“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
– President Theodore Roosevelt’s “Citizenship in a Republic”
In sales, it is inevitable that you won’t win all of your deals. You’ll stumble occasionally. You need to let these losses become lessons in learning. Use the loss to reflect on how you could have improved your sales process. Did you ask the right questions so that you were armed with the right information to provide the very best solution? Was your value differentiated? Did you understand your prospect’s business issue and whether you could solve it? And, did you really have access to the ultimate decision maker? Embrace these lessons learned; they are milestones in the path to achieving your goals.
While your face may not be physically “marred by dust and sweat and blood,” these losses may be blows to your confidence and to your ego. Remain focused on your will to succeed and press on.
Finally, if you don’t let the critics get you down and you remain focused on pursuing your goals and dreams, you’ll never be accused of being a “cold and timid soul who neither knows victory nor defeat.” Find the courage to pursue your goals regardless of the resistance you may receive so that you don’t look back later and say, “What if?” Instead, Visualize it!