By Art Sobczak
At age 19, his application to Harvard Business School was rejected. He was devastated at the time.
However, exploring other options, he quickly regrouped and sent in a late application to Columbia, where two investment experts that he admired were teaching. He was accepted. There he learned the values and principles that guided his investing.
Today he is the second wealthiest man in America and the most famous stock investor in the world. Of course I'm talking about fellow Omahan, Warren Buffet. (No, I do not know him, and he does not call me for advice.)
Buffet is a big believer in looking for the opportunities in setbacks. Which is what all great salespeople do as well. In a Wall Street Journal article, Buffet said, "The truth is, everything that has happened in my life...that I thought was a crushing event at the time, has turned out for the better."
He said that with the exception of health problems, setbacks teach "lessons that carry you along. You learn that a temporary defeat is not a permanent one. In the end, it can be an opportunity."
Buffet has many examples of negatives becoming positives. He said when he was young he was terrified of public speaking--so much that he sometimes threw up before an address. Knowing he needed to do something, he enrolled in a Dale Carnegie speaking course, and says the skills he learned there enabled him to woo his future wife, who was a champion debater.
"I even proposed to my wife during the course," he said. "If I had been only a mediocre speaker I might have not taken it," meaning that the extreme negativeness of the situation is what resulted in the positive.
I have a process I have used for many years that enables me to keep my own personal attitude up during even the most difficult situations, find positives in negatives, and although it sounds cliché, turn problems into opportunities. I believe it would do the same for you.
Two Magic Questions
Whenever you experience something that you perceive as being negative--many fall into this category... really now, many people blow things way out of proportion--or, you are faced with something that truly is devastating, take a deep breath, stop, clear your mind, then ask yourself these two questions:
"What can I learn from this?"
"What good can I make from this?"
Begin implementing these two questions today, and I know you will view things differently, and see more opportunities where they might not have been there otherwise.
How about never experiencing "rejection" again in sales?
That's in the title of three of my books, and I've been berated by critics over the years for making that claim. Of course, those people never took the time to read the part of the books where I show exactly how you can avoid rejection. I'll give you the simple process right now.
What is rejection anyway?
Is it a 'no' you hear at the beginning of a call? Is it losing out on a competitive proposal. Is it being hung up on?
If you think it is, it is. Now, I'm not going to get all out-there-philosophical on you, but let's keep this simple:
-Stuff happening TO you in sales (getting no's) is inevitable, if you are placing calls.
-What HAPPENS to you is not rejection.
-Rejection is the definition that someone attaches to what happens to them.
-No one person or situation can cause you to feel rejected unless you allow it/them to.
-Change your definition of rejection so that it does not include getting a no on a call.
-After no's, ask yourself the two questions I presented earlier.
-Ensure you get a win on every call by accomplishing something, or even attempting something, regardless of how minor. This is what I call your Secondary Objective.
More than almost any other profession, how you feel when you are performing your job affects your outcome. Coupled with the fact that all day long we proactively put ourselves in situations where the outcome may not be the one we desire, there's little wonder most people would never consider sales as a career, and many have left because they couldn't handle what they defined as "rejection." This underscores the need to follow processes like I've outlined.
You are a special person for doing what you do. To continue surviving, thriving, and ensuring you will have your best year ever, implement these ideas for turning challenges into opportunities, and never experiencing rejection again!!
Here's to making next week your best one ever!