Accepting Your Failure
Tuesday July 10, 2018
Accepting Your Failures
Do you remember the golden rule? The one we were taught in kindergarten? “Treat others like you want to be treated.” Well my friend, it’s time we get back to that and level-up. We live in a world where connectivity is instant and abundant. We can share our daily status updates in seconds, connect with people across the world, and speak our minds, all from behind the safety of our screens. The basis of all relationships starts with making a connection… but unfortunately, though we are connected, we are not connecting. Our abundant ability to connect opens a multitude of doors for the F-word to make its way into our world. In other words, you must be conscientious in each of your conversations.
Let me paint a picture. Imagine that in one fell swoop, all the technology we have become accustomed to vanishes. No Internet (although you may not think it, I remember when there wasn’t an Internet or cell phones), no phones, no computers. All that is left is us. We need to be able to articulate our desires, fears, resolutions, and problems. We need to feel heard, have a sense of purpose, and know that we matter.
I understand it is nearly impossible to imagine a world without the ability to instantly connect with someone. My purpose in describing this is not to begin an anti-technology campaign, but rather to emphasize the necessity of being able to connect human-to-human FIRST, then recognize the unbelievable technology we can use to deliver our intent. It is then that we can overcome failure and truly know what it means to be successful.
So, let’s roll up our sleeves, put in the time and set the intention of becoming better communicators. The first step to achieving success is to recognize that we can do better. The next time that you go to send an email, make a phone call, or send a social media message, I encourage you to consciously acknowledge that you are going to make the recipient of your communication feel heard and that they matter. Most importantly, you must demand the same in return. Let me say it again, it starts with YOU. If you don’t require other people to treat you like you matter, you can’t deliver that for someone else. This is the modern-day golden rule: you matter and need to be heard; treat others the same way.
Let’s talk business, shall we? Now that we’re leading with empathy, let’s talk about what that looks like professionally, and how our current sales conversations and communication with others leads to failure. Many entrepreneurs come to me with the same initial obstacle: they’re hustling like crazy, meeting tons of people, going to networking events, happy hours and coffee meetings, but then they become stuck. Dead in their tracks, deer-in-headlights stuck.
Many entrepreneurs don’t know what to say after their initial interactions or how to move the relationship forward. If they identify someone who could be a great client, they become paralyzed after the first engagement because they don’t want to come across as “salesy”. Or entrepreneurs go the opposite way, divulging an absurd amount of information and scaring away potential relationships.
Or they meet someone that they could collaborate with but aren’t sure how to get the ball rolling without sounding like “I want to collaborate with you so I can get in front of your clients.”. They find themselves with stacks and stacks of business cards that haunt their desks, purses and cars. They fear getting rid of them because of the unknown opportunity, but are hindered because again, they don’t know what to say. Sound familiar?
Cue the assumptions. What happens when you assume? It doesn’t just make an ass out of you and me, it kills our sales pipelines, ruins customer retention, and can put you out of business. We will talk a lot about assumptions, but the first key to dismantling them is to know they’re generally bullshit. Assumptions are little worry bubbles we create in our minds; stories about how others see us and how we think they feel about us. Assuming is a dangerous game, and assumptions lead to the demise of our relationships.
As entrepreneurs, we’re responsible for selling. We know our services inside and out; no one can sell what you do like you can. Most entrepreneurs didn’t get into business because they are crazy good at selling. They got in to business because of their passion for the solutions they offer to the people they serve. This is where it gets tricky. You are responsible for selling your service, which means: generating the leads, taking the prospect through the sales process, providing the service and then retaining that customer for life. If you aren’t naturally gifted in selling, which most people aren’t, then you need to obtain the skills and processes to become successful. The first step is to acknowledge that sales starts with a conversation.
But it’s not just any conversation. You must know exactly how to lead your prospective client through the steps it takes for them to become your client. As we move forward, we will talk a lot about transparency, being direct, and outlining next steps every time you communicate. It is my mission to make sure that you never lose an opportunity or a client through miscommunication or lack of appreciation. This is how you find the fortune in the failure.
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