Ah, Napoleon Hill, the maestro of success principles! Learning from defeat is my favorite topic. You know, setbacks are like fertilizer for the seeds of success.

One of Hill’s best examples of overcoming setbacks and the power of persistence is his story about R.U. Darby, who was mining for gold but ended up quitting and selling his equipment for pennies on the dollar because the gold had disappeared. (The full story is recounted below.)

“Never, never, never give in!” - Winston S. Churchill

Persistence! It's the unsung hero of the sales game. The space between a "yes" and a "no" is a battleground, and a Master Salesman knows there's no neutral territory. You either sell or get sold a "no."

Standing firm, refusing to buy into a "no," that's where the magic happens. "No" to successful sales professionals is just a sign to reload and fire again.

The art of knowing oneself, the product, and human nature are the pillars. A master sales professional’s self-awareness is like a compass guiding them through storms. Knowing the ins and outs of what's on the table is a given and understanding the dance of human nature is like having the winning script.

"Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom." - Lao Tzu, The Art of War

And what about those alibis, the smoke screens buyers throw up? A master sales professional is like a ninja with a truth sword, swiftly slicing through the excuses without leaving a scratch. Knock down those alibis with finesse and you won't just make a sale: You'll make it an experience.

Hitting – and missing – gold

Now for the story of R.U. Darby and a little extra motivation, take a quick trip back to the 19th century as related by Napoleon Hill:

During the Gold Rush, R.U. Darby got the bug and together with his uncle staked a claim. After some effort, they hit gold and did fairly well, but figured they needed better equipment to get out of debt fully and realize their dream of riches.

After spending their money on the gear, they mined some more ore, but the seam soon ran out and they packed it in, selling their equipment to a junk man for pennies on the dollar.

The junk man was smart enough to know he needed some expert advice – which he took – and digging just three feet from where the Darbys had quit, he hit one of the biggest gold deposits of its day, rewarding him with millions of dollars.

And while the savvy junk dealer became a rich man, R.U. Darby learned the equally valuable lesson of persistence, which he applied to his later career as an insurance underwriter, becoming one of the few who regularly had yearly sales topping $1 million.

“I stopped three feet from gold, but I will never stop because men say ‘no’ when I ask them to buy insurance,” Darby would later say.

Perseverance and positivity

“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”- Thomas A. Edison

Darby's story serves as a reminder that setbacks and failures can often be turned into opportunities for growth and success. It's a testament to the power of perseverance, adaptability, and a positive mindset in achieving one's goals, even in the face of challenges.

In the world of sales, my friend, defeat is just a detour to victory.

-Courtesy, Coach Phil

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