One Saturday morning, when I was 10 years old, I was playing with my dog in the backyard. My Father came out, handed me a rake and asked me to rake-up and bag a pile of leaves that had accumulated up against the fence in the back corner.
When I was done I ran into the house and told my Mother that I was riding my bike over to my friend’s house and would be back at 5:00 for dinner.
When I got home my Father asked me to come out in the back yard with him. We walked over to the corner where I had raked up the leaves and he asked me if I did a good job. He asked me if I was happy with the job I did.
I could see there were still some leaves in the corner and in my Dad’s gentle yet direct way of communicating it became clear to me that in fact I did not do a good job.
He explained to me that no matter what job we set out to do that we should always do a good job. He told me it doesn’t matter how big or small a job is we will always feel better inside if we give it our all.
I miss my Dad’s simple and direct way of explaining things. He always went about teaching me in a way that I could tell he really cared and wanted me to be the best I could.
He taught me a great deal about how life and the world works and there’s no doubt that over the years his coaching has given me a competitive edge.
In my 30 years of selling, sales management, starting and running companies I have seen many sales reps come and go. And the truth of the matter is it was never the company, the products or the market that caused them to fail. It was them not giving it all they had and as a result not feeling good about themselves inside. It was always that simple.
The lack of consistent prospecting was always their downfall. Prospecting is that part of selling that ironically is both the most challenging and the most important. I guess it’s not that hard to understand really. It’s always the tough stuff that when done with consistency and purpose catapults a person ahead of the competition.
It’s the rejection in selling that many people haven’t figured out how to process. They make the mistake of taking it personally. They take it personally and that erodes their self-esteem. It makes them doubt their abilities. When they take the rejection personally they don’t feel good about themselves. They feel they haven’t done a good job and they stop trying.
If you’re super successful in selling you know exactly what I’m referring to. If you’re struggling it’s because you’re getting in your own way and you are not giving it your all. I’m comfortable saying that because I know you have what it takes to be successful if you will only give it every ounce of energy, focus and stick with the prospecting long enough to fill up your pipeline and get on the other side.
I know for sure if you will put your head down and prospect with a renewed intensity for 90 days you will build momentum, start feeling good about yourself and get on the other side. Once on the other side if you will only keep it going your life will change and you will never look back.
In my next blog post, I will give you some tips on how to prospect intelligently and strategically so you will feel competent and strong inside. You see, that’s the key. You will not take the rejection personally if you know you are doing everything you can and doing it intelligently. You will not take the rejection personally if you know you are doing a good job.
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