Why Failure Will Lead You to Success

Today I want to talk about the fear of failure, how everyone is in sales, and how you can be successful.

Sales ≠ Sleazy

So many people decide before they even start a business that they are not salespeople. Why? Most people automatically decide sales equals sleazy, dishonest tactics to separate people from their hard-earned money.

In order to grow your business, you need to sell. If you decide you aren’t a salesperson because you think sales have to be pushy and gross, how are you ever going to promote yourself and your business? You have to sell!

Everyone sells. Even parents sell. You have to sell your ideas, your discipline, and how you want your children to grow up. Everything (almost everything anyway) we do contains some component of sales.

We Have to Sell to Get Our Point Across

This doesn’t mean money exchanges hands. This means you speak with conviction or persuasion. Certain ads you see use conviction and persuasion, such as ads for the betterment of the environment. You speak with conviction to get your point across or to set your plans in stone. 

You may speak with persuasion to convince your friend to join you for a day of fun hiking at the park. Selling is just convincing someone of an idea. It’s motivating a person to do something that you want them to do. That’s a sell. It doesn’t seem like it as it almost seems too easy. 

So what is a sell then? A sale is something that you deliver to an individual or a group of individuals that will motivate them to respond to your elevator pitch with, “Yes! This is what I need! Where can I sign up?” Plus, in a good sales relationship, you need to entirely eliminate one emotion for your prospective clients: fear. 

Sales Look Different Today

We’re moving away from the days of cold-calling as the only way to gain new leads.

You see the sales industry is changing. Sales are now about building relationships, especially in the online space. This is an integral part of selling. The best way to do this is to take the experience you have with providing services for these people and empathizing with them so that they’re able to see that you know what you’re talking about. 

Faye Saxon Horton says:

“I didn’t realize sales could be my primary function in life. With my sales career in Insurance, I started serving customers as a service representative. I learned if you can satisfy a need that a customer has, then you have a win-win situation. I also learned that if you can satisfy the need that that customer has with the product of the company you are working for, then you have a win-win-win situation. Putting those wins together was what made the lightbulb go off for me. ‘Aha! I should move from service to sales and use what I learned in service to help me in sales!’”

Now because of technology information is instantly available. We can see and learn things right away. Relationships are important to attract customers and fulfill their needs. With technology you can have a conversation with someone and, if you are listening, know their needs in a few minutes. 

If it is something you can help that person with, you can help them immediately. Since you helped this person once, they’ll come back again seeking your knowledge. This is when your relationship-building process takes hold. You transfer the information that you are giving from a “what” position to a “how” position and that is where you can start to monetize it. 

Empathize first, tell them what, but when you show them how, monetize it.

When You Help Freely, It Comes Back to You

Often, people don’t even know what their problem is. They don’t necessarily know what they want to do or they can’t figure out what their next step is. You can help by showing the person where they might find what they are looking for. This can take some conversation to gain information so you can help them. When you find out what they want, you can send them resources from around the web to help them out. 

This doesn’t mean that you’ll get a sale. That’s okay. You’re not always the right person for the job. But you are building connections and helping people out. Believe it or not, you don’t need to know everything. You aren’t going to know everything. You do, however, need to know how and where to find the resources.

These people will remember that you helped them and are likely to refer their colleagues and friends to you. “Oh, you need help with this or this? Call this lady. She can help you out with it!” It’s a referral of sorts and it happened because you provided value and started a relationship. 

Stop Being Scared of Sales

Does fear stop you from selling? It’s time to change that. Why does your fear keep cropping up?

I have some news for you, are you ready for it?

You’re not afraid of being a salesperson. You’re afraid of failure and rejection. This is the number one thing that holds (most) people back. However, you aren’t going to fail. Even if someone tells you no, that doesn’t mean you have failed! 

Being told “no” is a learning opportunity. You take that no and you analyze how you presented it. Analyze that no and who you presented it to. Maybe it wasn’t the right person at the right time. Check the method of presentation used. Perhaps it wasn’t the right media you presented it with. You’ll find that every no is a learning opportunity to try something different. 

There’s a lot you don’t know yet. The only way to learn is through trial and error. This means that you will fail; it’s inevitable. But failure is not failure entirely unless you give up. If you don’t fail, I say you have failed anyway. Failing allows you to hone your skills and find out what works for you. Failing makes you a savvy, well-rounded business owner. You can only do this if you get over that fear of failure.

You have to change your mindset. Look at the rejection not as a failure but instead as a lesson. You learn why and you can better your position the next time.

Failure is Part of Life

Faye Saxon Horton shares how she views failure:

“I get rejections all the time. One person out of five is going to accept a product that I’m selling or have to offer. I have come to a point in my career where I don’t say ‘I’m selling this.’ Instead, I say, ‘I have this to offer you.’ This is a part of the entire mindset of selling as well. For me, offering something to someone that can help them or help solve a problem that they have isn’t ‘the traditional selling.’ I offer my services to someone and it isn’t for everyone, for whatever reason. In traditional selling sense, I’ve ‘failed’ as we term failure many times. I do it every day. The more ‘no’s’ you have will eventually lead to a ‘yes’ because what you are offering will fit at the right time. You need to be prepared to fit your offer to that yes person. This means you need to listen to what their needs are. Think about how many times Thomas Edison failed before he made the light bulb. He ‘failed’ until he made it.”

Push Past Your Fear of Failure

Henry Ford, as I’m sure you know, was a man who made cars. He wanted to make an eight-cylinder engine that would be cheap enough to mass-produce for the common man’s car. His engineers told him it couldn’t be done, that it was impossible. He told them, “Do it anyway.” 

It was Thomas J. Watson, Sr. who said, “The fastest way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” If you want to succeed you have to do two things. One, you have to get past your fear of failure. Failure means you get to keep experimenting until you find your flow. Embrace failure instead.

Two, you have to have an open mind. You have to be open to want to change. Don’t be one of those people who say “I need more sales!” or “I need more money!” but when suggestions are offered to you (meaning you need to change something) you decide that you aren’t ready to change. Remember, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Everything comes down to mindset. You have to be ready to change. You can have the best strategy in the world but if your brain isn’t ready to get it done and level up, it won’t happen. This goes for sales as well as everything else. It’s beautiful how much potential we have, but we have to be willing to change and to fail. It all comes down to how much you want it because that will gauge how much effort you put into it. You need to be fully invested in it.

Faye Saxon Horton leaves us with these words of wisdom: 

“If you’re going to start an online business, the first thing you want to do that you enjoy doing and what others enjoy having. If the business doesn’t make sense to you, why even bother?”

*This blog post was taken from The Virtually Free Podcast with Amy Demone with special guest Faye Saxon Horton. Listen here.*