Having the right ‘Mindset’ is in my opinion the single biggest swing factor in the personal attributes of any successful person whether they be in Sales, Sports or any other endeavour that requires confidence, courage, tenacity, resilience, intelligence and good humour to win.
The Sales profession though has an inherently negative characteristic that requires us to develop survival techniques to overcome it and that is ‘rejection’. Rejection, rejection, rejection…its everywhere, whether it be to a cold call an introduction at a networking event or hardest of all, to a proposal that sometimes we’ve spent weeks, months and sometimes years working on.
So how do we deal with this? Well there are two components which are; number one, the ‘logical’ reasons for rejection and two its ‘emotional’ impact on us.
As has been often said, failure is only feedback, so we must invest time to understand the logical reason why we failed on this occasion so that we don’t make the same mistakes next time. So my recommendation is that you ask for a post bid debrief with the client or prospect and simply ask ‘where did we go wrong?’ It could be that your solution wasn’t as good fit as you thought it was, or that your Value Proposition wasn’t as strong as the competitions or, simply that you were a bigger risk to contract with. Or a myriad of other criteria….. But you must find out what they were.
What does this do for your ‘Mindset’? Well once you know what the factors were that led to the failure you can now ensure with applied intelligence that it won’t be repeated again in the next bid and you can now see a future route map to success. This massively lifts your confidence levels.
The second aspect, dealing with the emotional issues, is somewhat harder and does require digging deep into your own reserves of resilience and tenacity. Maintaining a positive ‘state’ mentally is crucial, not only for your personal health, but it will dictate the impact you have on everyone around you including colleagues and customers and ultimately your success going forward.
Because we put so much of ourselves into achieving goals we often take failure personally which is a huge mistake. What we should do is recognise that for any given circumstance that arises in life, whether in sales or anything else, we ‘choose our state’. All too often we believe we are being negatively impacted by ‘them’, ‘it’ or some other external factor. However, we have in our power the ability to change how we see and what we feel about any circumstance that emerges for us in life and hence our emotional state. To demonstrate, I want you to imagine the following is going to happen to you in the next hour after reading this article.
Firstly you will get a phone call telling you that you’ve won the a £1m on the Lottery, then 10 minutes later someone rings from the garage to say your brand new car has fallen off the ramps and is written off and finally 10 minutes after that your best friends ring to say they’ve had twins delivered in hospital.
You probably would have reacted with elation, anger and concern that they were all okay respectively, but these would have been choices that you unconsciously made. But, vitally and most importantly, you could have consciously chosen a completely different set of emotions.
E.g. you may not be highly motivated by money and so while the £1m is ‘exciting’ you’ll probably give it to charity, the car is insured and anyway you hadn’t liked the colour when it arrived so here’s a chance to change it and finally you are delighted about the twins to the point of sheer joy. All of these reactions, emotions and states are your choices all day every day. Choose the ‘Mindset’ that empowers you.