Sales Preparation – How Successful Salespeople are Different

This is a longer post than usual but I urge you to read through to the end for the useful lesson.

I conducted a webinar for a client this afternoon and at the conclusion my client thanked me for taking the time to prepare. He said he was grateful. Perhaps he’s simply an individual of high integrity. Perhaps he appreciated the extra time I took to read the materials he sent so I could guide his team in the context of his materials. Perhaps he thanks everyone he works with. Perhaps his compliment stood out because most clients don’t express their thanks when they pay a lot of money for my expertise. Perhaps my client doesn’t often receive this kind of service.

We may never know what prompted him to express his thanks or what prompted me to dwell on the five-second expression for much longer than I would dwell on a negative comment. Perhaps that’s one of the ways in which successful people are different from unsuccessful people. Successful people express their thanks. Successful people dwell on the positive rather than the negative.

I had another client express his feelings this morning. He wanted his money back! I was shocked since not too long ago this client had said, “thanks for your help with the process…very interesting and very successful”. I was also shocked since I can’t remember even one time in 22 years where I was asked for a refund. The client hired a candidate that was sent by a recruiter. They had screened the candidate who was not recommended for the position. My client felt that since the candidate came from the recruiter and not from the process I set up for them they didn’t get the value they had (partially) paid for.

Everyone experiences things differently. I put forth the same effort – lots of time, preparation, coaching and thought – for both clients and one expressed thanks while the other said “screw you, Dave Kurlan”. To each his own. After speaking with the misguided client I moved immediately onto my next client project without another thought (until it seemed to fit where this post was going). After the thoughtful client expressed his gratitude I thought about that all night.

I know a lot of people who would have been quite upset by what the misguided client said. It may have bothered them for days. It may have interfered with their focus, attitude, effort and effectiveness. They would be asking why this happened, why it happened to them and would have played the part of a victim.

I know a few successful people who would have handled it like me. It is what it is. Let’s work on something positive. Let’s help a client who appreciates the effort. Let’s move something forward. Let’s get on the phone and do some good.

What do your salespeople do? Do they dwell on the positive experiences and expect more of those to occur? Or do they dwell on the negative experiences, the rejection and the failures and understand it when those events occur more frequently?

© Copyright 2008 Objective Management Group