Unless You Have a Time Machine

You can’t go back six months and do the prospecting work that you would have needed to do in order to have the opportunities you need in this quarter. Prospecting work doesn’t line up neatly with the results it produces, and there is still no way to cram to make up what you missed down the road.

You can’t nurture your dream client after you find out that they became dissatisfied with your competitor, the one they worked with for years, and the one you thought they would never leave. Because you weren’t known, you weren’t invited to compete for the business. In fact, no one even thought of you.

While it was happening, you knew that you should not have presented your solution without having collaborated with your prospective client, without having built consensus, and without knowing what you needed to present to get a “yes.” Instead, you got a no. You can’t go back and do that work, even though you now know they should have been more afraid of losing than you were of having a difficult conversation about doing the right thing. That is something you will have to do if you ever want to be a trusted advisor.

A lot of mistakes you make in sales are avoidable. You will make errors, some forced, and many more unforced. It’s all part of the game.

No one is undefeated in sales, and the best salespeople can share with you all the things they could have, should have, and would have done differently. They likely learned these things the same way you did. Some of them, if they are being honest, were the smartest person in the room when they were young, and didn’t believe the principles of sales applied to them.

Unless you really, really like a mistake, there is no reason to repeat it. If you don’t like the outcomes that follow mistakes, then you need to correct them so that you produce a different outcome in the future.

Filed under: Sales Knowledge

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