I watched a young woman post her very first video to LinkedIn this week. She was asking experienced salespeople to help her understand how to deal with what she called “the roller coaster” of sales. She explained that the roller coaster was made up of highs,when she was engaging with clients, helping them, and closing deals. The lows, she described as the rejection she felt when cold calling, and the challenges of winning deals. She said that she loved her work, but she wanted to know how to live on the roller coaster.
For a lot of people, her interpretation of events sounds like an accurate portrayal of sales. But it isn’t. It isn’t an accurate portrayal of anything other than an individual’s interpretation of a certain set of events. This interpretation is unhealthy. Let me explain why.
In the Normal Course of Business
There is no reason to interpret events that happen in the normal course of business as negative events. To do so is to invest emotional energy into something that provides no return for the investment you make. More still, it’s an inaccurate interpretation, and one that causes people to have a change in their mindset. It moves them from optimistic, future oriented, and empowered to pessimistic, backwards looking, disempowered. That shift in no way benefits the person whose mindset is changed by an event.
In sales, you are very likely to be told no every single day. Provided you’re prospecting and asking people to meet with you, a no answer is more likely that a yes answer. If this is true (and if you’re reading this you know it is), then why would one attach a negative meaning to something that happens every day in the normal course of business?
More still, no matter how well you sell, you are still in a lose deals. No one bats 1000 percent in sales, and no one goes undefeated. For most people, a 33 percent average is enough to put them on the leaderboard, provided they are prospecting and doing the necessary work.
Interpreting events that happen in the normal course of the work you do as something negative will change your mindset from one that is empowered to one that is disempowered. It can shift you from being a person who is acting on their world and doing the things that are in their control, to someone who believes the world is acting on them, and that they are powerless to change the results. It makes you susceptible to people who are negative, pessimistic, cynical, and skeptical. All the things that you can’t be and succeed at the same time.
Sometimes, through no fault of your own, you run into a string of no answers or a string of losses all in a row. Other times, you run into a string of yes responses, simply because the Gods of prospecting smile on people who take action.
If investing negative emotional energy in any outcome would provide better results, I’d be the first one to endorse it. But the opposite is true. Your outcomes are better when you invest positive, future oriented, optimistic, empowered emotional energy into whatever it is you’re doing.
Like a boxer, the best advice I can give you is to protect yourself at all times. Protect your mindset from negativity, and anything or anyone who will cause you to believe that the things that happen in the normal course of business should somehow be treated as a catastrophe. Don’t invest too much meaning in things that in the larger scheme of things, mean nothing.