A word which conjures up many conflicting views about a person who demonstrates this and quite often is perceived as somebody just bulling their way through life no matter what. This way of thinking, for me anyway, is more of an arrogant trait than a resilient one but that’s where the fine line can be drawn.
I personally believe that resilience is a positive attribute but one that is frequently born out of adversity. As a sales professional it is often said that you have to be thick skinned and in some respects this is true but, to coin an old school sales motivational phrase, every no is one step closer to the next yes. Dealing with these disappointments is what differentiates the best sales professionals from the rest. My personal and all time favourite sales trainer Anthony Iannarino talks about mind-set being the most important part of being a sales person and in his number one best selling book “The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need” he breaks this down into 9 elements. His work in this field is truly inspiring and I totally agree that mind-set is where it all begins, resilience is part of your mind-set.
In today’s example I experienced a significant setback in my ongoing prospecting of a particular dream client. The outcome I was working towards didn’t materialise and consequently I got a no, however this was followed by a “but maybe”. It was wasn’t a placating “but maybe”, as so many are, but a significant one and the following conversation opened up a new opportunity, which is significantly greater than the initial one we were discussing. The downside to this is there is a whole heap of repeat work to be conducted with a number of new contacts from within this organisation and therefore the near 11 months of invested time already in this account continues, making the sales cycle a little longer than I would normally have preferred.
I know for a fact that many other peers in our industry would have already given up on this prospect, not least of which because they wouldn’t have taken the time to understand their needs correctly. In this latest setback I also know that a younger Terry would not have been in the right frame of mind to continue the conversation, in the manner that was needed to get the new outcome, especially after having been delivered the disappointing decision from the first one.
Creating an opportunity out of adversity requires resilience and if you want to succeed in life, let alone sales, then you need to be able to create coping strategies to help you overcome these setbacks and thereby becoming that resilient, and not an arrogant, sales professional.