Fail More

No matter what you think about Amazon, you have to admire its founder Jeff Bezos. He has become the wealthiest person in modern history.

Here’s what he says about failure: “He says nine times out of ten, you’re going to fail. But every once in a while, you’ll hit a home run that in business terms is more like 1,000 runs.” Given a ten percent chance of a 100 times payoff, you should take that bet every time,” Bezos says.

Notice well that he mentions failing 9 out of 10 times. That’s a standard rule for us sales folks. Earn 1 appointment out of 10 phone calls. Earn 1 new client out of 10 initial meetings. To succeed in sales we need to be willing to fail 9 out of 10 times.

Most folks in our industry aren’t successful enough because they’re not failing enough.

Are you failing enough? Are you trying to earn new clients? Are you trying to recruit new sales reps? Or are you so tired of failing at these attempts that you have given up on trying to grow and are spending most of your day NOT FAILING.

I know lots of folks in our industry that just do the failure-proof stuff: sourcing, pricing, order entry, order follow up, invoicing, making deliveries and so much more stuff. There’s no failure in those activities. And there’s no payoff in those activities.

Let me encourage you to take Jeff Bezos’ advice and start failing more!


Read past articles in Greg’s Million Dollar Mindset at Promo Marketing Magazine

About The Author

Greg Muzzillo started Proforma as an industry distributor in 1978. The company grew quickly and in the early 1980s Proforma was recognized for three consecutive years on Inc. magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing companies in North America. In the late 1980’s Proforma introduced its membership program to empower distributors to retain their business ownership and independence, and to share in sales and marketing resources, purchasing power with industry suppliers, one back office including all billing, accounting, vendor payments, cash flow, computer systems and more. Today Proforma has over 600 Members and is the $500 Million leader in the Promotional Products and Print Industry. Proforma’s record breaking success includes having 18 of its Affiliates named to Inc. Magazine’s 2020 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies and 193 Affiliates achieving its Million/Multi-Million Dollar Club with sales up to $38 million.