Audio interview: sales lessons from a great failure

Spectacular failures teach us our most valuable lessons.
In this interview, I talk about my first, and most painful, sales failure growth experience. I wanted to crawl under a rock and die, but the meeting crept on. Afterward I didn’t want to continue in business, let alone do any sales. The word I was looking for at 2:38 was condescension, by the way.
My business partner’s perspective — that you win some and you lose some; we didn’t win this one but the next would be better — changed my life for the better as one of the major steps forward into business and entrepreneurship for me. So this anecdote marked the beginning of something very rewarding in my life.
Since that meeting, especially with experience selling media through my company, Submedia, as well as selling equity in the company and selling the company itself to job candidates and since taking Entrepreneurial Sales in business school, I’ve grown to enjoy sales.
Unlike that meeting, when we presented what we wanted, now I view the sales process as beginning with the potential customer and their needs, not mine, then building a relationship on understanding.
Small interface:[audio:]
Big interface:[videofile][/videofile]
By the way, the follow up is next week’s first sale with Coca-Cola.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. MarieS

    Failure can be much more than realizing “you win some, you lose some.”
    What has kept me going many times is Hemingway’s comment: “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.” (A Farewell to Arms, 1929)
    Kathleen Parker writes in her column “Teach your children to be grateful for their failures.”
    “…to fail is human. To resurrect oneself is an act of courage.” She continues “We are so afraid our kids won’t measure up that we drive them crazy with overbooked schedules and expectations, and then create a sense of entitlement by insisting on assigning blame elsewhere when their performance is lackluster.”
    Parker quotes J.K. Rowling: “Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way.”
    One can learn a lot about life when making sales calls.

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