In April my team had planned an event in which we were to get about 20 odd people, into a conference room, showcase some of our products/services and have dinner and cocktails. Suddenly about an hour before the start of the event we started having rain. Typically when it starts raining in Delhi, the traffic almost comes to a standstill. Soon we realised, where we were expecting 20 odd people only 3 came. The event was a big flop show.
Now we could look at this as a failure of my team and the marketing agency we had engaged, for doing the event, because they were supposed to ensure the attendance of people in the event. We were dejected but that is the way life is – you never know when it will “rain on your parade”.
Similarly one of my sales team members had all his sales numbers structured with one customer primarily. Now unfortunately, last year, this customer did not have a very good year for closing of deals for themselves and hence they were not able to outsource business to us. But this year, after all the losses this person had last year, he seems to be on “boom time”
Life is a long game and you have to play it in such a manner. In most cases, in this long game, you will lose more often that you will win. That’s what makes winning pleasurable. The key is to play enough games. Lose them, learn from them – gain experience and move on to the Next game. If you keep brooding on your failures, you will never be able to succeed. Once you learn from the failure, you will keep eliminating all those points which could cause something to fail. That is what experience is all about. Being prepared to ensure that the same points don’t cause a failure again.
Success in my view is a proportion of the total games played and the number of failures (experiences) had. I do feel bad on losing a deal , but I also immediately get ready to look at the next deal to close. If you are leading a sales team, the biggest worry you need to have is the number of deals that you are fighting for – not the deals you have lost.
If the number is large, then there is absolutely no way that you can’t win in the long term. However if you don’t have enough (enough is a subjective term but you should at least have 4 proposals to crack one deal on average) proposals going out on a regular basis (especially if you are in B2B) then you can rest assured there is no magic that will take place to get you to achieve your numbers.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to learn and get better, the more you learn from your experiences and the more you take coaching the better you can get so that you can raise the amount (revenue realisation by being able to sale either more quantity or higher value items) of business you get for the same number of proposals given.
So go out, meet prospects, give enough proposals, if things don’t work out, learn from them and. then move on to the Next.
Till next time then.