Maybe you just lost a client. Maybe that prospect meeting didn't go so well. It happens to all of us. Bad days can really get you down. It's painful. Sometimes, you may take it very personally and dwell on what you could have done differently for a better outcome. But it's over and you've got that sick feeling in your stomach.
Then, the demons come out. You start to question yourself. You ask yourself why other people are so successful and you are not where you want to be.
The good thing is that this negative emotional response can be temporary. Here are 3 ways to shorten the time between being down and getting back up:
1) Walk Away From the Situation
Breathe. Go outside and literally walk, or run, work in your garden, or play ball with your kid. There is endless research about the restorative power of exercise and of spending time outdoors. In addition, taking yourself away from a hard situation can help you retain some emotional balance and perspective. It won’t make the problem disappear but putting a little distance between you and that crushed deal or frustrating situation, can help you regroup and refocus.
2) Redefine Failure
So often a disappointing result is compounded by a tremendous sense of failure. Especially if your company is small, each new client may be the difference between making or breaking it. This dependence on others can create a sense of powerlessness, intensifying the personal disappointment when something doesn’t work out. By first regrouping and recognizing why the feelings are so intense, you can then take a proactive step to turn things around.
To eliminate a sense of failure, ask yourself a few questions about what you perceive as a missed opportunity.
Was the client too small? Perhaps you missed a sale because the other party does not have the resources to hire you. When funds are limited, a company will be reluctant to use an outside source unless it is absolutely necessary. They will not outsource their managed services or cyber security until there is a crisis at hand. That may be reason enough why things fell through. This article explains how to determine whether a potential client is worth your time and what you can do to control the situation.
Was the client too big? Sadly and too often larger companies love to bring in the little guys just to see what’s out there. What may look like a huge opportunity for your company, may be no big deal to them. In the end, they often choose a larger more commercial company that has far more resources than you can offer. This is by no means your fault. Rid yourself of the frustration of failure and recognize that there was nothing more you could do.
3) Focus on the Future and Make a New Plan
Once the dust has settled and the rays of the sun reappear, revisit the situation and see if there are gaps in your marketing approach. Turn the disappointment into a learning opportunity. By creating concrete steps, you will feel much more in control and no longer at the mercy of the client-that-should-have-been. Look towards the future and strategize; this will invigorate your effort and keep you in charge.
There is now a free online book, The IT Marketing Crash Course, written by Raj Khera, that will guide you as you evaluate and develop a marketing plan for your business.
Don’t think in terms of perfection; it’s too cut and dry. Rather, think in terms of “Did I get better?” and focus on the small wins. Think about your progress and what you have accomplished. And of course, in the famous words of Winston Churchill, “"Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up."
Hang in there. Tomorrow will be a better day!