The Toughest Lesson

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Oct 4, 2011 2:37:00 PM

Without question, the toughest lesson I've every learned in sales (or life for that matter) is that you can do all the right things and still not get the outcome you want.  You can ask the right questions, make the right connections, zig when you're supposed to zig, and zag when it's time to zag…and you still may not win the sale.

When you lose, you want something to blame.  You want to fix something.  It can be demoralizing to look at a lost sale and not find where you went wrong.

That is why it's so important that you keep activity levels up.  I always caution CEOs and salespeople that a 99% probability of success still leaves a 1% chance of failure - and in a world with 7 billion people, 1% events happen to 70 million people A DAY.  And, unless the contract is signed and the check is cashed, there is ALWAYS a chance things will fall through.

Sales, especially in The Drought we've been in for 3 years and counting, is a marathon run at a sprinter's pace.  You can't assume anything.  You've got to keep things moving.

I remember a speaker who told an audience of CEOs that you've must grow by at least 15 - 20% per year.  If you didn't grow at that rate, you would fail to account for the "oh shit" factor.  The same is true in sales.  You can never become overdependent on any single opportunity, because even if you do it everything right…you may not get the sale.

If you're looking for some insights in making this approach systematic, I encourage you to download an article that I just published - The 5 Adjustments Every Sales Team Needs to Make.


Topics: Inbound Marketing, B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching