Let’s talk about persistence, determination and overcoming objections and how they relate to every day living.
In case you don’t know my background, I have been in sales in a variety of ways for many years. I have sold everything from hotel properties and yachts to concepts and ideas. I started in my career selling shoes in Europe. Although I might bring business into the conversation a couple of times, the goal is really to inspire you when dealing with different situations in life. So take persistence, for example. In life we are all conditioned since an early age to say “no”. Parents teach us to say “no” to strangers. When we walk into a store and the sales person asks, “How can I help you?”, the first thing we mutter is, “Just browsing”. “Are you looking for something?”, the sales clerk asks. We reply, “No”.
In our sales transactions – and oftentimes in our day-to-day dealings – we tend to say “no”, at first. But, in reasonable everyday situations, can it be an invitation to go deeper and start pealing the onion layers? In my experience, that first no is where the work begins. That’s where you need to dig deeper and find those dominant buying motives. Professional sales people know, that this is a core principal as to the reason why someone is converted from a prospect to a buyer.
However, in life everything is selling. In case you had some doubts – from an early age when a baby cries to get the attention of a parent, to the time when someone is going on a job interview and they are talking to the hiring manager, to the time a manager is motivating the work team, to a new a campaign to hit company goals, to asking someone out on a date or convincing someone to go someplace when they prefer to stay home. Everything is selling.
Do we accept “no” for any answer every time we hear it?
In relationships, we disagree often with each other’s point of view, and sometimes we may reach an impasse. Ideally, when that happens both parties try to agree to something by having to compromise a little. So, let’s expand on this. Anything you want in life badly, you have to typically fight for it. Rarely does it just come to you. You will hear many “no’s” along the way. The question here is, do you just quit or stay the course with persistence and determination to tackle the task at hand?
Although rules have changed and life can be difficult, especially when you are aspiring to greater goals, life is still beautiful. It is worth all of the fighting to reach your goals – whether in your career or your personal life.
But how do you stay determined and persistent when you constantly hear “no”. Essentially, you need to stoke the fire inside of you that tells you to keep going and don’t listen to that voice that may be in your mind telling you to quit. You need to visualize that job that you want, or that trip that you want to take but you continually find excuses to avoid taking that first step. And, if you keep getting doors slammed in your face, then keep figuring ways to get to that goal – even if it means going through the window instead of the door. You need to be very clear with regard to what you are looking for out of life. What is the goal? And, if it matters, then you need to keep fighting like that boxer who is pummeled in the 8th round but will not lie down. Sometimes, you will lose that battle. Sometimes, you will fail. But, it’s part of the journey to the overall goal. Defeat, failure or rejection and “no” do not define who you are as a person.
When objections come – and they will come – acknowledge and address them. Life is a negotiation. Be ready to give a little to get closer to what you’re looking to achieve. There is no sin in the word “compromise”. There are times when everything seems to be going against you, objections galore on everything around you. That’s when you have to summon your inner strength, no one else can do this for you, and you need to keep looking it in the face and finding a way to overcome.
Stop for a second, cut the noise, isolate the issue at hand and get your point across. Many people will give up when they get resistance, but always remember, that’s where the real work starts. That’s where you show your determination. Do not retreat from the task – even if you fail at first. Keep engaged and keep going. As Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep walking”.
You might at times take a step back, that’s OK. You can then advance three. Don’t be rigid. Be flexible. Adjust your stance and get your message across. In life, assertiveness is an important survival skill.
And finally, try to add some fun along the way. Even when it is a tough sell, you need to be able to laugh and keep perspective. Try to live life every day. Pay attention to yourself. Don’t forget to live just because you are busy. But, that’s another story. That’s a whole other chapter. Don’t let busy get the best of you because “busy” will ultimately deter you from your goals.
Let’s all try to be more in tune to our lives as human beings. Let’s not lose our humanity because we’ve got somewhere to go, something to do. Let’s be there for our families, our friends and others in need.
Posted: April 3, 2014
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