How to fail the 21st century? “Just Sit There”

How to fail the 21st century? “Just Sit There”

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

#371 The inspiration for this column came from my friend, and world class motivational speaker, Julio Melara

#371 The inspiration for this column came from my friend, and world class motivational speaker, Julio Melara.

How to fail the 21st century? “Just Sit There”

Know how many companies expanded too soon, rearranged their product lines the wrong way, entered new markets they shouldn’t have, closed down some plants, tried to change their corporate cultures, brought in new management teams, downsized, lowered their training budgets or sold their companies out from under their employees this decade?

ANSWER: Too many.

Know how many businesses created quality circles, formed strategic alliances, tried management by objectives, banged the TQM drum, developed synergy, and shifted paradigms this decade?

ANSWER: Too many.

And many of these change initiatives failed. So what? It doesn’t really matter what the company does. The only thing that matters to you is how are you affected by it and if you want to dwell on it just one more moment you may also think about how that change will affect your lifestyle.

So, what it really boils down to is YOU.

And in your wisdom you may be blaming these corporate failure for your failings wrong, buzzword breath. Things don’t fail. People fail.

NOTE: At this point, every personal development guru in the world writing this article, would now give you some “ideas to succeed by.” A formula that is sure to work. The reality is that there isn’t one surefire “success” or “change” strategy, BUT you can eliminate or adjust your failure habits.

Are you a failure? No, but you could be heading downhill. So, I today decided to present the opposite view the failure perspective as a kind of coldslapintheface. And besides it may be a bit more revealing to see how to fail instead of how to succeed. So, here are the 6.5 principles on “How to Fail” in the 21st century. See how your failure factor is doing…

1. Be satisfied: Be satisfied with where you are, what you have, and with the status quo. The comfort zone is the best killer of human potential. That’s why it’s harder to stay at the top than to get there. What ever you do, don’t be hungry to grow and learn, to improve as a salesperson, sales manager, parent, husband, or wife. Your new motto is: “just sit there.”

2. Think of yourself as “Numero Uno”: This means you’re #1. Who’s cares about anyone else? Go ahead, take your customers for granted, squeeze your vendors and suppliers. As long as you’re making money, who cares? And, making yourself “Numero Uno” is not just a matter of dollars and cents. Sometimes, with just an attitude of superiority, or by taking all the credit for anything good that happens, you can send the wrong message to everyone on your team. This is good for failure.

3. Quit taking risks: “I’ve taken enough risk; let someone else take a risk on something new.” This is a great way to be swept away by your colleagues and knocked out by your competition. Taking the easy route, and avoiding risk will get you all the way to the bottom.

4. Concentrate on your competition instead of your customers: Just react to what your competition does, rather than what your customer wants or needs. Simple failure formula: Just study and compare yourself to the competition, or copy and worry about their strengths instead of playing up to your own. You’ll lose customers so fast, it’ll make your competition give you their “salesman of the year” award.

5. Be inflexible: Keep your present rules in place. Stiffen your policy so that it makes your customers AND your employees mad. Look at the airline industry they’ve done it. Don’t worry, someone will love you your competition. Sounds like a plan.

6. Rely totally on research and experts to do your thinking and make decisions for you: Take all the economists and futurists who failed to anticipate the size of the postwar Baby Boom. They also underestimated the surge of women in the work place and failed to foresee the exodus to the suburbs. How many predicted newspapers were dead when radio came along or radio was dead when television came along. And now we have the Internet. If you read and follow everyone else’s opinion, you can buy AND sell your stocks at the same time.

6.5 Make this is good enough” your personal theme for the year: “This is good enough” will guarantee failure. Many salespeople and companies have lost customers or gone out of business because they have set a ceiling (budget) on customer service. Guess what? Set the ceiling, baby your competition will be waiting on the roof.

Here’s the best news for failures: Only losers refuse to reach and grow. Refuse to exceed their own standards, or customer’s expectations when the opportunity presents itself. If your motto is: “Just sit there.” And your limit is: “This is good enough.” And your most powerful question is: “Hey, what’s on TV?” Then you are ripe for the goal of a failure: “Whatever it takes to get by.”

What’s your motto?

What’s your limit?

What’s your most powerful question?

What’s your goal?

FREE GitBit … Want to find out how great you are at achievement? I have developed a few questions that will challenge your achieve system the root of success. Want them? Just go to click FREE STUFF then GitBit register and enter the secret words, “I ACHIEVE”.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to