When Sara Blakely was a little kid, her Dad encouraged her to fail. Over dinner, he would ask Sara and her brother what they ‘failed at’ that day. Today, as the founder of Spanx, a multi-million dollar hosiery company, and herself a billionaire, Sara claims it was the best advice she ever got.
Of course, for most of us, we did not grow up with such a counter-intuitive message. We grew up trying to be ‘perfect’. And perfection means proving yourself over and over and not failing.
So here you are today, looking for ways to achieve a greater level of success in your life and business, however you define that. And that brings me to a rather unique piece of advice for you and the good news is, it’s not too late: start failing more!
Because unlike what we have been taught to believe, the greatest success strategy is not to avoid ‘no’ it is to do something called,
‘Go for No!’
To a large degree, success in sales is a “numbers game.” So, the strategy is to increase your ‘failure rate’ – in other words, how many times people tell you ‘no’ for your product, service, or the opportunity that you are sharing.
Increasing your failure rate is to literally improve your “chances at success.” For any networker, the mere act of increasing the amount of product you show and services you offer increases both the yesses and no’s you will hear.
The perfect example is girl scouts selling cookies. (Now in my case, I don’t sell but I do consume.) The best, top producing scouts are the ones that talk to and ask the most people to buy cookies. Now in process of getting all those sales, they also ‘fail’ the most as well.
Now, you may be thinking, “okay that seems to make sense.” However… getting all those “no’s” might have you feeling depressed and bad. So how do you start feeling good about hearing no more often? The truth is that when you hear “no” you are taking action in your business and that is a very good thing!
Most networkers make ‘yes’ this incredible high with the ‘no’ at a depressing low. If the straightest distance between where you are now to where you want to be is a straight line then you need to equalize the emotional reaction to both yes and no. In other words, get yourself on an even keel and get off the yes/no emotional rollercoaster. When you get a yes, you should say to yourself, “great” avoiding the fanfare. And when you get a “no” you should say, “Great – the next one may be a yes. But I know that the no’s bring me the yeses, so I’ll keep going.”
That’s the great thing about this strategy, because ultimately for this to work, you’ve got to get into action. You have to step outside your comfort zone and start hearing no’s!
When you start hearing no’s and start thinking differently about no, realizing that you are on the right path, you’ll feel more empowered than ever before. And when you are feeling empowered that will improve your self-confidence and when that happens, you feel better even in the face of a no.
It all works together. It is a cycle, but it always starts with failure, not with success.
Andrea Waltz is the co-author of “Go for No” a short powerful story written specifically for sales professionals in every industry who must learn to harness the power of no to be successful. To learn more, visit http://www.goforno.com
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