I Lost A Sale Today

What do you do when you lose a sale?

Down But Not OutSales training and sales experience should give you the confidence and the ability to close every sales attempt you make. Right? When you’ve been in the business as long as I have, a certain arrogance seems to prevail about your abilities. After all, I’ve closed literally thousands of new sales. What went wrong today?

Today is not the first sale I’ve ever lost, and it won’t be the last. But it was hard listening to the prospective client on the other end of the phone tell me that he chose another firm to train his sales staff. After over a year of courting this company and assuming I would be the sales trainer of choice, the rejection brought a cloud of despair that dominated my every thought throughout the rest of the day.

Luckily, I remembered some of my basic sales training and I asked why before the call was over. I only hope that the prospective customer was honest enough in telling me the reason he selected a competitor. It was hard to shake the despair and feeling of failure that dominated my mood today.

You see, like most small business operations, I really needed that sale. Oh yeah, generally sales are good, but during the current economic climate, it is a little harder than normal to keep the sales momentum going in every business.

After shaking off the rejection and contemplating the “why” that was given to me, I came to the conclusion that I must chalk this sales attempt up as continuing education. I re-learned three important lessons which are covered in my selling fundamentals training course. You’d think that I would know them well-enough to practice them because I teach the class.

Well, now I have yet another real-world example of why these three lesson are important to share with my students. And, I have a action-plan for a change I need to make in my marketing materials from the feedback I received.

Ultimately, this will make me a better consultant, coach, and teacher. It is through experiences like this that I can help my clients. That is, as long as I don’t give up and I use this as a self-teaching moment.

It will bolster my Confidence – which is the sweet spot between Arrogance and Despair. You see; Arrogance involves the failure to see our flaws and; Despair involves the failure to acknowledge our strengths.

Well, I will recover and find another sale to replace this one that I was counting on. How? By getting back into the saddle and continuing the race.

In my youth, I was a off-road motorcycle racer. I remember one particular 100 mile desert cross-country race where I took a bad fall about 5 miles into the race. As I laid in the dirt with hundreds of bikes whizzing by at break-neck speed, I thought there was no chance at all in getting back on my bike and trying to catch up.

Then something inspired me to get up and do it anyway. I did. And, 95 miles later and a few more close calls, I crossed the finish line in first place for my class (250cc). It was the last race I participated in and the only first place trophy I ever won, but I believe it was because I never gave up.

If you stay in the race long enough, you can’t help but win enough to earn your own success. So, what do you do when you loose a sale? Learn from it and move on.

Learn More…

By becoming a student in one of my SenseAble Selling training courses.


Howard Howell writes about the art of selling. When not writing, he is teaching or coaching business owners how to increase their selling effectiveness with common sense and experience.

Howard writes, speaks, and consults about sensible selling using the new media reality.

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By: Howard Howell

Howard is an Internet Sales Consultant. He speaks professionally about Web Marketing and Sensible Selling from an experienced entrepreneur’s viewpoint. He also provides individual coaching, group training, and web marketing consulting services. Contact him now.
Published On: September 14, 2009  |   Updated On: September 21, 2009
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