I recently devoted 4 hours of my life to watching Lance Armstrong admit to lying and cheating his way through the Tour de France. Personal feelings about Armstrong aside, his mantra, “It’s a process,” struck a cord with me.
He acknowledged that 4 hours with Oprah was not going to right all of the wrongs he had done: “It’s a process.” I don’t think he expected to wake up on Saturday and be a completely new, satisfied and well-liked man: “It’s a process.” Seeking forgiveness and righting wrongs is not a sudden thing: “It’s a process.”
Much like Lance’s struggles with honesty and forgiveness is every salesman’s quest to find the next prospect. It, too, “is a process.” There’s not just one networking session, or just one direct mail, or just one phone call, or just one email that will result in a signature on the bottom line.
There are three emails, two phone calls, one direct mail and a chance meeting – and that’s often just to confirm who the contact is!
Each company is different, as is the sales cycle for each product or service, which means there’s a unique “process” to close the deal. So don’t get frustrated when your first phone call or email doesn’t result in a deal. Remember: “It’s a process.”
Just as Lance isn’t ready for “Dancing with the Stars,” your prospects may not be ready for you, either. But if you keep working your process, then you and Lance can dance a victory dance soon.