Stop Being so Damn Selfish.
Selling doesn't need to be all about you.
Sure you have a pitch, a platform, a process, and a big fast prize when you bring it all together into a "deal".
But despite your perspective (and all the pressure placed on you to perform), it is not all about you.
So stop thinking that it is.
Sometimes things happen that your brain can't explain.
Things that your pitch, your platform, your process don't have a way of ever preparing you for.
And a selfish attitude will only make it worse.
Here's a true story:
Steve McClellan was working a major deal with the Department of Health for the State of Kansas*. After fifteen months of work and what seemed like ten too any many demonstrations, the deal seemed to be closed. In fact, after getting the Board Members to vote in favor of selecting his proposal, all that needed to be done was a signature and money changing hands.
And that's where things went horribly wrong.
The contract didn't get signed. To make matters worse, the deal maker at the Department of Health wasn't returning emails. Not the first one Steve sent asking where the deal was. Not the second one digging into "what's taking so long". Not the third one frantically accusing the state Department of Health of backing out of the deal.
Steve was outraged at how he were being treated. He even discussed suing his client for what might be a breach of contract.
Two weeks later, Steve got a call from the guy putting the deal together at the state department.
He opened with an apology. "I am sorry I haven't been in touch," he said.
"My wife was in a horrible car accident and our twin sons were killed. I have been trying to pull myself together."
That's real life.
And it reminds us of how our selfish attitudes limit us from doing amazing things. From being the kind and empathetic people that can change the world around.
No lesson on "trigger events" or plan around "cold calling startegy" can entirely prepare you for the intangibles of life.
And especially if you think it's all about you.
When your attitude puts you at the center of your universe.
So what can we learn?
- Stop feeling insulted because a prospect doesn't return your first email. They might be busy. And you just might be boring.
- Stop being indignant when the signature you were promised yesterday takes longer than expected. They might be overworked. And you might be a little unreasonable.
- Stop imagining (when you don't understand something) that your client is trying to screw you over. They might be stressed out, confused, and tackling higher priorities. Heck, doesn't that sound a lot like what you are up to?
- Stop being so damn selfish.
Most of the time it has nothing to do with you.
And a part of you should be happy.
Because the nasty, unpredictable stuff that life can throw you is so unimaginably painful you don't want it to be all about you in the first place.
You want nothing to do with it at all.