Sales agents experience failure every day: a sale that doesn’t go through, customers canceling a contract, failed presentations. What do the “Heavy Hitters” do afterward? That’s the important question.  Although it may be difficult to realize at first, many times failure can be a blessing in disguise. Not closing a deal is not a failure. In fact, it can open up new doors. If you analyze where was it that you failed and make corrections and changes it can become a very valuable lesson worth many commissions in the future.

1. Learn from Failures. Before you can learn from failure, you must know how you view failure in the first place. Are you one of those people who won’t even acknowledge the word “failure”? Or do you accept that it’s there, but then deal with it in a positive manner? Failure does exist. It hurts when it happens, it’s personal, and it is OK to be upset when a sale falls through.  You can’t change what’s already taken place, however you can be responsible for what takes place from this moment on.

To learn why you failed, stand back and look objectively at what happened and why.  It’s pointless focusing on what might have been. Instead, think of ways you’ll do better next time.

2. Attitude Matters. Recognize that your attitude colors your view of failure as much as the truth can. Perception will always win over reality. Sales agents start out with good intentions, but we are rarely trained to deal with our own fears. Over time, as we experience more and more rejection, we begin associating prospecting with pain, and fear takes over their selling. This just makes failure all the more likely.

3. Don’t Try to Avoid Failure. Trying to avoid failure is a fool’s game.  Failure isn’t necessarily bad. You learn from mistakes, maybe more than in any other way. If you are a skier, you know that if you don’t fall, you can’t ever get better. You need to push yourself or you’ll never improve.

4. Don’t Give Up. In sales, the lack of persistence is perhaps the biggest cause of failure. How many times have you tried setting an appointment with a new prospect, only to face rejection every time?  Then one day, out of the blue they interested in scheduling an appointment

5. Think Positively. Write down a list of your strengths and your successes, then after a lost sale or a presentation that didn’t win the sale, read these lists and remind yourself that you have not failed but are merely going through one of life’s learning experiences.

Failure is part of our business, its part of life. Whether it is crippling or empowering is up to you. The only one who ever put a label of failure on you is yourself.

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