Lessons from sales series: Three-legged stool, leg #3, you have to be resilient

When I was working at Adams Outdoor Advertising, they brought in Dr. George Pransky of Pransky and Associates to talk about what would make us successful.  One of the things he talked about was a three-legged stool. The three legs were: You have to love people, love your product, and be resilient.

#3 on the three-legged sales stool is today’s topic:resiliency

Business woman looking isolated after a business presentation
In order to be a successful salesperson or marketer, you have to develop resiliency to face the amount of criticism you will receive.

“The good news is, your work is visible for everyone to see. The bad news is, your work is visible for everyone to see.” This is a statement I give a lot when I talk about what it’s like to work in the marketing field. It’s very easy for one of my co-workers to look in the newspaper, see an advertisement, and know “Nicole [and team] did that. Similarly, if there is a news story published, they know that it is usually traced back to a press release we sent out. However, if there is a mistake or they think something should have been done differently, it’s also right there from them to see and attribute to the marketing and pr department.

In sales, you get told “no” a lot and in many cases it’s not done in a pleasant way. People ignore you, hang up the phone on you, insult you, etc. You have to develop a resiliency or you won’t last long in sales. You have to keep going, in constant search for those people who will say “yes” to buying your product or service.

In marketing and pr, the challenge is the amount of criticism that you get of your work. I had a boss that was known for saying “There are two areas where everyone always thinks they can do the job better than the person in the job; one is technology and the other is marketing.” And it’s so true.

Over the long-term, you will gain people’s respect for what you do, but to be in the marketing world, you must develop a thick skin, you must be resilient, and you must keep doing great things.