Salespeople need to get over lost sales to avoid a sales slump. At age 45 George Foreman knocked out Michael Moorer after he was outboxed for the first nine rounds. What can salespeople learn to recover from lost sales from a comeback in boxing?
How quickly a salesperson gets over a lost sale determines how much attraction for a new customer happens on the next call. Finally, after being out boxed in the first nine rounds, in the 10th round of the World Boxing Association fight in Las Vegas, George Foreman, became boxing’s oldest heavyweight champion on November 5th 1994. So how does a comeback in boxing translate to a comeback in sales?
Take time to mourn the loss. Being new in sales and being more experienced both have their advantages to a bounce back. Regardless of experience one lesson in a lost sale is to set a deadline for yourself about how long to grieve the loss. Foreman took off a few years. Salespeople have to mourn within just a few hours. Let the disheartenment of it run it’s course through your mind and talk. You’ll find you get some momentum freed up just from fully acknowledging the situation.
Return ready to transform. Decide on what you will do differently as you get ready to get in action again. Talk things over with your coach or a trusted friend. Will you ask deeper and more probing questions? Will you listen before you respond more? Will you finally set a scheduled plan to follow up? Will you hire a coach to help you find your stride more quickly? Consider what changes you will make and plan your new approach.
Return to your activities with renewed insight and energy. When Foreman returned to the ring in 1994 he had found a new direction. As you approach each new selling situation after a loss, give yourself acknowledgement that you are moving again. Monitor your self-talk so that it stays focused on your future success. If you slip back into examining the lost sale, that is your cue to revisit and tighten up your transformation approach.
Foreman lost to Muhammad Ali in 1974 but regained his lost crown when he took on Moorer twenty years later. Salespeople don’t have crowns but each sale is a jewel. Create a lost sales strategy including a short time to grieve. Then return to the sales ring more equipped to get a longer cycle of successful selling.
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