Moments of failure are the moments I live for

I am a colossal failure. And if I wasn’t, I don’t know that I’d be anything.

This is a tough moment for me. A sale didn’t close. A sale that’s taken weeks of back and forth conversations, demos, presentations, requests for discounts, and with the impending reality that I need this sale to close. And it didn’t.

I tell myself this for every sale – “there’s something good that you’ll get out of this,” something I’ll learn. Imagine me standing in a mirror saying that. It’s probably happened. But I also tell myself that the same level of excitement has to be there on the other end. My customer has to feel a sense of opportunity, and a confidence that what I’m offering isn’t a “solution” so much as it is a commitment to overcoming their problem. An opportunity for both of us. And in the end, a product shouldn’t be so much a “solution,” or a magic bullet. It should show you a way you can work to solve that problem longterm.

But it didn’t go through. It didn’t close. And I felt this weighted pain in my gut that it wouldn’t happen right until the moment I heard the answer directly.

And, honestly, it’s never easy to deal with that. I try to look at it from a simple perspective. They had a logical reason they would sign. They came to us. The product/service needed to solve for “x”. So, during the entire process either I didn’t identify “x,” or I did and the product didn’t solve for it. But you spend time trying to really dig deep into what “x,” is and you think you get a solid feel for it.

Sales is all about getting to know someone. How they work. How they play. What they’d like to do more of. This is how you sell. You offer piece of mind.

Well, I suck at it. Horribly.

So here’s a Theodore Roosevelt quote that doesn’t suck, and hopefully you’ll find it useful.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

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