How To View Failure When Selling (Even When Things Look Grim)

Sales podcast ep 33 The Slow Pitch Podcast - failure and sales
Sales Podcast, The Slow Pitch
The Slow Pitch Sales Podcast
How To View Failure When Selling (Even When Things Look Grim)


Another Mini Episode!

Failure When Selling Sucks!

Sales can be very difficult. Failure is so common and happens every day. What should you do about it? Give up? NO! In this episode we talk about how to view failure when selling even things look grim.

Have you ever failed so hard at a task that you thought, “What am I doing?” We’ve all been there. The trick quickly becomes learning how to view failure when you’re selling. Most people want to view failure as an end. The final step to ending your sales career.

But Failure Doesn’t Have to Suck!

We view it differently. We feel that failure is a critical component to success. In this episode we talk about how past experiences led Rob to viewing failure differently. In fact, he shares a story that completely encapsulates how failure should be viewed when selling.

If you view failure as a problem, you need to listen to this episode.
If you view failure as a step to gaining success but aren’t sure how, you need to listen to this episode.

When you finish, you should have a different view of failure in sales and what you do about it.


Related Episodes: 

Attitude vs Action: How It Affects Sales

Sales Call Tips – Dealing with Hostile People

Sales Pain Questions: How to Create (For an Emerging Market)

Start Journaling To Jumpstart Your Selling (3 Simple Things to Do)


More Information About Failure & Sales:

Why Salespeople Fail



Music: "Clydesdale Funk" by Cast of Characters, written by: Dustin Ransom.

The Episode

Rob  00:09

And welcome back everybody to The Slow Pitch Podcast. And again, you will notice that Laine is not in studio with me or recording with me. And that’s because our schedules just kind of just don’t always work out. So every so often again, I’m going to fill in with a little mini episode. And today, I want to talk about failure and how difficult it is for a lot of people to get past failure does not have to be that way.

V/O  00:39

This is The Slow Pitch Podcast.

Rob  00:43

So I want to share a story with everyone. I tend to like to share a story because it’s something that maybe you might relate to, and maybe not exactly, but in some form or another, you might see yourself being in the situation, and then what would you have done. And it’s difficult because you know, here I am, in this case, I was a young young guy just working, I was working overnights, I was in retail, my job was to run a stocking crew, the crew was to start at 11 o’clock. And by 7:30am, everybody had to be finished docking cleaned up and out the door. And that’s the typical retail world. If you’re anywhere in retail, you’ll know the stalking crew works overnight. Of course, because I was managing I came in a little early, kind of got things set up, and then everybody gets gets the work. And I figured out who was supposed to be doing what and all that good stuff. But early on in my career, I was I was I was working to just hit that deadline, and somebody one time along the way. So there’s certain things you got to do, right. And then there’s other things, it doesn’t really matter. So I’m working through managing the crew, blah, blah, blah, everything’s normal. And one night, it was just like, it just not nothing was coming together, the crew wasn’t getting it done. The size of the load of products that needed to be put on the shelves, was probably a stretch, but it wasn’t so much that we couldn’t get it done that night. And when we talked about that early on in the night. And in the end, what ended up happening was is I was going to miss that deadline, we were getting to about five o’clock in the morning, and by five o’clock, you can know we ain’t gonna make it. And if that was gonna be the case, I needed to do some decisions, like what are we gonna put away? For tomorrow night? What are we going to do? What should we just push on through work a little extra? Where are we? And the overnight store manager because I was just running in one section of the store, the overnight store manager came by and said, I’m not looking good, is it? I have no, I’m missing the mark here. We’re not gonna make it and it’s bad. And he said, All right, he goes, and they could tell on my face that I was like really upset about it. Because I don’t want to disappoint anybody. I don’t want to be the one that gets yelled at in the morning. And, you know, all that kind of stuff. So I was trying to get it done. And the store manager kind of pulled me aside. So listen, every day I think of this. He said, If I fail, what’s the worst that could happen? And I’m like, Yeah, okay, well, that’s nice to hear. But the reality is, is if I don’t if I don’t get the job done, and I failed too often, I’m gonna get fired. He’s like, Yeah, I understand that. But here’s what I want you to think about two things. One is when you fail, let me ask you, he says, Let me ask you, have you ever walked up the stairs and then tripped on the stairs? I go, Yeah, he goes, Okay. Well, when you walk up the stairs and you trip, do you do like, go back down to the bottom of the stairs, start all over, and try to get up there without falling down? I can’t I’m like, What? No, I don’t. What are you talking about? He goes, Yeah, that’s the same thing you should be doing every day. If you fail. Alright, pick yourself up, figure out what are we doing now? Well, let’s get going. Start right from there. You don’t have to go back to the beginning. You have to unload everything and restart all over all over again. You don’t have to do that. Pick up where you are, and get started, fix what you have fixed what’s in front of you and move on. And it dawned on me when I was telling somebody a story about something else. And that that story kind of hit me was, you know, what is the same in sales? The same thing applies if you fail in sales, that’s okay. It doesn’t really matter if you miss a sale. Yes, it’s unfortunate, yes, you’re not going to get your commission, yes, you’re not going to get your income, whatever that might be. And you can’t do that forever. But what you can do is pick yourself up from where you are, and make some decisions. And so one of the decisions and this is something similar that he had told me to then that overnight crew was alright, every night when you mess something up, or if something goes wrong, you should have a little notebook, write down what happened, take that notebook and write down what you thought went wrong, and then what you would do to improve next time. And so I do the same thing now today in sales when I miss a sale or if a sales call goes really bad and I react the wrong way I say the wrong thing or something doesn’t happen. I pull out my notepad and or you can there’s other things that I use. There’s other digital tools you can use. But one way or the other. I write down my notes and say here’s what I here’s what I did wrong. Here’s what I wish I would have done differently. That would have made a big difference. And what I would have expected from doing that, what could have gone better? So if I said something incorrectly or I’ve asked the wrong question, maybe my notes might say something like, I should have asked this instead of that, if I would have may have found out more pain, I may have found out more information, I may have found that whatever right? Learn from that mistake, and jot it down, and make sure that you have some sort of an actionable step. And so I share that with you today, to hopefully help you understand that failure is normal, you should fail. If you’re not failing, you’re actually not doing yourself a service, you should fail every once in a while…so you can figure something out. If something’s going really well, and you have an opportunity to fail every so often, just to make sure that you’re doing something correctly or learn a new thing, do it, there’s nothing wrong with that. Failure is not a bad thing. It’s always put into this big cloud. But in reality, failure is actually really good for you, it will make you think differently, it will make you see problems differently, you will make you approach things differently. So learn from your failures, jot it down and move on, don’t hang on to it. So hopefully that helps some of you out there who may have had a failure in the past who have gone through some of this before. And and like like the old store manager that was overnight working with me. And even one of the guys in the morning kind of told me the same type of thing, but a little different. Learn from the people that know and have been through it. If you’re new in sales, you’re going to go through some major failures. And don’t be shy. Don’t be afraid. Tell somebody, have them help you have them talk you through it. If you don’t have somebody reach out to us, we can talk to you a little bit and see what we can do to help you out. Maybe there’s some things that you failed that somebody else could actually learn from as well. So until next time, let’s hope you fail a few times. So you’ll learn a few things. And hopefully you can share that with us and tell us what your successes were from that because before you failed and now you haven’t. So until next time, remember slow down. And you’ll close more.

V/O  06:51

Thank you for listening to The Slow Pitch. Do you have a question about sales? Call or text your question at (608) 708-SLOW. That’s 608-708-7569 or you can email them to Slow Down and Close More.

Rob  07:42

Thanks as always for listening today. If you liked this podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review. We really appreciate it. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at The Slow Pitch. We were mixed today as always by Johnny Polakis. And we were produced by high gravity studios, music credits and other notes are in the show notes section on And we’ll be back with another episode soon.

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