Rosalind Russell once said, “Flops are part of life’s menu and I’ve never been a girl to miss out on any of the courses.”
I posted about failure and the entrepreneur last week. This week let’s consider failure and sales. And I mean this in the most positive way. Really.
One of the accidentally formative experiences in my life was spending ten years as an actor. One of the key things an actor must learn early is dealing with rejection. An actor must accept rejection (failure) on a daily basis. He deals with constant and very personal rejection. It’s a splendid preparation for sales. Put simply, to survive my actor’s life I had to find satisfaction not in the occasional success–actually getting a role–but in the process of auditioning itself. Likewise in sales, happiness must be found in the process, as well as the results.
Rejection is a big part of the salesman’s life. My solution, and my company Corporate Rain’s solution, to dealing with this conundrum is simply to look on all interactions with potential clients as service. Every moment should be a variation on “How can I help?” This creates a tonality and a truth of caring and mutuality. It is the correct selling ambiance. And it is simply karmically efficient. Certainly long-term, reputation-based sales success is generated from many small, trust-building actions, including getting even more courteous when rejection comes, as it does much of the time in the sales process.
Earlier in my life I chanted as a Buddhist for a year. One of my favorite Buddhist prayers thanks God for challenges and failures, not successes. Thereby you learn and grow. The lotus flower is born out of the muck.