One of the least favorite words we like to hear is “no”. Since we were toddlers, we have heard “no” more than we care to remember. My 3-year old boy hears it from his parents almost daily.
Rejection is never fun, even as an adult. This certainly applies to business development. No matter how good you are in what you do, not everyone is going to want to buy from you. That is just the way it goes in business. Yet, many professionals forget that important reminder and would rather avoid business development overall to reduce the chance of being rejected.
During a time when events around us evoke anger, concern, and fear, it is easy to lose our drive, motivation, and confidence at work. This is understandable, yet it can be overcome. In this moment when your business contacts need you the most, finding ways to override the negative feelings through positive actions can help you get through these challenging times.
One of my favorite sports, mountain biking, not only requires a level of skill to avoid a trip to the ER, but also patience. As I mention in the video below, my patience is often tested on rides that involve long climbs.
When enduring a long sustained climb, many thoughts go through my mind. When is this climb going to end? This is harder than I thought! Come on, lungs and legs, keep going! Where is that damn summit?!
One of the things I miss during this shelter-in-place is dining out in some of our favorite establishments in Truckee. The opportunity to try different dishes, drink new wines and enjoy excellent service are just some of the reasons why my wife and I love to dine out. While we can still enjoy good food and wine at home, we miss the human contact with the waitstaff who can make the dining experience relaxing and enjoyable.
I have a challenge for you.
Over the next 4 weeks, reach out to one person a day during the workweek with whom you have not had contact in at least the past 4 weeks.
No need to talk about business. In fact, I would recommend against it. Ask how they are holding up. What are they doing to keep their sanity? You might learn something about them that you did not know before.
By now, most of you are settling into your new work environment. Some have greater challenges than others. Whether being confined to a small city apartment or a household of children who now need to be homeschooled, this transition hasn’t been easy.
During these uncertain times, I find it healthy to reflect on upbeat memories. I recently recalled the feeling I had when I purchased my first car with my own money — a ’66 Mustang powered by a V8 289 engine. Pure joy! When properly maintained, it was a dream to drive.
This is not a time to be selfish. Whether it is playing your role in social distancing, or helping a client in need, acting in a selfless manner can ultimately build loyal and long-term relationships.
A recent story highlights this point.
Dan Norenberg, who is an executive coach, friend, and mentor, once told me, “Doug, you need to find time to work on your business, not just work in your business.”
It is easy to get caught up in the daily routine of taking care of clients and meeting with prospective ones. Yet in a time when people are working remotely and staying away from human contact as much as possible due to COVID-19, traditional in-person business development needs to be modified.
When someone asks you what you do for a living, how often do you use stories to help paint a picture that will stick in their mind?
I would venture to guess that most of you rarely use stories if any at all!
Not many people say that business development is easy.
“It’s okay to be uncomfortable with business development. In fact, you need to be comfortable with the discomfort” said my former boss and colleague at Deloitte, Kerry F.