Recently in a session of The Action Suite, we discussed the ‘art of losing.’ You may ask: “Why would we ever do a session on losing and compound that by calling ‘losing’ an art form?” There are many reasons.
We all do the utmost to succeed and further, we read books, go to workshops or even do programs like The Action Suite to make sure that we succeed. All of those are great and we should do them all. However, no matter how hard we try, no matter the amount of work we put in and no matter how high our standards are, we will lose from time to time.
Would it not serve us well if we were prepared for those losses? Why not get the know-how on how to realize that a loss is coming and therefore, meet it head on? What about having all the techniques at our disposal to implement immediately to minimize the loss? Sure everyone trains for success, however, in the real world; the one you and I function in, we will lose more than we win in our lives.
Therefore, should we not also train for those losses as well? Losing, as well as success, are emotional reactions to a situation. It is how we react to those emotions that once again, separates the salesperson from the sales professional.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you experience the next loss:
- Humanness: No one is perfect. We all come with limitations and we have to accept the fact that when (not if), a loss occurs, we need to study our imperfections. The biggest challenge with this one is that once you find that imperfection, fix it to minimize the occurrence of the loss.
- Laugh: Not a typo. Learn to laugh at your losses. Harry Neale, when he coached the Vancouver Canucks during some very difficult times during the 1980s, stated to a reporter: “Last year, we couldn’t win on the road; this year we can’t win at home. I’m running out of places to play.” As a professional coach he laughed at himself, so why can’t you? Look for the humor. It’s there, you just have to look harder.
- Perspective: Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Don’t base your self-worth on the loss. You are not a failure unless you fail to learn from it. Remember the saying: “Those that have never lost have never done anything.” If you lost, you have at the very least done something. Celebrate it.
The list is quite extensive. However, it is as critical to train for the losses, as well as for the successes.
‘Realize without losing, winning isn’t so great.’ Alyssa Milano