Unlock Your Inner Screw-up


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We hate being wrong.

Lump it together with “getting left at the altar on your wedding day” and there really isn’t anything much worse that we try to avoid at all costs.

It all started with you as young little whippersnapper being told by someone in authority to: “Stop being a screw-up” or “Stop screwing around“.

Maybe it was you getting bad grades in an easy subject or laughing in church when the minister tripped over a few words.

Whatever the case, you screwing up was a bad thing.

So it’s only naturally that you assume that that still applies to your sales career.

But you’re dead wrong.

The biggest sales superstars around happen to be Grade-A screw-ups.

That’s right.

See, no matter how good at sales you think you are, how many books you read on the subject, or how many seminars or coaches you pay for, one thing is certain.

You are going to fail more than you succeed.

If you are keeping track of wins and losses, the hand scoring check-marks on the “losing” side of things is going to get worn out long before you start filling up the “I’m a winner” column.

You are going to be a loser longer than you’re going to be a winner.

That’s reality.

You can deny it. You can try to avoid it.

Or you can embrace it.

If you want to be a super-star, then you need to learn how to unlock — how to leverage — your screw-ups.

And it’s all in two simple words.

You need to get good at saying “I’m Sorry”…

(and it helps if you mean it)

And it’s really quite simple the reasons why:

  1. It buys you time to figure out what went wrong – The only thing that’s worse that your original screw-up is trying to pretend to others that it never happened. When you admit that there was a problem, the people around you usually let down their guard long enough for you to go find the problem and fix it — all the while begging for their mercy. You can’t make buyers believe you are going to solve their problems when you can’t even fix your own.
  2. It buys you the benefit of the doubt later on – The reason buyers decide to do business with you is because (at some level) they trust you. Trust is a “flaky thing” and people remember how you act when things go wrong for you. Buyers don’t want sales people who never make mistakes, they want salespeople who know how to make a hug mistake and recover from it — positioning themselves even better in the process.

And it’s not just this.

More importantly, saying “Whoops” and “Sorry” is how your brain was wired.

At a very primal level we understand how embarrassing making mistakes can be and subconsiously go out of our way to help others heal.

That’s why we say things like “No worries” and “It’s all good” even when “It’s NOT all good” and we’re not just worried, we’re ready to throw things out of the apartment window and torch the place on the way out.

Something inside us wants to help.

That same something inside of your buyer wants to help you.

Let them.

Being fallible makes you immortal.

Being pretentious and unrealistically selfish makes buyers hate you mercilessly.

So maybe it’s time to start unlocking your inner screw-up.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dan Waldschmidt
Speaker, author, strategist, Dan Waldschmidt is a conversation changer. Dan and his team help people arrive at business-changing breakthrough ideas by moving past outdated conventional wisdom, social peer pressure, and the selfish behaviors that stop them from being high performers. The Wall Street Journal calls his blog, Edge of Explosion, one of the Top 7 blogs sales blogs anywhere on the internet and hundreds of his articles on unconventional sales tactics have been published.


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