“If you haven’t failed, you haven’t tried very hard.” – Shirley Hufstedler
In sales, just as in life, perfection is never going to happen, so you might as well come to terms with it and learn to deal with a sales slump. Lack of perfection is all around us; the best hedge fund managers pick bad stocks, the best quarterbacks throw interceptions, the greatest attorneys lose cases and there has not been a President in recent history who was able to pass every bill they wanted to. Mistakes and bad calls resulting in lost sales are just part of the game.
However, contrary to popular belief, mistakes are not necessarily a bad thing when selling. Rather they are a sign of maturity and a willingness to take risks.
When selling your services, not everyone is going to buy, though instead of giving up during a sales slump, it’s important to take the time to think as to how to alter your sales pitch to increase your closing percentages. The answers are out there, sometimes we just don’t believe they are and, thus don’t look for them.
Anticipation and Control
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“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.“ – Kurt Vonnegut
If you don’t wake up everyday expecting some sort of challenge with an account you’re managing (small or large), you’re in for one of the most stressful, disappointing and unsuccessful years of your life. That, or you’re simply not pushing yourself to become a better sales professional.
When we expect everything to go smoothly, the exact opposite happens and when things don’t go our way, we become overly devastated and unable to react. Rather, when we anticipate the problems and are able to see them around the corner, we can endure both the ups and downs that is sales in almost a seamless manner.
Moreover, you must be confident in your abilities to control a tough sales situation when things go wrong rather than have the situation control you. After all, this is your business and you must have the inherent belief that, more times than not the action which you decide upon will yield positive results.
When Henry Kissinger was asked about what made the presidents he worked with successful, he answered that the better leaders were able to control their environment rather than their environment control them. For instance, Nixon let the Vietnam War run a muck of his tenure while Reagan calmly and successfully handled a stock market crash and the Iran Hostage Crisis.
Standing on Your Own Two Feet
“Don’t let anyone speak for you, and don’t rely on others to fight for you.” – Michelle Obama
Nobody is going to do it for you. You’re the only one who can get yourself out of a sales slump. In business, it’s not whether we are going to make a mistake and encounter headwinds, it’s when and how we handle it. Standing on your own two feet and overcoming adversity is the definition of truly living and having a successful career in anything you do.