For all of us selling there will be times when we find ourselves in difficult situations; whether it be a customer who is threatening to take their business elsewhere unless we reduce our prices (and yet we’ll have served them well) or that we could be struggling to find a decent new stream of prospects to do business with there will be times when it can feel like things are against us.
I recall such a time a number of years ago. I had found myself inadvertently slipping into a downward spiral with everything that could do seeming to go wrong and struggling to find good results to overcome the negatives. And like so many people I made the classic mistake of feeling sorry for myself and moaning to my colleagues, friends and family and basically to anyone who would listen. Whether most people don’t want to be rude or genuinely want to empathise the worst thing about being in that situation is that people will listen to a moaner. The interesting thing is though that whilst the listeners can offer an opinion on something they usually can’t actually affect it or improve it. And so the danger is that we moan, and do so blissfully unaware that every time we do it whatever we are moaning about becomes larger, more impacting on us and our attitude and drive and as a result it becomes more debilitating.
For me on this occasion though I worked for a manager who was from time to time described as callous and uncaring; which as it turned out to be just the tonic!
I was on a 3 day trip to Scotland at the time and telephoned my boss to tell him about an opportunity I was working on and the latest obstacle to impede my progress. He listened to me moan and then asked me what at the time seemed a strange question, “Whereabouts in Scotland are you?” he said. “Near Stirling,” I said, puzzled where he was going with the conversation.
“Do me a favour,” he said. “I need you to drive north and head up in to the highlands.” he said. “Find yourself the nearest mountain, drive as far as you can and then park the car. I want you to climb up it, take all of your clothes off and then stay there until you grow some hair on your private parts!” he stated. Needless to say it wasn’t what I was expecting and for a few seconds it had me wondering what on earth that would do concerning the situation I had just been telling him about. But he didn’t leave me waiting for long. Literally within seconds he continued, “And when you’ve grown some hair there, come down; get dressed, get back in your car and call me back with a plan of what you are going to do!”
And right then I got it.
Despite whatever it may feel like, the only person that could really help me in that situation and improve things was me. It has to be one of the strangest and best pieces of advice I have ever been given!