7 years ago
February 21, 2017

3 Tips to Embracing Sales Failure

So how do you learn to embrace sales failure as something positive? It’s not easy, but it is critical to sales success.

Rhys Metler

We all strive for success. But, as any professional sales person knows, we cannot be successful all of the time. We all have sales failure at one time or another. All great people in every profession meet failure at some point, and, to continue to be great in their profession, they learn how to take that failure and turn it into something useful. It is learning how to make your sales failure a positive learning experience that is important. As Winston Churchill once said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

So how do you learn to embrace sales failure as something positive? It’s not easy, but it is critical to sales success.

Forward thinking.

Consider failure an opportunity to learn something new. Sales failure is going to happen so you need to be ready for it. When it does, ask yourself, “what did I do to not succeed this time?” As long as you know that some sales failure is inevitable, you will be able to take it in stride and use it as a learning experience. Failure can teach you a great deal. You actually learn more from your failures than you do from your successes. Use the information for doing better in the future. Look ahead to doing better the next time.

Forgive and forget.

Sales failure can happen for more reasons than you could ever imagine. To continue to dwell on the why is neither helpful nor healthy. Being successful makes you feel confident and secure. Don’t let sales failure make you insecure. It happens. No one is successful every single time. You need to figure out what went wrong. Look at your sales process and review it step by step. Take the information you need from your review, learn from it and move on. If you see where you made a mistake, forgive yourself. Dwelling on mistakes does not fix the mistake. Making changes and moving forward is the only solution for moving beyond failure.

Firm foundation.

Being successful often means overcoming obstacles. Every time you overcome a difficulty of any kind, it is a success. Any time you fail to overcome an obstacle, it is a learning experience. Each sales success and each sales failure help you to build a firm foundation of selling knowledge that will help you in the future. The substance of your base of knowledge needs to include success and failure. If you only succeed, you not only learn nothing, it is also an indication that you are not stepping out of your comfort zone to expand what you could be doing.

Being successful in sales means being able to accept sales failure. In fact, you should not only accept sales failure, but you should embrace it when it happens. There is no greater teacher than failure and nothing can help you to be more successful than learning from your failures.


Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.