My life has been filled with terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.
—Michel de Montaigne
You had an excellent first sales call with your dream client. You agreed on the next steps, which would have advanced the opportunity for you and moved your dream client closer to her goal.
Then you received an email canceling your next meeting and asking if you could reschedule in a few weeks. The first thing your mind conjures up is that your dream client has lost interest. And you’ve lost your opportunity. Someone persuaded her not to move forward. It’s over.
Take a deep breath. It’s just as likely that your dream client simply got busy. It’s very likely that something in her world needs her urgent attention, and as much as she’d like to move forward, she is distracted by this thing.
Try this one: Have you ever had a client who took days to reply to your email? How about a client who didn’t reply to a text message — ever? Didn’t your mind automatically conjure up the worst possible explanation?
How you respond to events like these can be very different based on what you believe. If you believe the worse, you may overreact. I’ve had salespeople leave me the worst messages when I’ve struggled to find time to return their calls. The worst response was “You haven’t returned my calls or emails, so I am going to assume you aren’t interested. I won’t try to contact you again.” In this salesperson’s mind, my inability to return his calls and emails meant I was avoiding him, that I wasn’t interested, etc. The reality was entirely different.
Believing your dream client is thinking about you at all has the ring of arrogance to it. Most of the time, you don’t even cross her mind. Instead of assuming the worst, step back, relax, assume your dream client’s plans were derailed and act accordingly.
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S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go http://thesalesblog.com/s-anthony-iannarino/