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Success Through Failure

Are you protecting your sales team from failure or disappointment so they won’t get discouraged or quit? If so, you are not doing them any favors. Listen in to understand how failure can be the perfect success strategy your team needs. In other words, success through failure.

Andy Grammer, the songwriter, musician and singer out in the world today, has a lot of great songs. They are positive-oriented songs which is why I like listening to them. One day, I heard him sing this song called, “I Wish You Pain”. At first I thought, that sounds weird! Why is he singing this song? I had to listen to it a few times.

I think he’s talking about his kids or his friends and he is basically saying that we grow the most through our pain, or reach success through failure. He’s not hoping for severe pain for them but he’s willing to allow them to have the pain so they can grow.

Let Them Fail

Now with sales and sales leadership, I’ve noticed some managers don’t want to let their people fail. Why do we want to stop them from failing? For example, I’ve heard something like this from some business owners and managers: “I don’t want to discourage them. I hate to crush their spirit. They’re not doing so well right now. I don’t want to let them know they’re not doing so well because their spirit might get crushed. We don’t want them to leave. We like the person. They have a great personality and they fit in with everybody. You should have seen our last guy.”

Some managers may not want them to experience pain or failure as they might not want to be around anymore. In that case, it might be best for everyone. If you have a salesperson that can’t handle the pain of failure, then they probably shouldn’t be around.

Pain Can Make Us Stronger

Let’s look at an analogy here as far as pain and growth. What happens to peoples’ muscles when they lift weights? Their muscle tears, and the body wants to heal. As an example, let’s say that the muscle tearing is a failure. It’s a break. Our body sends extra blood to the muscle and starts the healing process. Consequently, we feel the pain. However, that muscle is getting stronger.

That’s the same thing with salespeople. You want to have sales people on your team that can handle pain and handle failure because they have that same commitment as the body to get better. If you don’t allow your salespeople to experience failure, you’ll never know if they’re the salesperson you really want on your team.

Support Them As They Grow

In summary, let your sales people fail. Watch them grow and then support them as they are growing. You’ll have a great team and a great culture, and a lot of good people to work with.

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Rene is the President of Sales Manager Now, a company that provides fractional sales management services to small and family-run businesses. He has twenty-seven years of experience in sales leadership, coaching, and consulting. He is also the author of the Part-Time Sales Management handbook and is based in Auburn, California.

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