden. I felt no shame and had not one single regret. I did what I could ... everything I could ... and then signed the papers. I slept like a baby that night.
You might fail at your job in sales. It’s hard. Wicked hard. No one calls back and price is king and print isn’t in as much demand and you can’t get to the decision-maker and ... and all of the other sales challenges you face. One day, your boss might call you and say, "We need to make a change" and know that she isn’t talking about a new layer of paint on the walls.
If that day comes, make it so that you walk out devoid of regrets, that you did everything possible to succeed but could not grow your sales. You made countless prospecting calls. You were pleasantly persistent. Yours was the first car in the lot in the morning and the last to leave. You tried every suggestion and gave it your all ... but still failed.
Anything short of that is unacceptable.
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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.