How to Learn from Your Sales Mistakes

If you’ve been working in sales for at least a day, you have likely made sales mistakes. While we all know that mistakes happen, we do not like to be the reason behind them.

Types of Sales Mistakes

What types of sales mistakes am I talking about? Sales information, strategy or relationship errors:

  • Incorrect price quotes
  • Inaccurate service or product explanation
  • Misunderstanding the customer needs and proposing the wrong solution
  • Misunderstanding the customer decision-making process
  • Failing to develop a relationship with a key customer decision-maker

Sales Mistakes QuoteWhat you need to remember is that no matter how big or small the mistake is, it doesn’t have to impact your career. In fact, many businesses expect their employees to make mistakes every now and then. They are an important element of employee growth and innovation. So, if you have made a mistake, don’t let it negatively impact your confidence. Learn from it and grow.

When you’re getting started in sales or starting a new position at a new company, your first instinct may be to hide a mistake. It is much more important that you accept your mistake, take the blame for your mistake and move on.

Keep looking forward and don’t let that one mistake negatively impact your career. The most effective thing you can do is to turn it into a valuable learning experience.

Mistakes are an important element in leadership development.  Own it, and ensure that you will not let it happen again. When you demonstrate to your boss and co-workers that you have learned from the mistake you made, they will recognize your honesty and willingness to learn from experience.

It is also important that you have a strong and reliable support network. Especially if you’re new to the position, asking questions in advance can help prevent mistakes in the first place. After the fact, it’s helpful to ask members of your support team  how to handle or overcome it.

You may be surprised at the advice they have to offer and how they can actually help you learn from the mistake. Odds are, they have made mistakes in their careers as well.

Once you have accepted responsibility, it is extremely important that you do not allow your mistakes to hold you back. Once your mistake is behind you, leave it there and focus on the future.

If the mistake was so serious that others may question your skills and abilities, work harder to show them that you are not your mistake and that you have moved on and learned from it. Once you do that, they will begin to see that you are responsible and worth of another chance.

When you overcome your mistakes and accept that they are not signs of weakness or incompetence, you will demonstrate to others that you are resilient and determined to become successful.

What mistakes have you made and learned from?

Debbie Mrazek

Debbie Mrazek, author of the Field Guide to Sales, is a sales coach who delivers a sales prescription that really works. She teaches individuals how to transform their talents into s-a-l-e-s.

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Author: Debbie Mrazek