Sales Training: For Top Salespeople Failure Does Not Exist

Even the best salespeople do not close on every prospect. As a matter of fact, in most cases and in most industries it would be fair to say they don't even close on the majority of the cases (and definitely don't close on all of the opportunities). HOWEVER, top producers have a very different view of "failure". Top achievers view failure as not taking action on opportunity. They know they can only succeed by "going for it".

As a matter of fact, in my sales training programs top producers often share the viewpoint that if they are closing on every lead then they aren't calling on enough prospects and are just "cherry picking" the best leads. They know success is in the numbers as well as in the sales skill. In our training program reps learn that even top achievers must continually improve their sales skills as well as increase the volume of opportunities they pursue.

Wayne Dyer, a famous motivator, teacher, and author, had a saying about fear of failure: “You cannot fail, you can only produce results.” Such a powerful statement! Failure is a matter of interpretation, not a fact, thus it is simply a matter of your perspective. When you begin to see your actions as steps toward producing your desired results while you continually learn and grow you are always succeeding. Failure simply doesn’t exist unless you choose to not take action.

Have you, at times felt blocked from taking action and that procrastination was your biggest sales challenge? If that is the case, "fear of failure" may be the cause. If you believe each presentation must be perfectly planned before you can even call on a prospect, you are thinking your way into inactivity. If the result must be the perfect presentation in order to maximize each lead, you will miss many more opportunities while continually waiting (or endlessly tweaking) before calling on a prospect will ever yield.

There’s no way to avoid some sales not closing since there will always be some variables outside of your control. And if you are new to sales (or anything else in life), there is always a learning curve. When you are first trying something for the first time (or the first several times), you are going to lack the grace and reflex response that only comes with experience. Whether it dancing, race car driving, or sales you just might trip, stumble or fall on your face. Even if you "make a fool of yourself," when you look back it is nothing more than a funny story and likely one of your best life long sales lessons. Hence, knowledge combined with experience is power. Once you get that lesson, you will open yourself up to trying many new things and pursuing countless opportunities as well as prospects.

Sure, it might be nice if there was a never ending stream of prospects that came up to your door saying, “Hi, I heard you have everything I need, so here is my money, just write it up", So, you won’t have to worry about failure, rejection or saying the wrong thing.” But that is not realistic and those people who are in action will be far ahead of you.

Sales Training: One of the key ways to sales success is to try new things.

But if you’re afraid to fail, you’ll stop yourself from trying new things. You will miss out on having the opportunity to broaden your skill set as well as try a wide variety of new experiences. So, take a deep breath and be willing to leap. Ask yourself:

“What can I gain, what do I want to learn, and what opportunity will be lost if I prevent myself from taking new actions?”

If you are honest with yourself, I'm sure many instances will come to mind where you Prevented Yourself from taking new actions or trying to approaches/experiences. Make a list. Be realistic with yourself and you will see there is huge opportunity all around in each area of your life. You will quickly find taking action, practice, learning and letting go of perfection will be your greatest catalyst to new experiences, breaking through fears, and attaining success on multiple levels. What have you wanted to try? What have you wanted to pursue? If you stop procrastination, if you stop waiting till it is perfect, if you let go of the fear of failure what wonderful thing will show up?

Look at your list, and write down what scares you about taking action. Write down those worst case scenarios and how likely they are to really happen. Most of them are most likely very unlikely once you look at what you have written. Also write down what you can do to improve and what you will learn from each possibility. You will quickly see most of our fears are just phantoms and shadows with little to fear. Oh, how powerful our imagination can be.

For example, a fear might be that you pursue a big prospect, they say you are not qualified for their account, and then you are laughed at by other reps, lose your job, and are on the breadline. Now is any of that realistic? Highly unlikely! It is more realistic that you will learn, your boss will be impressed that you took action and experienced reps will have admiration for your courage to get further than they did (At least you made the appointment). Note: You can always bring in some more experienced folks to help if you are just starting out.

Next, visualize pursuing this new prospect. See the joy in the pursuit. See the pride in taking action. See yourself learning from each and every call.

Ask yourself this: If failure only exists in your mind CREATED BY YOUR DEFINITION, and you now choose to overcome it, what is possible? What new experience and opportunities WILL YOU CREATE FOR YOURSELF? How will you be able to move forward and try more things without fear? What actions can you take now? What baby steps can you take? What giant steps can you take? What action can you take today, this week and this month? Get in action now and stay in action!

Choose at least one prospect to pursue that is outside of your comfort zone and make a plan to go after them. Apply the same principle to something fun in your life. Create balance and make a plan to pursue that "I always wanted to activity" and make a plan for stepping out of your comfort zone there, too.

Life is to be enjoyed in whatever way you choose to do, so let go of fear, perfection and procrastination and enjoy a journey full of new experiences and opportunity! “When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

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  • Goal setting and visualization exercises
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  • Techniques to handle any objection