Lost the Sale? It’s your Fault!


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Having sold many different products and services over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to watch sales people fail at closing a deal over and over again. It’s always the same song and dance; I couldn’t close the sale because I couldn’t get ahold of the prospect. It was because our price was too high. The prospect picked their brother in laws, cousins, friends, roommate in college. Lame excuse after lame excuse as to why they couldn’t get the job done. We’re in sales, it’s time to grow up and take responsibility for your success.

Why Taking 100% Responsibility is Important!

The reality is, if you consistently find yourself blaming others for the sale not closing, then not only are you wrong. You are doing yourself a disservice. In anything you do in life, you have to take 100% responsibility for your actions. This simply means it’s always our fault. You can’t control anything anyone else does. You can only influence other people. The only person you have 100% control over is yourself. So if something goes wrong and you blame somebody else, or some event outside yourself, guess what, you have given up the ability to do anything about it. Think about it, you can’t control what Bob in operations does. You can’t control what your prospect does, you can only influence. So take responsibility and learn the skills and tools to influence Bob and influence your prospect to win the business.

Need I Remind You?

At the end of the day if you couldn’t get it done, it’s your fault. Have I said it enough? I don’t care if operations screwed up, I don’t care if the product wasn’t properly implemented in the timeframe it was supposed to have been. You are the salesperson; you’re there to manage expectations. It’s your job to take the reins and coordinate. If you continually lose sales because other people are dropping the ball, guess what, stop throwing them the damn ball. Your operations people don’t like it, too bad, they can deal with it. If they didn’t screw up consistently you wouldn’t be over their shoulder making sure the deal gets done. It’s not your job to be nice all the time; it’s your job to win.

Vinegar or Honey?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating going around screaming at people. You will catch a lot more bees with honey than trying to catch them with vinegar. What I am saying is that sometimes vinegar is just what the doctored ordered. As you grow yourself and grow your influence, you’ll be better equipped to understand when honey is required and when vinegar is necessary.

If You’re Not Working at Being Better Today than Yesterday, You’re Worse

Work harder on yourself than you do at your job, if you do this, watch your influence grow. Watch sales magically close because of the person you have become. When things don’t work out, ask yourself what YOU did wrong. Then go out there and fix it, find a way to be better today than you were yesterday. Make sure that every failure is a learning experience. You can use failures to accelerate your successes if you will ask yourself the tough questions: What did I do wrong? How can I make sure I do better next time? What skills and tools do I need to learn in order to make sure this never happens again? Failure is inevitable, will you use it to help push you forward, or wither in the face of a challenge? Remember, life is like sports. If you don’t practice at it every day, you lose skill. What sport did you play in high school or college? Do you practice now like you did then? Are you better at that sport today or when you practiced every day? Life is the exact same way, stop trying to better yourself at anything in life, you only get worse.

Christopher Scirpoli
Christopher Scirpoli is the Director of Sales for an IT Solutions Firm based in Washington DC with a lifelong passion for sales. He has had the opportunity to be involved in both B2B and B2C across industries such as telecom, finance, healthcare and technology. He is constantly studying his craft and trying to better himself. Writing about the sales process and how to master the craft is another avenue he utilizes to pursue his passion in helping others improve their abilities, skills and increasing their income.


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