Learning To Lose So That You Can Succeed

This post is going to be to the point. I recently had the opportunity to LOSE a SALE. This loss of a sale was one that had been in the works for several months. It appeared to be in the bag – we had other work lined up to do with this person – and I felt that the relationship was strong.

I spent time driving over a hundred miles, bought lunch, spent hours responding to emails, coordinating work, and getting project specific information from our team and then was dumped. I was DUMPED. I was dumped?!?! It felt like a slap across my face – it felt like my nose was bleeding.

Relationships Aren’t EVERYTHING

As a burgeoning business person, I am convinced that relationship building is critical to the success of any business. If you aren’t able to communicate clearly, build rapport, or convey integrity to your customers and clients, you will not be successful in business. I believe that is fairly obvious – the difficulty is in judging how effective you have been in building the relationship framework. It’s much like I envision building a house to be like; each person who wants a home is different. They need different things to be included in their home. I’ve been told that from a realtor’s perspective it can be a very emotionally driven decision.

As a homeowner, I would have to agree. While I did go through analytical thinking when I purchased my home, I was far more in tune with what I sensed. I ended up making the decision to buy based far more on the “feeling” that this condominium was the one for me, than any heady, right-brain thinking. I believe that this feeling-analytical thinking runs a spectrum and is very tricky to determine from a sales perspective.

Long-story short, there are far too many variables involved with buying something because you are working and building relationships with people. People that may need more or less attention from you. People with whom you will never really know where you stand. People who may be unable to make a decision. People who may not like you. People. The one common denominator.

Resolve Quickly to Resolve Quickly

Our firm’s CEO Zach Katkin saw how disappointed I was with this particular sale and sent me a link to one of the web’s gurus, James Altucher. Without any intention of offending Mr. Altucher, he strikes me as the Woody Allen of the blogosphere. He is wise, a little quirky, introspective, and a genius. Zach and I both remarked about how AWESOME it would be to have tapas and drinks with him one and afternoon and just talk to him. Philosophize, if you will.

One of Atilus' Favorites

Recently, Altucher posted a blog that listed the four things that he has resolved to do. The meat and potatoes – do. Do. DO and then write down what you did.

He wasn’t advocating that you do anything major – he was just advocating that you stop retreating back into yourself and proposed that you identify daily goals, four of them to be specific, and accomplish them. I believe that was his point – stop focusing on every minute detail of what you didn’t do, missed out on, failed with, and could have done better – instead, focus on doing four things to improve yourself. Do more. Just Do.

The Point

The point of what I’m trying to do here is actually one of my four goals for today – write a blog about how disappointing a lost sale was to me. Read and review again what someone else has done facing very similar giants; write about the cathartic process of actually writing about it; and then, recover quickly and approach the next prospect with renewed vigor.

I believe that people are sharpened by each other. The internet provides one of the best places where that can happen. I have always taken up the ancient Greek motto to consider “everyone better than me, in that I can learn from everyone.” What better place to be than online – especially when you can draw upon and learn from men like Altucher.

How cool! Now… time to DO!

Zach Katkin
Zach Katkin
Zach Katkin is the co-founder & CEO of Atilus. He is a Certified Google Professional, author, and lover of technology. He helps Atilus stay out ahead of online marketing trends and loves driving results for Atilus' clients.

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