Shutdown Like A...

Shutdown Like A...

I met a guy the other day called Morebrains. Imagine the strong affirmations that subconsciously play into your psyche. Every day the power of people's words speaking to you saying have more brains, my friend.

The power of words is a scientifically proven fact. What we say and what is said to us defines us. A Japanese professor, Dr. Emote cursed at a bowl of rice for a number of weeks and it turned to a rotten, moldy concoction. To another bowl of rice, he spoke great things of love (I'm not sure of the details), but according to the experiment the rice bowl produced a smooth beautiful tasting fermented sake. (watch Dr. Emote's experiment here)

What happens when people say no to you? Or shut you down and barely pass a glance?

I feel like mold after some conversations. I feel like sake after some.

Imagine if each day all that we received were kind words. And gestures of genuine love raced towards us every hour. It doesn't happen.

At a busy airport recently, I watched a well-dressed gentlemen attempt to sell a credit card that came with a flight package that seemed quite appealing. I was watching from the balcony so I could stare at this glorious act of the sales attempt.

He went for a girl with a dog. She didn't even look at him.

He tried a friendly nod to an elderly gentlemen. Shutdown.

He held out a pamphlet and walked towards a family. Shutdown.

I felt embarrassed for my friend (he felt like a friend now because I sort of entered his world and put myself in his shoes). I wanted to go get a credit card just to make him feel better. Every once in a while, he would roll up his socks and roll them back down just to psych himself up to climb back into the ring of rejection.

This guy must have had a name that meant never give up or something to that tune.

Next it was a young man. Shutdown.

Little kid. Illegal and still shutdown.

Middle-aged lady and...a conversation was struck.

One conversation every 12 rejections. I'm not even sure if it was a sale.

Rejection is hard and this credit card salesman had it handed to him. We all get given it, but how do we deal with it (without rushing to the self-improvement section in the bookstore)?

How do we channel the blows into our own momentum?

Here's what I learned from this charade:

A. Have whipping buddy. This sales person had an accomplice and after a few rejections each they would come back together and quickly talk about them. Rejection alone is like dying alone. Terrible.

B. Pierce them with your smile. Keep approaching people with a friendly look. Don't carry one rejection into the conversation or relationship. Keep your approach fresh and hold onto anticipation. No one wants to talk to a defeated salesman.

C. Pull up your socks. After multiple rejections, his sock act allowed him to get his bearings back. It's like boxing rounds. It's hard to come back after a pummeling if there's not a re-grouping rule. You may not be selling to multiple people in an hour, but when there's a consecutive number of rejections, do something to get your head back in the game. Pull up your socks, go to the lake for a day, dive with whale sharks, have a dinner party. Do something to get your mojo back.

D. Celebrate your successes. When you do close a deal or make a sale, remember that and hang your hat on that when times get tough.

E. Build relationships. What if the mall sales clerk had sold a small handful of credit cards, but then built a strong rapport and relationship with each customer? He now has a potential referral base and if their friends said how much fun they had with the credit card salesman in the mall, then perhaps he could build clientele that way. When in doubt, always seek to build relationship over trying to close a deal. It’s a long-term strategy.

Rejection can be powerful, but so can your sales strategy. One victory makes you forget about all the rejections. It's a battle of the words. Yes or No. Morebrains or Lessbrains.

(photo via simon lieschke)