Communication is so vital to success, whether you’re guiding your prospect through the project or communicating with them regularly to make sure they’re in the loop.
Communication is your responsibility. If you meet with a prospect and he doesn’t seem to understand what you’re trying to convey, is it his fault? No. It’s yours. It’s not helpful to come back to the shop after a meeting and say, “He just didn’t get it,” or “He was so dense,” or “I can’t believe he spent the money on a new marble lobby in his office building instead of investing in a new chiller with me.”
The quality of your communication is your responsibility. If a person misunderstands, that’s your problem. Perhaps you should have slowed it down and asked more questions to check for understanding. Maybe you should have reframed the value proposition so that it made sense from his perspective. Would the outcome have been different if you had given an example that resonated with him? Perhaps you should have learned a little more about his segment, his industry, his organization, and/or his role and used that insight to formulate a more compelling value proposition.
The good news is, if we’re smart, we learn from our mistakes. If we place the blame for a failed opportunity on anyone other than ourselves, we lose the opportunity to learn and grow from that mistake (and we’ll end up making it over and over again). Take responsibility, reflect on your failure, and use it as an opportunity to improve. As Malcolm Forbes famously said, “Failure is success if we learn from it.”
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