As a salesperson, you have no doubt experienced setbacks in your selling processes or careers. These setbacks can impact us not only in the short run, but, if we're not careful, they also can impact our sales over longer periods of time. As professional salespeople, it is our responsibility to pull ourselves together, get our game faces on, and then get back to the business of creating and closing new business opportunities.
At times, this can be more easily said than done. To get back on track, we have to practice and cultivate an attitude of resilience. But how exactly do we do that? Earlier in my career, I invested months of my time in a seven-figure deal that, in the end, I lost to an unworthy (in my opinion) competitor. Losing this deal cost me financially but also emotionally - due to how much hard work I had invested and how difficult it was to "get over" the loss.
There will be many challenges and setbacks as we strive to win and stay competitive professionally. Our ability to adjust "how we think about adversity" will be key to our resilience and success in sales. Learning to develop resilience was key to helping me get past the loss of that deal and move forward to future sales success.
Here are three key attitudes we must cultivate to improve our resilience.
1. Find Redeeming Value or Potential in the Challenges You Face
Some days seem to have more uphill than downhill. It seems we will have to fight through the challenges of meeting our sales quota or working on deals that seem like unlikely candidates for an immediate close.
When - not if - you face these types of challenges, look for the good and the positive in them. What do you learn while facing these challenges? Maybe a new method for finding a warm lead. Maybe a way to engage clients joyfully even though they aren't responding favorably to your calls to action.
Whatever you do, look for the good and reflect on what you learned while you faced the challenges. Learning is growing - and you can celebrate that growth. Eventually, if you are engaged in the proper activities, you will see the growth in your pipeline and closing ratios as well.
2. Celebrate the Victories
When you have positive events in your life, enjoy them to the fullest and spend as much time as possible leveraging the impact they can or do have in your life. What was the last victory you experienced? How did you celebrate the victory? Did you celebrate enough? So many times, we have victories but don't take enough time to celebrate them. Don't underestimate the power of celebration. It can bring energy, confidence, and a sense of fulfillment to your life that will be a catalyst for motivation in your sales efforts if you channel them effectively.
Cultivate an attitude and habit of celebrating the victories. Define your own plan for how you will celebrate. Have small celebrations for small victories and large celebrations for the larger victories. Both will be beneficial and will help you maintain the momentum and energy to accomplish more deals and fight through the objections and setbacks you will encounter as you build your pipeline and deal with difficult customers.
3. Turn Off the Negative
OK, let's get real for a moment. There are many relationship influences in our lives that are draining - with customers, vendors, co-workers, or even friends and family. Whether they are professional or personal, each has to be evaluated and graded regarding how they impact your sales efforts. If they are "adding" to your emotional energy, nurture those relationships. However, if they are a consistent emotional drain, it might be time to cut and run.
But, what if one of these buzzkills is a customer? Don't be rash in your decision, but you might consider discontinuing service to that client. Sometimes, losing a customer is the best thing for your success over the long haul. Evaluate the relationships in your life and determine which are worth keeping and which need to be deleted or minimized. Hedge your bets and choose to spend time with the energy providers and not with the energy "sumps" in your life. In doing so, you will find it easier to face the rejection, deal with the emotional challenges associated with selling, and get to a point of building and leveraging the positive relationships in your life vs. trying to overcome the negative drains.
Building a successful sales career will require resilience, so practice these three habits and you will see a positive impact on all of your sales activities. You will also enjoy yourself more in the process - and there is nothing wrong with that, either.