The Best Thing About Failure

“Hello.” The voice says on the phone.
“Hi, Janice. This is John Salesman calling. Remember me?”
“Oh, yes. You sold us our house.”
“How do you like it?”
“Oh, we love it!”
“I was wondering then if you would mind giving me some names of your friends and family who might be looking to buy a new home.”
“Well, I’m not sure I should give out their information. I’d be a little embarrassed for you to call and try to sell them something.”
“Oh, okay. Well, nice talking to you.”

This is an abbreviated version of how a conversation to solicit referrals often goes. If something like this has happened to you, then you’ve probably noticed that it kicks off a destructive cycle of self-talk: “I didn’t get any referrals because I didn’t say the right thing or ask the right way. I’m just no good at this. It makes me uncomfortable. Every time I try, I fail.”

Unfortunately, because you believe you can’t do it, you stop trying and lapse into complacency. The end result is that you miss opportunities to sell more homes and you’re shackled by a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So, how do you break the cycle? Quit basing future actions on former experiences. Just because one buyer didn’t want to pass along referrals, that doesn’t mean all your buyers won’t. Some will be happy to recommend you to their friends … if you ask. And therein lies the secret … you must ask. They aren’t likely to volunteer the names.

If you’ve tried and failed to get referrals, do the same thing that you should do anytime you fail to get what you want. Try again … because the best thing about failure is that, the next time you try, you’ll be smarter.

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