What do you do when you screw up?

The only thing you can, you improvise, and you recover.

Yesterday I made a nice little mistake. I sent out an email to 27,420+ people around the world with a link that didn’t work.

As soon as I found out (thanks to many people emailing and telling me), I fixed the problem and sent out another email.

You can’t get too stressed out about these things.

I remember one sales call I went on when some years ago when I was selling help desk software. I had my own laptop with Windows NT running on it – not a big deal now, but it was advanced at the time.

I got to the prospect’s office with my Windows NT laptop, software loaded ready to go. They showed me to the conference room. Everyone was waiting. And I mean everyone. There were about 12 people sitting around waiting for me to start my presentation.

At that sales job, I was a one man show. I was the only person with my company in all of California, actually the only person in my company in the entire Western United States.

So I had to generate leads, make appointments, go out on sales calls, give demonstrations, prepare proposals, draft contracts, close deals, and collect the checks.

In front of all those 12 people, by myself, I hit power switch on my laptop. It started up briefly. And after a few seconds I got a blue screen, and my laptop died. I tried starting it again. Wouldn’t boot up. Again – no boot. And again, and again. No boot up.

My laptop was dead. And everything I had planned on showing at the time was on it.

Fortunately I knew my product pretty well.

I had to improvise. So I decided to talk these people through a demonstration of my help desk software. There was a big white board in the conference room.

I got up and I started to draw a picture of the software and one of the screens that a help desk agent would use. I explained what you could do there, and how it would be used.

Then I drew another screen, and explained what activity you could do there and how it would be used. I continued doing this until I had filled the white board with about 25-30 "screens" of information.

No one left the room. Everyone stayed, watched, asked questions and listened.

As far as sales calls go, I was pretty proud of how well I had averted a potential disaster.

As for getting the deal, well no I didn’t get the deal.

Turns out that I hadn’t qualified that prospect very well. Which is one of the reasons I keep harping on this to you.

Sales calls are costly. Everyone of them takes time to go out on, and time to prepare for, and takes up attention in your brain.

You should qualify your prospects, and only go after the ones that have a high likelihood of wanting to do business with you. I teach some specific skills for doing this in the Persuasive Selling Skills Audio Program, which you can get online now.

Find the deals ones that are right for you, and get them wanting to purchase from *you*. The sale becomes easy then, and it is possible to create a lot of these deals using the right skills. The kind of skills I talk about on this blog and in the Persuasive Selling Skills Audio Program.

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus