Reframing Failure Charlotte Kemp power series

Reframing Failure

By Charlotte Kemp


Charlotte KempCharlotte will be speaking at the August Power Series Business Breakfast on Power Sales Motivation

No one likes failure. I understand that. But since it is inevitable, it is worth finding a way to work with it. 

Failure is simply the situation where we do not achieve the result we expected. Depending on how significant that result is, will determine how keenly we experience failure.

If you hear a ‘no’ to your question of “Will you marry me?” I suspect that will hurt a great deal. The future you had planned failed to materialize.

But failing to achieve a sale, even with a prominent prospective client, does not have as big an impact on your future. Certainly it will not, if you have enough other prospective clients in your sales funnel.

So how do you reframe less important failures, in a situation where you may experience them many times? You certainly do not land every client you approach. If you did then there would be no need for professional sales people – you would be merely an order taker, and anyone could take your place.

Hearing a ‘no’ means that you have the opportunity to discover something new.

Perhaps your delivery or script is not good enough.

Are you really explaining the benefits of your product properly so that the prospect sees the value in their life? Or are you defaulting to talking about the features of your product – so much easier for you but then the prospect has to do all the work to see if the benefits are of any use to them.

Its an opportunity to learn some humour.

People don’t like saying no to you. They may want to be nice, and put you off a little while rather than be blunt. But if they do need to be obvious then they sometimes end up being rude. Its easier to be rude than to negotiate with a difficult and persistent sales person.

Since you know that you may get a negative answer from your prospect, make it easier for them to stay in a polite relationship with you by developing a humourous approach. Don’t counter their rudeness with your own sarcasm or resistance, because that will lead to an escalation of tension and the prospect will never be able to buy from you because they will forever have to justify their rudeness by blaming you for starting with it.

Get them to chuckle however, and they will be much more open to your approach in a few months’ time.

Use it as an opportunity to create your own resilience.

You are not your job. You are not your product. Someone can say no to you without it being a value judgement on your own person. And the sooner we realize that, the sooner we can rise above judging ourselves based on our turnover.

Learn to separate yourself from your failure to make a sale. You may feel the disappointment momentarily but move past that so that you don’t allow that disappointment to colour the next sales call.

Reframing a sales failure as an opportunity to learn and grow means that you can recover quicker to get to your next success.


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