The Value of a Sales Mistake

By Zig Ziglar 

When you watch sports professionals, whether golf, tennis or any other sport, play near-perfect games, you probably stand in amazement. What you’re watching is an individual who has literally hit thousands of golf balls, or tennis balls, many of them poorly, and has taken hundreds of lessons from teaching pros to improve his or her game. They understood from the beginning that if they were going to play good golf or tennis, they would play a lot of poor games along the way.


As you practice and hone your sales skills remember that anything worth doing is worth doing poorly! Chances are superb that when you read the last sentence you did a double-take and thought to yourself, “That is ridiculous!”

But, let us think together and I believe you will agree that the observation is correct. Look at it this way: If you were to quit any endeavor because you did miserably on the first try, your life would be infinitely poorer. Think of it this way: When you watch sports professionals, whether golf, tennis or any other sport, play near-perfect games, you probably stand in amazement. What you’re watching is an individual who has literally hit thousands of golf balls, or tennis balls, many of them poorly, and has taken hundreds of lessons from teaching pros to improve his or her game. They understood from the beginning that if they were going to play good golf or tennis, they would play a lot of poor games along the way.

The same applies in every area of life. Most sales professionals probably blew many sales before they became consummate professionals. They understood that every call, whether they made or missed the sale, was a marvelous learning experience. They understood that if it was worth doing, it was worth doing poorly – until they learned to do it well.

The same can be said of the exceptional teacher or the master chef. Each undoubtedly made many mistakes along the way, but they considered those “mistakes” learning experiences. So, whatever your endeavor, just remember that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well. Buy that idea and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!