Sales Best Practice #13 – Inside Relationships

Posted by Dave Kahle on July 18, 2014 under Sales Training | Be the First to Comment

Relationships with inside people, a best sales practice by Dave Kahle.

By Dave Kahle

Best Practice #13:  Has an excellent relationship with customer service, purchasing and all the support staff inside his/her organization.

This is such an important practice that I have named it one of my top eleven time management strategies. If you have the book, Eleven Secrets of Time Management for Salespeople, you’ll see that it is secret number nine.

I had to learn this the hard way. I was a heavy-hitting, driven sales person. I’d stop into the office, drop off work for everyone, and head back out to my territory. I just assumed that everyone would do the jobs that I had deposited on them. My task-oriented style put a number of people off, and my operations manager warned me that I was creating ill-will among the office staff.

It took a while, but I finally decided that I needed them to be on my side. So, I apologized, bought everyone a gift, and tried to re-start the relationship on a more positive basis. As people gradually came over to my side, I found that I was able to be far more productive.

Instead of doing a project myself, I could confidently ask someone inside to do it for me. Since they liked me, they didn’t mind. Instead of expediting a back order myself, I could have someone else do it. Instead of walking a new and complex order through the system, I could have someone else do it.

Job Allocation by pakorn at

I discovered that many of the tasks that I previously had done myself could be done just as effectively and much more efficiently by someone else. That freed up my time to do what I did best – visit my customers and sell my company’s products. As a result, I was much more effective.

That’s why this is one of the best practices of the best sales people. The average sales person creates an overwhelming list of tasks to perform and things to do which then weigh him/her down and decrease the amount of time spent with customers. The exceptional sales person creates relationships, not tasks, and influences those people to do the tasks for him. In so doing, he/she multiplies his effectiveness and dramatically increases the amount of time spent with customers.

It’s a best practice of the best sales people.

To learn more about how to do this, read chapter nine of Eleven Secrets of Time Management for Salespeople.


About the author:

Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written twelve books, presented in 47 states and ten countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine.

Check out our Sales Resource Center® for 455 audio and sales training programs for every sales person at every level. You may contact Dave at Kahle Way® Sales Systems, 800-331-1287, or

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Image courtesy of parkorn/

How to Build Rapport with Anyone

Posted by Dave Kahle on July 7, 2014 under Sales Training | Be the First to Comment

By Dave Kahle

Building rapport with customers is like squirting oil into gears. Imagine some gears grinding together. When you squirt lubricating oil into the gears, you reduce the friction and make everything work smoother.

So it is when two people interact with each other. Rapport, like lubricating oil, reduces the friction and makes the interaction work smoother. For a sales person, creating rapport with any human being is an essential step that enables the customer to feel comfortable, and leads to a much more effective sales interaction. The best sales people create rapport with everyone.

Fortunately, creating that sense of understanding and mutual trust is a skill which has been studied through the ages. Here are a few proven ways to build rapport with anyone.

1. Pay attention to your appearance.

People will form an impression of you, based on how you look, before they even say hello to you. Your appearance, then, should be designed to help you look confident and competent – whatever that means in your market. At a minimum, that means clothes clean and pressed, shoes shined and hair cut.

Your attire should help you connect with the customer — not separate you from him. For example, if you are calling on production supervisors, you shouldn’t wear a suit and tie, as that will separate you from them and generate a bit of discomfort in them.

The best rule I’ve seen is this: Dress like your customer, only a little better. On several occasions, I have worked with sales forces who sold to farmers. Blue jeans and flannel shirts are OK, as long as they are clean and pressed blue jeans, and a better quality flannel shirt.

But what if you call on several different types of customers in the same day? One sales person shared his approach to this problem. He wore gray slacks, a blue button-down collar shirt, and a navy blazer. When he called on managers and executives, he dressed it up by putting on a tie. And, when he called on people who weren’t in the executive suite, he dressed it down by removing the blazer and the tie.

Business Man by graur razvan ionut at

2. Use a sincere compliment

Everyone likes to be complimented. When you sincerely compliment a customer (or his company), you communicate that you are interested in him/her, that you have noticed something they do that stands out, and that you aren’t afraid to say something complimentary. Those are all good things.

Not so long ago, I entered a prospect’s office building for the first time. The lobby was quite dramatic, with a two story atrium, and a soaring piece of sculpture. When he came down to meet me, I immediately told him that the lobby was very impressive, and that I felt very comfortable and a bit inspired because of it. We chatted for a few minutes about it and I then followed him to his office, having achieved some rapport.

Executives Posing Under A Chandelier by stockimages at

This article is available in an expanded format.  Read “Seven ways to build rapport with anyone”  here.

3. Ask a perceptive question

A perceptive question, asked with sincerity, does everything that a compliment does and then some. When the compliment doesn’t call for any response from the customer, a question does. If done correctly, it can initiate the conversation and help the customer feel like you are interested and care about him.

In the previous situation, for example, I could have said, “Was it designed to create that kind of feeling?”

4. Indicate a personal connection

If you have something in common with the customer, mention it. You don’t have to beat it to death, just mention it. When the customer discovers that you both know the same person, went to the same school, vacationed in the same place, or belong to the same organization, he realizes that you are alike in some ways. It’s easier to do business with someone who is like you.

Access 25 years of wisdom and insight on-line, 24/7 for one low monthly fee.  Learn more here.

Building rapport is a science with proven practices and tactics. Use any of these techniques and watch your ability to create rapport improve, and thereby smooth out the way to more sales.

About the Author:

Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written twelve books, presented in 47 states and ten countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations.  Sign up for his free weekly Ezine.  Check out our Sales Resource Center for 455 sales training programs for every sales person at every level.

You may contact Dave at 800-331-1287, or

Image “Business Man” courtesy of graur razvan ionut/

Image “Executives Posing Under A Chandelier” courtesy of stockimages/

Sales Q&A – Money Owed

Posted by Dave Kahle on June 24, 2014 under Sales Training | Be the First to Comment

By Dave Kahle

Q. How do you deal with a difficult customer who owes you money and constantly draws you out by hanging the money he owes you over your head? This customer also requires three times more service than most of our other customers.

A. It sounds like this customer is taking advantage of you. I suspect that this is not a profitable customer — you are probably losing money on him.

Let’s try to sort this out. First, I’m not sure why you are involved in worrying about the money he owes you. I believe that a sales person ought to help run interference for the company when it comes to collecting money. I also believe that a sales person has the responsibility to not sell to accounts that he/she knows are in financial difficulty. Having said that, it appears to me, in this situation, that the money he owes you doesn’t sound like a sales issue. Your company’s management, specifically the credit department, ought to have a series of policies and procedures to address these kinds of issues. This customer certainly should have some terms within which he is expected to pay, as well as a credit limit. Those are credit issues, not sales issues.

It’s really pretty simple from your perspective. If he’s over the credit limit, you can’t sell him. If he’s under, you can. It should be pretty black and white. So, just don’t get into a conversation regarding the money. Refer it to your company’s financial and credit management.

The “three times more service than other customers” is really the issue. The real question is this: Is it wise for you to invest that much time in this customer?

Effort Time Money Dice by Stuart Miles /

The practical answer has to do with your own personal situation. If you have extra time and not a lot to do, and the time you invest in this customer is not time that you could be investing in someone else, then it is probably worth it. Better a difficult customer than no customer. Better some sales than no sales.

If, however, the time that you spend with this customer is time that you could be spending with other, more profitable customers, then you have a conflict.

This calls for a process I call “demoting some customers.” It requires you to make cold-blooded business decisions about the future potential of a given customer, and then to use that objective analysis to change the amount of time you spend on a customer.

I’ve described this process in several other places. If you want to read about it, review the chapter six of my book, 11 Secrets of Time Management for Salespeople, titled The Fourth Time Management Secret: Prioritize Your Customers and Prospects! It’s also taught, in some detail, in The Sales Resource Center® on-line course entitled: Top Gun Light: Session one.

It may be that, because of this customer’s slow payment and exceptional service demands, it is not wise for you to continue to deal with this customer. There is nothing that says you have to sell to everyone on their terms. It may be best for you to move on and invest your sales time in other customers.

So, bottom line is this: make some cold-blooded business decisions about whether this customer is worth the time you are investing in him. Don’t be afraid to cut him off, if that is the best decision.

About the author:

Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written twelve books, presented in 47 states and ten countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine. His most recent book, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime, has been named one of the “five best business books,” by three international entities.

The Sales Resource Center® contains 455 audio and video training programs for sales people, sales managers, and Chief Sales Officers.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Sales Tip – Keeping track of the things discussed with customers

Posted by Dave Kahle on June 16, 2014 under Sales Training | Be the First to Comment

BP #12: Has a good system for keeping track of the things discussed with the customers. A best practice for sales people by Dave Kahle, author and leading sales educator.

By Dave Kahle

I am constantly amazed at the number of sales people who never take notes during or after the visit with a customer, thinking, I suppose, that they will remember everything important. Or worse, that nothing is important enough to actually remember.

A close second are those who, on occasion, realize the need to take notes, but who seem constantly surprised by that need, and unprepared for it. They find themselves using the backs of printed pages, the margins of selling literature, the backs of business cards, etc. to scribble cryptic remarks. The concept of a well-thought-out system has evaded them.

By the way, this is one of the benefits of a well-designed and comprehensive CRM system, which forces you to take good notes by requiring that you respond to the prompts and blank spaces of a computer screen.

A well-prepared, organized sales person needs to have a system that prompts him/her to take the right kinds of notes for every sales call, organizes that information so that he/she can take the necessary follow up action, and makes that information available in every succeeding sales call.

As a minimum, that system should include forms, either electronic or paper, to record certain aspects of the account that the sales person picks up from time to time – things like the number of employees, the type of equipment used, the position and title of the key decision-makers, etc.

Then, there needs to be a place to record the important aspects of the conversation. What did you talk about?

Finally, there ought to be a place to record the action items that came out of that conversation. Do you need to call someone? Check on something? Arrange for something? These “to dos” should also be kept in a duplicate file, with the date by which you promised to have them completed.

Finally, you ought to record those things that you want to take up in the next sales call. That information should be readily assessable so that you can plan for it as you prepare for the next time you see this customer.

There are various mediums on which this information can be recorded. Some people will use paper, others will use smart phones or tablets, while others record everything on a laptop. With the sophistication of today’s computer systems, there really is no excuse for a sales person not to be conscientiously and systematically recording, storing, and using meticulously gathered information from the customer.

It’s a regular practice of the best.

To learn more about this best practice, review:

Copyright MMXIV by Dave Kahle
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Sales Tip – The Impenetrable Account

Posted by Dave Kahle on June 9, 2014 under Sales Training | Be the First to Comment

By Dave Kahle

How do I sell to an account that is firmly in the hands of a competitor?

In one form or another, I hear that question at almost every sales seminar I teach. It’s a great question, reflecting one of the most perplexing and frustrating situations every sales person faces. If you haven’t yet been faced with this problem, be patient, you will be soon.

Here’s how this usually develops: You’ve called on a large, high-potential account a number of times, but can’t seem to get anywhere. The more time you spend in the account, the more apparent it is that one or more of your competitors is deeply ingrained in that account. You may even have had someone say to you, “We do all our business with XYZ competitor.”

And that leaves you on the outside looking in. If the account has some real potential, you want to be seriously considered as a supplier. But it looks like this account is not really interested in you – not because of you or your company, but because of a previously established strong relationship with a competitor.

So, how do you manage this account? What should you do?

Let’s start with what not to do.

Man holding axe to break the door

Don’t vent your frustration by speaking poorly about the competition. And don’t attack the competitor’s products, company, practices or sales people. Someone who works for this customer – or more likely, several people who work there – chose to do business with that competitor. They have chosen to buy the competitor’s products, have developed a close working relationship, and may be good friends outside of work. When you speak badly about the competition, you insult all those decisions made by the customer to work with that particular competitor. Trying to penetrate an account by insulting your customer’s judgment is a bad idea.

Realize, also, that you have only a tiny glimpse of what your competitor is really like. You may have found some evidence in another account of their ineptness, or what you perceive as unethical behavior. And on the basis of this tiny experience, you’re ready to launch a holy crusade to reveal their deep flaws and expose the risks of doing business with them.

That is almost never the truth. Almost always, your competitor is a company with products, ethics, business systems, people and goals that are very similar to yours. Very few companies survive in this highly competitive market place if they have shoddy products, lax business morals, incompetent people, and poor operating systems. When you criticize these things in your competitor, you show yourself to be ignorant and inexperienced.

But what should you do?

Leadership brings ladder

Here are two proven techniques to penetrate these kinds of accounts.

1. Go around the competition, not through them.

This customer is probably not buying everything from your primary competitor. There likely is a handful of other suppliers selling items that you could supply. Focus on those. Find items that are being purchased from someone other than the main vendor, and present your company’s options on those. Often these could be small quantities of relatively inconspicuous items that don’t appear on the radar screen of your competitor.

When you put together attractive programs and proposals for those kinds of items, you don’t threaten your customer’s relationship with your competitor, and you begin to show them the value of a relationship with you.

Be careful to keep a relatively low profile in the account. You don’t want to draw your competitor’s attention. At first, as you try to pick off some of these miscellaneous items, you are very vulnerable to your primary competitor finding and squashing you. As time goes by and you’re successful at becoming the supplier of a number of miscellaneous items, you’ll gain power and position within the account, and in so doing, build some defenses against the ire of your competitor. You’re always safer if your competitor underestimates your activity and success within an account. So, at least until you’re well established, be as discreet and inconspicuous as possible.

Here’s a number of ways to implement this strategy of “going around the competition.”

A. Find some area within the customer’s business where the competition is very weak. For example, when I was selling hospital supplies, I discovered that one of my major competitors was very strong in the operating room. The competitor had a wide range of products, well-respected lines, a history of being active and interested in that area of the hospital, and significant expertise in operating room procedures and problems. So, I didn’t bother with the operating room, and spent my time in respiratory therapy and ICU. The competition never bothered to visit those departments. I went around my competition by finding a department on which to focus where the competition was weak.

This article is available in an expanded version. Click here to read it.

B. Find someone who doesn’t like dealing with your competitor. This may take longer. In a large organization, there are often dozens of decision-makers and influencers. It’s likely that one or more of them may not like dealing with your competitor. Maybe personalities clashed sometime in the past, or someone felt slighted or treated rudely. Regardless, someone inside that organization may not be your competitor’s biggest fan. Find that person(s).

Here’s the second major strategy for penetrating the impenetrable account.

2. Make a persistent, strong appeal to be the secondary supplier for that account.

Here’s one important thing you know about this customer: They are loyal to their key supplier. That indicates a philosophical position this customer holds – these are people who believe in loyalty to suppliers who do a good job in their account. That’s why they continue to buy from your competitor.

I was faced with this exact situation on more than one occasion. As I was venting my frustration over a particularly difficult account, my manager counseled me like this:

“The only thing you can count on,” he said, “is that things will change. We don’t know how, and we don’t know when, but we do know that things will change. Your job is to stay in front of the customer and position yourself to be the customer’s easiest, lowest risk choice when things finally do change with the competition.”

What great advice that turned out to be.

Almost always, those accounts that protect a relationship with your competitor will just as fervently protect the relationship with you when you become their primary supplier. The payoff is well worth the investment.

About the author:

Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written twelve books, presented in 47 states and ten countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine.

Check out our Sales Resource Center® for 455 audio and sales training programs for every sales person at every level. You may contact Dave at Kahle Way® Sales Systems, 800-331-1287, or

All rights reserved

Image “Man Holding Axe to Break the Door” courtesy of Stoonn/

Image “Leadership Bring Ladder” courtesy of jesadaphorn/

Kahle Way Teams Up with Commence for Sales Training Services

Posted by Commence on June 5, 2014 under Commence News, Sales Training | Be the First to Comment

Dave Kahle's Sales Manager Training and Resources

We are pleased to announce that Dave Kahle, CEO of the Kahle Way has teamed up with Commence Corporation to offer sales training to Commence customers. Dave is one of the industry’s leading sales authorities. He has authored 12 books on the subject including Question Your Way to Sales Success, 11 Secrets of Time Management for Salespeople and his latest, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime. His books have been translated into eight languages, and are available in over 20 countries. He has helped transform and improve the business performance of hundreds of sales organizations and is ready to assist Commence customers looking to improve their sales performance.

One of the advantages of engaging Dave is that his firm is a Commence customer and is using the company’s web based CRM solution for lead management, opportunity management, forecasting and reporting. In addition, the Kahle Way provides you with a proven sales methodology or process that has been incorporated right within the Commence CRM system.

If you would like to learn more you can contact Dave directly at 800-331-1287 or visit the company’s web site at

Sales Q&A – Finesse

Posted by Dave Kahle on June 2, 2014 under Sales Training | Be the First to Comment

Woman As A Telephone Operator Holding MarkerQ. Recently, as I was cold calling my target list in a new industry, I stumbled on my first serious opportunity. After meeting and gaining commitment from my new prospect, I asked the woman who first tried to screen me, “Why did you pass my call on to your boss?” She said, “You had finesse.”

That was the first time anyone ever described it that way. I have no idea what that means, nor would I know how to teach that to others.

So, my question is, what is finesse? Can it be described and learned, or does one just have to learn it by years of enduring screening gymnastics excellently performed by gum-popping receptionists?

A. What an insightful and articulate question. Honestly, until this question was asked, I had never thought about it. But, I have now, and here’s my response.

Finesse, according to the dictionary, is “the ability to handle delicate and difficult situations skillfully and diplomatically — artfulness.”

Let’s think about this and try to flesh out a picture of what the person with finesse looks like.

The definition implies that a person with finesse is good with people. That means that he/she is sensitive to reading other people. The person with finesse can focus on the individuals with whom he is interacting, giving them the full scope of his attention.

The finesse-full person would have a great understanding of what motivates individuals, and could quickly and accurately decipher how to work with each individual.

The person with finesse operates with uncommon courtesy. He/she treats everyone with respect, and makes everyone feel special.

These skills imply an exceptional degree of self-control. The person with finesse manages and controls his impulses and emotions, and interacts with people on the basis of courtesy and thoughtfulness of the other person. The people around the finesse-full person are acknowledged and respected, and are not viewed as receptacles for the impulsive expression of his/her emotions. In other words, the person with finesse has a high degree of emotional intelligence.

But the real question is, “Can you gain finesse?”

Of course you can. While some people are born with tendencies toward these characteristics, they still must learn them. It’s like music. Some people are born with an aptitude, but they must still learn how to play. And everyone can learn to play to some degree, if they chose to do so.

So, yes, you can learn to operate with finesse. Everyone can learn to have a greater degree of “finesse” than they have now. Like so many of these “soft skills,” it is not a matter of either/or, of having it or not, but rather of the degree to which you operate with finesse. I suppose that almost everyone has some degree of finesse, but some people are more skilled than others.

How do you gain finesse?

Start with study and reflection. Study the books and audio programs of those teachers who have something to teach you about some portion of this. Daniel Goleman’s book on Emotional Intelligence is a great starting place. I’d also point toward my programs on “Relationship Building.”

Check out our online classes for sales people here.

Then, establish the habit of reflecting. After every sales call, take a few moments and reflect on what you did in that call, what effect it had on the people involved, and what you should do better the next time you are in a similar situation. Take note of that change you think you should make and do it that way in the future. Make this post-call reflection a habit. As time goes on, you’ll slowly but surely acquire those people skills that make up the characteristics of finesse – you’ll artfully handle delicate and difficult situations skillfully and diplomatically.

About the author:

Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written twelve books, presented in 47 states and ten countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine. His most recent book, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime, has been named one of the “five best business books,” by three international entities.

The Sales Resource Center® contains 455 audio and video training programs for sales people, sales managers, and Chief Sales Officers.

All rights reserved

Image courtesy of marin/

Sales Tip – How to prevent being inundated with useless information

Posted by Dave Kahle on May 16, 2014 under Sales Training | Be the First to Comment

Best Practice #11: Regularly implements a system to prevent being inundated with useless information.

By Dave Kahle

On first glance, this looks like a bit unrelated to the day-to-day challenges of an effective sales person. What has this to do with your interactions with your customers?

Consider the issue of “sales time.” Sales time is the time that you actually spend interacting with your customers either on the phone, email or text, or in person. It is the heart of your job and the ultimate reason your company employs you. Investing your sales time effectively is one of the most powerful strategies for achieving better results.

Because of the demands for administration, reporting, preparing, travel, etc., the typical field sales person only spends about 25 percent of his/her work week in “sales time.” In our challenging economy, the demands on our time by the press of “other stuff” can be overwhelming.

We need to be constantly battling the allure of “other stuff” so that we are investing sufficiently in selling time. All things being equal, the more time you actually spend with your customers, the more successful you will be.

So that leads us to this question: What constitutes the biggest proportion of other stuff? What has the potential to overwhelm us, to rob us of our sales time by tempting us to invest our energies in something not nearly as effective?

The answer? Information.

Communication Icons by digitalart at

We are inundated with information. Consider the amount of selling literature, technical bulletins, computer reports, web pages, emails, voice mails, texts and memos from the boss that we have to deal with every day. All these are types of information. If we gave in to the temptation of dealing with all the information that comes our way, we could easily spend 10 – 20 hours a week doing nothing but that.

And that would not be a good idea. It would detract from our ability to create sales time, and immediately and negatively impact our performance.

That leads us to this best practice. The best performers don’t waste a lot of time dealing with useless information. They stay focused on the heart of the job – sales time – understanding that without quality time with their customers nothing else matters.

So, they create disciplines and strategies that enable them to deal with all the forms of information quickly and expediently. The run-of-the-mill sales people waste inordinate amounts of time processing information.

To learn more about this best practice:

* review chapters four and five of How to Excel at Distributor Sales

* review chapter eight of Ten Secrets of Time Management for Salespeople

* review chapter ten of Insights & Answers for Distributor Salespeople

* read the article on my website entitled “Managing Information.”

* Purchase a one-month subscription to the Sales Resource Center, and take Pod-22: Time Management and Pod #43 “Get Organized! Managing Information before it Manages You.”

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 Image courtesy of digitalart /

Sales Tips – Learning from Failure

Posted by Dave Kahle on May 8, 2014 under Sales Training | Be the First to Comment

By Dave Kahle

Remember John Delorean? He was the superstar General Motors executive who started the Delorean Motor Company. When the company began to falter, he was arrested and charged with complicity in a drug deal that some speculated was an attempt to raise money to prop up the company.

All of this was big news in Detroit, where I was living at the time. One particularly insightful article in the Detroit News theorized that he had been supremely successful his whole life, and thus never learned to deal with failure. His development was stunted by a lack of failure in his life. Faced with the pending failure of his auto company, he had nothing to lean upon, and lost his moral compass. A long string of successes had not developed his character.

Perhaps. There is one thing for certain, regardless of the individual circumstances for Mr. DeLorean. If we choose to, we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. Within every failure there is the seed of a lesson well learned, of a solid character trait emerging. It is our failures that contribute most intensely to our development.

To this day, I can recall with vivid detail the events of my most humiliating failure as a sales person. It was early in my career, about three decades ago, and I had made the mistake of speaking badly about the competition to a customer. The customer was a personal friend of the competitive sales person, and was personally affronted by my comment. The dressing down that I received at the hands of that customer remains painfully with me today. I don’t believe that I have ever made that mistake since.

Fall Of Rider Motocross by Toa55 at

Which is one of my points. Our failures are often far more intensely painful than the corresponding highs we get when we succeed. Since the pain is far more intense, the lessons stay with us. Or, they should, if we recognize the part that our behavior played in the failure.

That’s a key part of learning from our failures: recognizing the role that we played in bringing them about. Of course, sometimes we are hapless and innocent victims of chance or someone else’s misbehavior. But more often than not, we had a hand in the development of the sequence of events which resulted in a painful loss to us.

Remember Detective Sipowitz in the TV show “NYPD Blue?” In one episode, at the scene of a murder, he cynically remarked that “There are no victims.” In other words, the victim was in some way partially responsible for his own demise. Of course that is not true for every event, but in a sober reflection of my life, which is the only thing I know well enough about to make this kind of judgment, I find it to be true more often than not. Maybe, almost every time.

In other words, in almost every career and personal failure in my life, I was, at least in part, a contributor to the chaos that erupted. Once I realize that I am not a victim but a partial contributor, then the way is clear for me to assess my role in it, and to determine never to make that mistake again.

As long as I refuse to acknowledge my role, then I remain a helpless victim, forever chained to the negative consequences of the failure, and powerless to do anything about it.

Failure then, when our attitude is right, provides fertile ground for the sowing of life lessons which often sprout into solid character traits. In many ways, we become that which we learned from our failures. Show me a man of solid, substantial character, and I’ll show you someone with a list of failures in his background.

This article is available in an expanded version. Click here to read it.

Failure humbles us. That is one specific character trait that often sprouts from the fertile ground of multiple failures. It is hard to remain proud or arrogant when faced with the truth of several failures.

Maybe that’s why the most common defense trait of proud people is denial. One of the most arrogant people I have ever dealt with spent most of his time denying his culpability in even the smallest business errors. Quick to point out errors in his customers, he never once said, “I’m sorry. It’s our fault.” His arrogance, untouched by the reality that he kept at arms length, grew so insufferable that we could no longer stand to do business with him.

The opposite of denial is, of course, the acceptance of personal responsibility. It is personal responsibility, coupled with the consequences of our less-than-perfect actions, that helps build humility.

While no one should strive to fail, if we look at every instance of our own failures as opportunities to learn and grow, and if we objectively search to identify our role in that failure, we’ll come out of each better and stronger.

About the author:

Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written twelve books, presented in 47 states and ten countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine. Check out our Sales Resource Center for 455 sales training programs for every sales person at every level. You may contact Dave at Kahle Way® Sales Systems, 800-331-1287, or

Copyright MMXIV by Dave Kahle

All rights reserved

Image courtesy of Toa55 /

Teaching Sales Professionals to See the Glass as Half Full

Posted by Commence on May 5, 2014 under Sales Training | Be the First to Comment

Article by Larry Caretsky on

Half full glass of waterLarry Caretsky discusses sales management skills for professional sales people.  Excerpt below:

“…One of the most crucial skills you can help your sales team develop is the ability to effectively manage adversity and overcome rejection through the power of positive thinking.”

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