In Sales When Do You Give Up?

In sales, when do you give up?

How do you answer this question?

I can’t answer that question for you. Everyone has their limit and those limits vary based upon pressure, pain and the problem they are facing.

Here’s what I know for sure: Successful people don’t view “giving up” as a failure. They dedicate their best effort to everything they attempt and they learn from each experience.

I’m experiencing this now through the eyes of my 10-year-old son.  Nick competes in Kenpo Karate and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments.

He’s runs 3 miles, at 6:30 per mile pace, each morning before school. He practices at the martial arts school 6 days per week after school and on Saturday. We have a gymnastics and flexibility instructor come to the house on Sundays (his day off from martial arts) to help him with movement and muscle tone.

He’s been at this 18 months. He is the least experienced kid on the team. When he spars at the gym, he loses…a lot. His teammates are faster and they know more technique.  And losing in martial arts is not pretty.  Sometimes you lose when your opponent scores more points than you, but that’s only in tournaments. In sparring, you lose when you “submit.”  That means you tap your hand on the mat because the pain is too great or you are at risk of injury.

The first lesson a martial arts student learns is when to “tap out.” When to quit and live to fight another day. They are taught that there is no honor in allowing yourself to be seriously injured. As long as you don’t make the same mistakes repeatedly, there is no shame in learning from your defeat, and coming back to fight again.

Nick has participated in two full contact Kenpo tournaments. He came in second in his weight class in both. He’s fought in one Jiu Jitsu tournament. He took second place in that as well.  Each time he defeated opponents who were more experienced and lost in the finals. All the work with his teammates, all the failure in practice, prepared him for the pressure he faced. I am extremely proud of him but, more importantly, he was proud of himself.

I’ve learned a lot from training and watching my son these last 18 months.

A 10-year-old kid trusts the process. He will fail and pop right back up and get back in the fight. He has a short memory, resilience, and zero fear of failure. This is because he has been told that there is no shame in giving his best effort and learning from “tapping out.”

All of us need to regress back to the days when we didn’t care what happened when we took a calculated risk. Even for adults there is no shame in giving your best effort and learning from a less-than-optimal experience.

Here is a 12-minute video I recorded last week on rejection and the importance of believing in yourself. This video is for lawyers, business leaders, and salespeople who want to be at the top of their game. Rejection is a necessary building block of success.

How to Handle Rejection

Video:  How to Handle Rejection

Think about the question I posed at the beginning of this conversation. When do you give up?

What you may have realized is that it’s a trick question. If you “tap out” and come right back to fight again, you’re not giving up. You’re learning and moving forward.


If your interested in reading more about overcoming rejection in sales, this article will be if interest:  Put on Rejection Armor