It happens to the best of us. The most talented. The most experienced. The most sales. None are exempt.
What is “it”? Failure. That thing we all try so hard to avoid but encounter face-to-face at some unexpected and never welcome moment. Especially a failure that results in a loss to the company.
You totally forget to follow up with an email, so you miss the sale. You put your foot in your mouth at the meeting, and lose the client. You were sure the market would go one way and made plans accordingly, but you were wrong, so your plans tanked.
Take a good look at the word; don’t cringe. We want to put a new face on that feared concept.
What do you do when you “fail”? How do you deal with it – not just professionally, but personally? Here are three ways to confront failure and use it to rise higher rather than sinking beneath it.
- Challenge the Loss
At the moment of failure – and sometimes for days or weeks afterward – your focus is on the loss. You quantify it. You calculate it. Each time, you feel the setback again and again. Challenge that. Yes, you know how much it cost. You don’t need to deny that it happened, but you can choose to move on.
Challenge that feeling of loss or failure and convert it into something else. How?
- Change the Label
Don’t call it failure. Just don’t. Call it experience. An expensive experience, at times, yes. But nothing can be a complete failure if you gain something from it. And you do, because you have learned something. Like Thomas Edison with his thousand-or-so “failures” while trying to invent the lightbulb. He said they weren’t failures; he simply learned hundreds of methods that did not work. Although you might not see it now, your business will be better for the experience.
- Charge the Line
I’m sure you’ve heard it said that the best cure for an old love is a new love. In the same way, the best cure for a sale lost is a sale gained. The best cure for a deadline missed is a deadline made. You get the idea.
Charge ahead to gain a win. Yes, now, when it’s most difficult or you’re still smarting from the failure (which we have re-termed experience).
Prove to yourself it can be done, then charge the line, and your victory will be all the sweeter.
Grow Big or Go Home!