Stumbling doesn’t matter

Picking yourself back up is what counts!

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  ~ Thomas Edison

It sounds so easy when Tomas Edison says it, but today – in our own lives – sometimes it isn’t so fun to think about. Being an avid skier I can’t help but use a few fun winter time metaphors. In a Go Big or Go Home way I’m  starting with one that most people would call an epic fail not a stumble:

Yard Sale
On the mountain this is when you fall so hard you lose all your equipment – polls, skis, goggles… your hat (if you’re not wearing a helmet). I’ll share that there are actually home movies of me somewhere (from the early ‘70s) going from graceful to yard sale in seconds!

© Alexander Ishchenko

In sales this can happen quickly too, regardless of how skilled we are.

  • Not addressing the prospects needs and concerns in your presentation.
  • Sending out a letter that you didn’t change the ‘dear’ salutation to the right name (yes I actually saw that recently).
  • Giving a verbal quote instead of a ballparking number and losing the deal.

These hurt! It is when you are going fast enough that the impact of your fall knocks the wind out of you. Although you haven’t scattered your equipment all over the mountain, you can’t get up and people you don’t know stop to check on you with genuine concern.

© Rares Pulbere

In sales, crashes equate to the times that:

  • You fail to meet a critical customer deadline
  • The first order is a total screw up
  • Something (it feels like everything) you do seems to make the prospect angry

These are a little easier to take, you fall down & go boom – no one feels the need to stop and make sure you’re ok. You pick yourself up, brush off the snow, and keep going.

© Monner

You might recognize a couple of these sales falls:

  • Having to say “I’m sorry I missed that” on the phone
  • Not meeting one of those little commitments that leads to trust
  • Messing up on a quote, but getting a chance to fix it.

Well in skiing I’ve never heard someone call it a stumble, because if you’re not down on the ground it doesn’t count. BUT when you’re skiing under a lift with everyone watching you – looking uncoordinated and like a fool isn’t much fun even if you catch yourself before you fall.

© Brenda Villarreal

As a salesperson this might be:

  • Blowing a voicemail completely and not having a delete option
  • Calling without a good reason (from the prospect/customer perspective)
  • Asking a question, that the customer already answered – and they say that

Whether you stumble, fall, crash, or have a yard sale; the important thing is to not lay there in the snow. Eventually you have to pick yourself up, so don’t lay there getting cold GET UP. Plus when you’re skiing, you have to at least make it to the bottom of the mountain so you can go home.

If we translate that into goals – instead of

  • Deciding to NEVER call an account again, because you feel stupid.
  • Not calling anyone for the rest of the day because the phone weighs 10,000lbs.
  • Calling YOURSELF mean names in the car on the way home.

Take a moment to remember that stumbling, falling, crashing, and yard sales don’t mean you will NEVER achieve your goal…. unless you give up. What matters is learning a lesson so you don’t make the same mistake again,  continuing on, and having fun – it’s your day on the mountain!

2 thoughts on “Stumbling doesn’t matter

  1. I have had to learn the hard way over and over that people who fail more actually succeed more. I spent many years in my life trying “not to fail” and therefore had fewer opportunities for accomplishing important goals. Not that I like making mistakes now, but I see it as an essential part of learning and growing (which I always hope to be doing). No mistakes, only lessons. I just want to make different mistakes, not the same old ones. Thanks for a great post.

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