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Turning Failure into Your Sales Superpower - Episode 87

May 14, 20244 min read

Today, we're talking about flipping the script on failure, and it's calledEmbrace the flop and how you can win by losing’’. We're just not talking about failure - we're talking about using it as your secret weapon in sales. It has been my secret weapon in sales. 

So I want you to picture this: Richard Branson (you all know the man behind Virgin) went to a private school in England until the age of 16. Richard Branson has dyslexia and ADHD and had such terrible grades that on the last day of school, his headmaster told him he would either end up in prison or become a multimillionaire. So, what do you think he became? 🤔He's launched everything from airlines to music stores and had plenty of flops like Virgin Cola and Virgin Digital. But here's the really cool thing about Richard Branson. He masters the art of failing forward. Every single setback has propelled him to his next really big breakthrough. He treats failure as a lesson on how to approach achieving something, and then he uses that learning to improve his chances of success when he tries again. He's said, Failure is only the end if you decide to stop.’’ 

Here's some real talk because no one can also relate to people who never fail; they can't relate to perfection. It's our flaws and failures that make us relatable. If you're selling something and you start sharing a personal struggle or a business flaw (which I've had many of those), you instantly make a connection, and that's because you're showing that you're human, just like everyone else. 

I almost called this episode ''How sweet potato in my hair led to a million dollar order.’’ I know that might sound strange. But what's the connection? This was when I had my second son, and sometimes, when you have very young children and have many things going on, you can let things go. I fed my son some sweet potatoes before I brought him to a daycare. Even though I was in a suit and had my hair done, I missed that he had thrown some sweet potato on my hair. I went to my client, and when I got there, they looked at me and gave me a weird look; then they said, ‘’You got something in your hair.’’ So yes, my hair wasn't perfect, and it turned out it was a sweet potato from my son, Christian. Because of that, they told me, “We love that you are so real. You always show us who you are and take it with such love…and they're like, here's a million dollar order.’’ Obviously, that's not going to happen all the time, but when you are indeed who you are and accept the imperfections and the failures, trust starts with your clients, and trust in sales is golden. 

Here's something I also want you to keep in your back pocket. It's my favorite saying from Vince Lombardi, ‘’Quitters never win and winners never quit.’’ But let's just add a little twist because winners fail forward. They learn from every misstep, and they use it to improve. When something doesn't work for you, just pivot and see if that little shift makes a big difference. I want you to remember that it's not just about failing; it's about learning from that failure to move closer to the goal that you have set. 

Did you know the more you fail, the closer you are to success? 

Harvard Business Review research shows that the most successful entrepreneurs aren't those who avoid failure. I know sometimes it's painful to fail, but it's those who dive headfirst into it who fail super fast, and then they adapt swiftly. It's about making that shift, and when you have this rapid cycle of testing, failing, learning, and reiterating, it significantly shortens the path to success.

So, I want you to embrace this mindset because it reduces the fear of failure and accelerates the learning curve. By making each attempt more informed and maybe with that little bit of pivot, you are more than likely to succeed. So here's the takeaway: Fail fast, learn faster.

Every mistake and flop is a stepping stone to success. If you treat it as a learning opportunity, it will help you move to the next level. I'm all about helping entrepreneurs succeed faster. If you fail forward faster, this approach isn't just about making mistakes but will be about using those mistakes as a huge catalyst for growth.

Keep embracing those failures. Remember, they're not setups; you learn every time you fail. It's a message coming your way, and you just need to listen to it because it sets you up for your next big win. Until next time, keep breaking those rules and keep winning the game.

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The Professional Rule BreakerKathy WalterhousePocket NinjaSalesBuilding TrustFailing Forward
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