It happens to the best.
You’ve invested heavily in time, effort and focus. It was something you wanted badly and were counting on succeeding and hitting, or exceeding, your quota.
In spite of all your care, attention and effort, you’ve been told you weren’t successful.
You finish the conversation or reading the email and sit back, swear and reflect.
What’s the best way to deal with this kind of setback?
Well, it happens to the best of us, and the first reaction might be to feel you’ve been duped or that this is now a mini-crisis.
However, you need to quickly get back on track and recognise that this might have happened now, but it doesn’t have to happen again in the future.
Here are a few recommendations you can follow that will get you up-and-at-’em again quickly and effectively.
Acknowledge it has happened.
Don’t go into denial or start blaming others or building recriminations. It’s something that happens to everyone, so you’re not being picked on by some negative force-field.
Accepting it has happened is the first step in changing the mind-set appropriately.
Share what happened with someone else
This could be a colleague or a social friend.
Simply sharing the response you got can often dissipate the feelings for you.
Resist the temptation to slag off the prospect or blame other people/situations for the loss; instead, just concentrate on the facts. This happened, that happened, what can we learn from it, now move on.
It sounds simple, but it’s the best and most cathartic way of leaving it behind and pressing on.
You can’t change anything that’s happened, though you can control your response to it.
Identify learning points
If you are able to take lessons from what happened, you focus on what you could do better next time, rather than focussing on what went wrong.
Here, you don’t wallow in the victim mode; you identify what happened, you analyse how you could change if the same thing happened again and you quickly move to the place where you make sure you don’t repeat repeatable mistakes.
Remember what it feels like to win
This is a better way of viewing your past than dwelling on the losses.
You think of successes you’ve enjoyed, then ‘anchor’ them in your mind-set.
You create a winning mentality so you can feel positive the next time you pick up the phone or send off an email.
Bringing up those positive feelings of winning and closing deals with override any symptoms left from losing.
Keep everything in perspective
This may be a loss, a big one. But think of it as a dropped stitch in the woven tapestry of your career. You can pick up again and the next attempt could be successful.
As long as you learn from the experience, you can identify what you may have to do to change things around.
Remember that your true significance is not tied up with your results.
Life is much bigger than that.
If you keep everything in perspective, you won’t dwell on anything that happens and tie it in with your character or personality; instead, you’ll see it for what it is…a learning experience that can take you forward and help you achieve in the future.
Finally, keep the dialogue going with your prospect. A deal isn’t lost until it’s delivered and paid for and the client is happy. Competitors mess up. The handover from Sales to the delivery team may highlight deficiencies. Promises may be broken.
Don’t burn your bridges. Continue your professionalism.