In today’s economic world there’s a lot of lemons going around. As a sales person, I get to hear and experience a lot from my clients… but wanted to focus on how I get up everyday and make it happen.
Today I drove for an hour and a half, in the rain, in LA traffic to get to a client that didn’t remember that we had an appointment. Furthermore, he wasn’t in the office and wasn’t coming back. Initially, this is the point where I usually flip my s**t. Why isn’t my time to him, as important as his time to me? I had spent an hour crafting my pitch and was prepared with all of the collateral… he couldn’t have said no even if he tried.
I calmed myself for a moment, started my car and hit the “home” button on my navigation. Any sales person reading this has had this experience… guaranteed.
About 10 minutes into my journey back home… I reflected about how these are the times that deter people from choosing sales as a career, or choosing anything that has potential for heavy disappointment. Fear of disappointment and failure is the murderer of success. All of the idioms and sales cheerleading mottos from the last 10 years came into my head:
1) If it were easy everybody would do it.
2) ABC… Always Be Closing.
3) Look under every rock, you might find a diamond.
A funny thing happened. I turned my car around and decided to check in on a lead that I talked to a month prior. This was 30 minutes past my original appointment, but what the heck… I was all dressed up and wanted to dance. I walked into his office, sat in his lobby and told the receptionist I would wait. And wait I did.
Sales professionals are a special breed. We keep calling when 100 people said no. When people criticize our products and service we confirm, apologize and redirect. Most important, the successful ones look for a way to make lemonade… even when they have no lemons.
After about 45 minutes waiting, my potential sale walked out and said there was no way he was going to buy. I joined him in his office, had a conversation, showed him what I had prepared for my previous client that no showed, and he signed the contract.
This is what keeps me going. This small piece of success is the spark that drives some of the best innovators and entrepreneurs in the world. If you never taste the bitterness of failure, how will you ever truly know the sweetness of success. It’s the failures that keep me going… because they historically always inevitably lead to success.
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