When I got out of professional golf and into online marketing I took a job at a digital agency here in Denver. I was in a sales/business development role and I vividly remember my boss telling me how difficult it is to be a sales person. He told me that there would almost assuredly be more downs than ups, but that I had to stay positive and weather the storm. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at the time, but within a couple of weeks I quickly found myself agreeing with him.
Simply put, sales is hard. I can’t tell you how many times our business development staff (which includes me) have been ignored, hung-up on, yelled at, and even cursed at. You’d be amazed at how nasty some people can be over the phone. And what always frustrates and baffles me are the potential clients who say they are ready to move forward, but then mysteriously never return a phone call or email again.
Dealing with disappointment is a part of life, and it’s definitely a part of business. Especially when you’re in a sales role. I won’t lie to you. I get down when we lose out on a project to a competitor, especially when I know that competitor will not do a good job for the client. I get down when a deal looks promising and then for some unknown reason I never hear back from the prospect. And I get down when a project doesn’t perform as well as we had hoped it would.
Getting knocked down is just an occupational hazard of being in sales, but over the years I’ve found it’s best to stay positive and to keep things in perspective. I try to look at all the deals that have fallen through as a way to weed-out the projects that weren’t meant to be. I try to look at the rude comments and the lack of responses as a way to weed-out the clients that wouldn’t be a good fit. And I try to remember that DanMatt Media always puts our clients first, even when that isn’t the most attractive option for us.
Staying positive can be awfully hard to do sometimes, but it’s the lifeblood of any good sales person. The next time I get down at work I’d appreciate it if someone would remind me to re-read this blog post!