Years ago, a co-worker came into the office one morning and told us about his son’s shocking announcement: His four-year-old was now a T. Rex, and thus would no longer be wearing shoes of any kind.
Getting a four-year-old ready in the morning is tough even on a good day—and when you’re a parent who’s already running behind, this is not the announcement you want to hear!
My co-worker didn’t lose his patience, argue, or yell. He just grabbed his son’s socks and shoes, said “Oh, well,” and headed out to the car.
It was the middle of winter. He knew that as soon as his kid’s feet hit the cold concrete outside, the boy would change his mind—and say, “Hey dad, can I have my shoes?”
It’s OK to say “Oh, well!”
When we don’t get what we want, we tend to fight it—we’ll dig our heels in, argue, and get upset when things don’t work out. We’ll let a situation become a big deal when we should really just say, “Oh, well!”
If it’s not really a catastrophe, shrug it off. It’s no big deal.
Sometimes in sales, no matter how hard we work to close a deal, it’s just not going to happen. There might be a good reason for things falling through, or it might seem like there’s no reason at all. Either way, a salesperson should be able to say, “Oh, well!”
Set up for success
If you’re saying, “But Dew, I’m not someone to just let things go!” then it’s worth asking yourself—Why is shrugging it off so hard?
Cancellations, reschedules, and refusals are going to happen. If every deal is a “big deal,” it’s because you don’t have enough deals! To set yourself up to succeed, you need to provide yourself with enough opportunities so that it’s okay when something goes wrong.
I’ve seen salespeople hold on to a deal forever. They’re refusing to let go because they don’t have a healthy pipeline. Build up your prospects list and stay consistent. When we have a healthy pipeline, a client’s rejection might sting, but we can shrug it off—we know it won’t ruin our entire month.
Short-term Setback? Shrug it off
If a prospect has to cancel a meeting, instead of getting angry at them, be grateful—grateful that they have so much business coming in that they had to cancel. Don’t sulk about your loss. Work on getting more meetings scheduled, so you’re able to shrug it off when one gets canceled.
If your client tells you they want to push your project off until the next quarter, say “I’m happy to set up that meeting, can we book something for July?” Instead of sulking about a lost sale, celebrate the fact you just set up another meeting.
When a client tells you they’re not quite ready to buy, it’s only a short-term pain—if you remember that in the long term, you still have an interested prospect.
You’re not the only one affected by your attitude. When you can deal with setbacks, you avoid pressuring a client into something they’re not comfortable with. Your prospects will remember how forgiving you were when they had to reschedule. And clients—or other people on your team—will know they can come to you with issues.
You can’t always control what happens, but you can always control your reaction. A resilient, abundant mindset will pay off in the long run. Sometimes, that just means shrugging and saying “Oh, well!”
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Until next time—go sell some stuff!