At a recent talk I mentioned that resilience is one of the key traits I observe in successful business developers. The question was asked “If resilience is important, how do you become resilient?”
First let’s look at why we need to be resilient
In a business development role you will at various times experience setbacks, rejection and come across people who just don’t get you or value what you have to offer.
These experiences, particularly if you are in a role with a long sales cycle, have the potential to knock the wind out of your sails.
Learn and move on
When these setbacks occur we need to learn from the experience (reviewing what went well, what didn’t and what we will do differently next time) and then move on as quickly as possible.
Dwelling too long on the negative may adversely affect our future performance as it will hold us back from operating in a positive state which is where we want to undertake all our business development activities from.
Accessing a positive state
Reliving our successes rather than dwelling on our failures can help us to trigger and access a state where we can operate at our best. This is why we need to retain the evidence of our achievements to help us access a positive state ‘on demand’.
How to use evidence as a trigger
Go back over your career and write down all the successes that you have had. Include the clients and sponsors that you have won and the positive outcomes that you have achieved for each.
Also write down the successful experiences you have had in every aspect of your business development activity e.g. the prospect phone calls, meetings and presentations that have gone well. Keep a record of every achievement and add to this list as more occur.
Testimonials make great evidence
Testimonials make great evidence, so let’s look at how you would use a testimonial to access a positive state.
Relive the experience
The key is not just to read a testimonial but to relive the experience as richly as possible, seeing what you saw, hearing what you heard and feeling what you felt at that time.
Reconnecting with a positive experience will help you to focus on what you can achieve rather than what you can’t and reconnect with the people that ‘get you’ rather than those that don’t.
So get to it!
Take out a piece of paper and start to build the evidence of your achievements today.