In the world of sales, it’s important to know the distinction between responding to something and reacting to something. Reaction is something impulsive, something emotional that is often connected to lack of full control, while a response is something rational and logical and is something that we usually think about before we deliver. The choice to respond rather than react is proven to be good for morale and contributes to the determination of an individual.
Example 1: Let’s say you are not feeling well, and you decide to go to the doctor. The doctor diagnoses you with a bacterial infection for which you need an antibiotic prescription, and suggests that you should be seen a few days later so they can check on your progress. Below you will see how one outcome in this example speaks to your body’s reaction and the other outcome speaks to results.
You go to the pharmacy to pick up your prescription and take the medicine and only a few days later you have to go back to the doctor because now you have a rash and a stomachache than you didn’t have before, even though your initial symptoms are a little bit better. Upon examination, the doctor says that you are going to have to change your prescription because your body is having a negative reaction to the drugs. This implies that the medicine prescribed caused a negative reaction.
You go to the pharmacy, take the medicine, and a few days later you go back to the doctor for the checkup, feeling much better than before. The doctor examines you and determines that your body is responding well to the treatment! They advise that you should finish the medicine and by the end you will be feeling great again. This implies that the medicine prescribed had a positive result.
This illustration of react vs. response can relate to life in general, including the world of selling. We must be prepared mentally and emotionally to encounter some negative responses or negative results from time to time. When we start a coaching business for example, we need to be prepared for clients or potential clients to cancel their appointment or disappear altogether after they made a commitment to meet. Or maybe a client you had high hopes for stops answering phone calls you make to them or emails you send. How we respond or how we react to other people’s behaviors is on us, not on them. We are responsible for our own reaction as well as for our own responses.
Disappointment or unwanted results will happen, so be prepared to have meetings or calls set up with clients which they will end up canceling at the last minute, or just not show up at all. This can also happen for people who indicate that they are going to purchase your product or services and they change their minds a day later. These types of disappointments or negative results are part of conducting business.
The same principle applies in human relationships as well. As an example: when you start dating somebody new you may think that everything is great until, suddenly the other person doesn’t answer your phone calls anymore or avoids seeing you. You always have a choice regarding how to respond, whether that means moving on with your life, or having an emotional reaction, which many times is seen as impulsive and immature. Regardless of how much you believe you are in the right when you react, it often does not come across as a positive thing.
Here’s another example: Nicole is an entrepreneur, and she is running her own life coaching business, focusing on mindset barriers and how to overcome them especially in regards to finances. Throughout her coaching career she offered numerous coaching packages and for the most part, her business was quite successful and so she decided to write a book. She had the book self-published, and she had a good amount of interest, so much so that in her first pre-order she sold 200 books at $20 each. When the printing company asked her how she would like those books shipped to her, she chose the cheapest option. Have you heard of the rule we get what we pay for? Nicole’s choice for cheaper shipping is a case in point. In this case, the cheapest shipping method meant that the books came in cardboard boxes with no insurance and no weather protection.
Two weeks later, when the books arrived at her office, she noticed that they had been damaged by humidity and the heavy rain they had that week. You can imagine her disappointment as she had already taken people’s money and promised a certain delivery date for her books, but it was clear, due to the damaged packages, that was not going to happen. In this situation she could have easily reacted, blowing up, crying or screaming at the shipping company’s rep and everybody else who was or was not involved, but instead of reacting to the problem, despite her disappointment which was obvious, she stopped to think and was able to create a rational response to the situation. She took what happened as a lesson from which to learn, and also as an opportunity to offer her book in digital format as well.
She knew she was going to have to reorder the printing of those books, choose a better shipping method and notify her customers of the delay. Knowing that this conundrum with the books was going to impact her paying customers, she had to get a strategy to address the delay and keep her customers happy.
She got her teenage daughter and her friends to get mobilized and help her make phone calls to the 200 clients who purchased the book already and had them say the following:” Hello Mrs or Mr Smith, we are calling on behalf of Nicole Johnson with ABC coaching, and we want to let you know that there is going to be a delay in the delivery of the book you’ve ordered in print, however we would love to offer you the downloadable digital version of the book for free, at this time. All we need to do is to verify your email address we have on file. Is Mr. Smith at gmail.com correct?”
Yes, it cost her the money that she paid her daughter and friends for the time they spent on the phone and sending emails, but she did solve the problem because the majority of her clients were excited about the digital format of the book, knowing that it was coming in addition to the paper prints as well.
She understood that she would have to take the loss. She was going to talk to her accountant because she knew that there were ways in which business losses can be used to reduce overall taxes. Because that would take time, she knew she would not be able to recoup any of her losses any time soon. She also determined that she wanted to switch from paper to digital completely, for her other products and future products as well, and that saved her a good amount of money on printing and shipping.
Bottom line is: expect challenges and be prepared for them, however never let yourself focus on the negative. Instead, see every problem as an opportunity to make your situation even better. When faced with an issue, think outside the box and focus on the answer and on the solution because that just might save your sales, and ultimately your company and your bank account balance.
Remember that in order to be positive in times of trouble, it’s important to be positive every single day, by applying critical thinking skills and working on your emotional intelligence. If being positive becomes a habit, it is much easier to remain positive in challenging times.
Author: Sanda Kruger
Sanda is an entrepreneur, real estate investor, health coach and professional dancer. Sanda is an entrepreneur with more than 20-year experience in business development and project management in the fields of life, health and fitness coaching. She is also a real estate investor and a banker, who learned outstanding adapted business strategies, sales and marketing techniques, communication, and goal setting skills, hands-on, through life and work experiences. She is a certified fitness professional and is the creator of two original fitness programs, called BellyCore® Fitness and AquaCor®.