It has happened to all of us: we have had a business upset. Business could become very frustrating because we are all the time trying to produce an outcome that does not depend entirely on us. Specially in sales, we are attempting to produce a result that depends on one or more people making decisions that mean a lot to them as well as being critical to us.
We use all the business tools at our disposal: we articulate clearly our business proposition, spend time and money in Marketing, see people in person, create rapport, prove value, understand customer's needs, and many more things. Even with all this and more, sometimes the outcome is not what we expect.
What to do them?
1-You could do what I have seen many years in my 25 years sales experience: get obsessed.
I have seen it and I have done it: come back again and again to a prospect that have said no, offer discounts, repeat or expand the value proposition, in summary, try to force an outcome.
Thousands of hours are spent every year in corporate offices talking about opportunities that are already dead and are not coming back to life. In fact, they never had life, even if they were one year in the CRM. There simply was no real prospect engagement and the business person failed to recognise that.
2-The second possibility is what I learned from my mentor @JanStringer from perfectcustomers.com and I have adapted for the corporate life. That is to use the Sales Turnaround process.
The Sales Turnaround process is a mix of logic and intuition but never fails to bring my clients and me back to our center and allows us to keep reaching out to our prospects.
When I have had a business upset, if I didn't have the Sales Turnaround process, given my achiever personality, I would enter in a loop of going at it again and again, trying to achieve the outcome that I seek. It has happened to me and I have seen many business people in the same situation, unable to give up.
The Turnaround process allows us to be present to the distinctions and learnings that the current situation is bringing up. These learnings are invaluable for our sales objectives.
First of all I ask myself: what would be the opposite of what is going on right now? Who would be a prospect that would exhibit the opposite behaviour to what I am seeing now?
That question gives me information that was not apparent to me before.
I remember one CEO client that frustrated me a lot because even when he appreciated my business coaching ,used it and derived value from it, he was unwilling to allow me to coach his team. He was convinced that his technical team was not going to resonate with the "softer" aspects of my teachings that talked about intuition, being present and other themes like that.
Thanks to that frustration I learnt something very valuable for me: I learnt that I had a passion for teaching technical teams to create amazing customer engagement that lead to sustainable sales.
Without this "upset" I could have spent years thinking that I only wanted to coach and consult with CEOs, when in reality working with teams was even a bigger passion under the surface.
Now I could go on in the next step of my professional life and teach, coach and lead teams.
That is only one of the aspects of the Turnaround process: clarity about what you really want.
Another aspect is that letting go of the old, leaves space for the new.
Again, letting go of opportunities is really hard for stressed overachievers, because they have an inertia of going for it so hard that when there is an upset, they can't really stop. Then, they keep putting more and more energy into it and never let go.
This consumes so much energy, time and resources, that does not allow anything else to come in. No prospect can enter energetically in a space that is all consumed with recreating a failed opportunity and trying to bring it back to life. Even if the prospect was in front of you, if you are in this situation, you would not see it if you are not letting go of the old failure.
The Sales Turnaround process reminds you that you need to let go of the old, because a new opportunity, which is a perfect-fit for you and your business is around the corner.
Go ahead, leave the old behind, cross that bridge to the new, with all the distinctions and learnings from that business upset, but without the obsession, the dissapointment or the bitterness. Cross the bridge and find a brand new opportunity that will be exactly what you need for your business.