“I’ve had THE worst day,” said one.
“First, room service didn’t get my order right and I had to call them. Then, the limo taking us to the meeting got stuck in traffic and barely got us there in time. And this afternoon I get a call from my designer telling me that it’s going to take another two weeks to get the living room furniture we had custom made, and will arrive just a day before the 200-person dinner we’re having catered at our house. And now the airline puts me in a bulkhead First Class seat instead of the aisle I originally reserved. This day has been awful.”
Yeah, I know. Brought a tear to my eye too.
As I always say, stuff happening to us in life, and sales is inevitable. The way you react to it determines your outlook, attitude, and guides your next actions, and ultimately success or failure.
A few years back I was in Wisconsin doing some training. I woke up, and looking out the hotel window, I noticed a light, beautiful snow falling. It was a postcard scene.
The snow had accumulated on the rental car windshield, so I went out to clean it off and started the car. After brushing off the snow and scraping a bit of frost, I thought I’d keep the car running a few minutes to warm it up. A good time to go inside the hotel and grab a cup of coffee for the ride. So, I took the remote lock-opener off the key chain, leaving the key in the car. I then locked the door using the remote. Walking away, I thought I’d hit the remote again just to make sure it would open the door.
Push, push. Nothing.
Squeeze, squeeze. Silence.
After banging it on the car a few times to no avail, my heart sunk into the snow beneath my feet.
First thought: need to call a locksmith. I rushed inside, got a phone book (they still had those a few years ago), quickly reached a locksmith who was just a few minutes away. He said he’d be there in 10; he got there in six. I was very grateful. As he was giving me his $35 invoice, he said, “We’ll, your day isn’t starting out too good, is it?”
I replied, “Actually, my day is starting out pretty great right now. You’ve helped me make sure I’m going to get where I need to be, on time. The snow is beautiful, life is good.”
He looked at me like I was crazy.
The session with the reps went great. On my connecting commuter flight through Minneapolis, we had to ride a shuttle bus to the main terminal after deplaning. Upon entering the terminal, my heart sank again. I had left one of my carry-on bags on the shuttle bus. If I tried to go back out onto the secure tarmac area, I certainly would have been machine-gunned down. I found a gracious airline employee (yes, they do exist) who radioed the bus driver.
Another attendant delivered my bag a few minutes later. “You’re not having a good day, are you?” the guy said as he handed me the bag.
Actually, “I’m having a great day. Chasing this bag down could have been a nightmare.”
Upon landing home, at the airport parking garage, I’m searching for my credit card at the payment window. For the third time that day, the heart did the fifty-story elevator drop. The card wasn’t in my wallet. I’m searching for it, and 10 cars are now queued up behind me with the line growing. Finally I realized it was in my pocket. The attendant said, you guessed it, “It’s not your day, is it?”
I looked her square in the eye and said, “It is a fantastic day. I’m home, I’m going to enjoy a beer in about 30 minutes. And I have my credit card.”
So what’s the message here?
YOU decide what kind of attitude you’ll wear each day. And the old saying is true: “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that’s most important.”
That’s especially true in sales and on the phone. You’ve picked a profession where you must proactively and regularly put yourself in situations that can pull you down. How you view them and react to them determines your attitude, and how well you will do the rest of the day, the week, the year, and in your career.
As always in life, there will be some things you can’t control each day. One you are always the captain of is your attitude, what you will do next, and how you react to what happens to you. If you make the commitment to simply maintain a positive outlook, make things happens instead of reacting to what happens, and learning from every setback, I know you will be happier, more successful, and never have an awful day.