Overcoming Sales Failure


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Every team has their ups and downs in fact. Selling is a volatile profession. It is not about the peaks and valleys but understanding the highs and lows. By this I mean learning from your mistakes.

My mentor has an expression “I cannot believe how stupid I was two weeks ago“. I wholeheartedly agree. We learn each day on the job. In fact for 29 years this is what I have loved about selling turning each opportunity into a learning opportunity. I learn with each phone call, client interaction etc. That is the value of selling the ability to improve each time.

I believe that sales people are like musicians, doctors and athletes – each need to practice each day. We practice and learn so we are prepared for competition. Similar to coaches, sales managers can assist their sales teams in dealing with struggles and help them to perform better.

Here is a brief list of how to aid your sales team to deal with struggles and create success from sales failure.

  • Client interaction –this includes working with sales agents to determine what to say before during and after hello. What questions might be asked to ensure that sales professionals keep the client engaged and ask them questions that ensure one deeply understands their business.
  • Initial Client engagement. – One might review the methods used to create relationship and become a trusted advisor. This includes asking better questions. I am reminded of my first sales coach Norm Strauss who was a master at asking a question with a question. Provocative questions help sales agents listen more and learn from client replies.
  • Client research – Sales Managers should review sources and current events to ensure that staff truly understood client issues and trends. Every manager must ensure that sales professionals read information from annual reports to current news information to ensure sellers know who the true buyers are and what they need.
  • Client Profile – Managers must ensure that sales agents have developed a client profile and understand objectives, measurements of success and value of the organization. Sales Managers must never allow a selling professional to depart from the office without the proper information. Failures arise when sellers are unprepared.
  • Misdirection – Many selling professionals will spend incredible amounts of time chasing dream accounts and dream clients only to become disillusioned. This is where the relationship between sales manager and staff becomes so important. Do you remember the movie Wall Street? Bud Fox played by the actor Charlie Sheen wanted to become the millionaire stock broker and would do anything to get the account of his dreams – Gordon Gecko. If only Bud had a good manager who could help him stop wasting needless time and attention from useful accounts. Sales Managers are the guidance systems that enable sales professionals to prepare, present and propose to the right buyer. With audacious goals to hit sales managers cannot allow sales agents to waste much time on any account.

Truly the best managers are Coaches, they constantly counsel and mentor their staff so that they create a life long learning environment. Yet like any library you need a good resource librarian to show you where to gain the best information. Who is your coach? Write in the comment field some of the items your coach taught you.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Drew Stevens
Drew J. Stevens Ph.D. (Dr. Drew) is the author of Split Second Selling and the soon to be released Ultimate Business Bible and six other business books on sales, customer loyalty, self mastery and business development solutions. Drew helps organizations to dramatically accelerate revenue and outstrip the competition. He conducts over 4 international keynotes, seminars and workshops per year.


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