Last Updated Jun 18, 2007 12:19 PM EDT
- When it happens too frequently. Most sales reps, for example, can shrug off a bad cold call because, after all, that's only one person's opinion. But after twenty, thirty, forty calls, each failure starts feeling like a weight on your shoulders.
- When you care about the rejecter. If you've got a relationship with somebody, it hurts more if they reject you than if a stranger does the same. As your level of emotional involvement increases, the pain of being rejected increases.
- When you consider the rejecter to be important. If you feel that somebody is "better" than you or of superior intelligence, talent, etc., you value his or her opinion. So if that person rejects you, you'll take it more to heart than if somebody you don't respect does the same.
- Building the account base. This is when you're cold calling and prospecting. This is when you're mostly likely to run into a series of depressing rejections.
- Developing the account. This is when you're nurturing a beginning relationship to developing ongoing business and additional opportunities. Because you've invested emotional energy, this when you're most likely to personally care about the rejecter.
- Securing the account. This is when you're working with top decision makers on mutual strategy. Because you're now in the executive suite, you're most likely to feel that the rejecter is important.
STEP ONE: MAP YOUR THRESHOLD
Write down the answer the following three questions:
- How many times can I contact a qualified prospect and get a negative response before I begin to take it personally?
- How emotionally involved can I become with somebody before I feel that the other person knows me so well that criticism hurts?
- How famous or "important" must a person be before I begin to feel that a rejection from that person would be impossible to shrug off?
Do it now.
STEP TWO: CREATE NEW THRESHOLD BELIEFS
Now that you're aware of your thresholds, create a new set of "theoretical" beliefs that, if you truly believed them, would create a much higher threshold. For example, suppose your original threshold beliefs were:
- "After about the fifth bad cold call, I'm ready to call it a day."
- "If I'm close enough to ask a customer for a favor, rejection would hurt."
- "C-level job holders are important, so their opinion of me matters."
By contrast, imagine a sales pro who really believes:
- "Every cold call is a new opportunity; the past is the past."
- "A relationship that's not worth risking isn't worth having."
- "Coping with cranky executives means I'm playing in the big leagues."
When you're done, you'll have two sets of threshold beliefs: old and new. The old beliefs limit you; the new beliefs will make you more effective in every stage of the sales cycle. All you need do now is to eradicate the old beliefs from your emotional mind and install the new beliefs.
I'll explain how to do that in my next post.