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  • Rebecca Anderson

Blog: Trending This Week: Staying Focused After Failure

(Written for LinkedIn Sales)

Michael Phelps. Warren Buffett. Beyoncé. What’s the commonality between these people and other high performers who have succeeded despite setbacks? It’s more than talent; it’s the self-discipline to do whatever it takes to move their vision forward.

For most of us, self-discipline is hard—especially when it seems like we’re faced with rejection at every turn. After losing what could have been a year-making deal, it’s easy to lose focus. When a long-time customer switches to another vendor, we may find ourselves binge-watching three seasons of something or other instead of checking off items on our to-do lists.

And, you know what? That’s okay.

Having self-discipline doesn’t mean that we’re perfect automatons singularly focused on our goals. It simply means that we’re not going to let failure get in the way of our commitment to try, try again. While this may seem easier said than done, knowing where we struggle and zeroing in on our goals goes a long way. Check out this week’s top trending posts for a healthy approach to self-discipline, learn why it’s sometimes better to lose and discover questions that will help you prioritize your pipeline.

Here’s What Sales Professionals Were Reading and Sharing This Week:

Imagine all the things you could accomplish if you could get off the couch, stop playing with your phone and get organized? In this post, Meg Prater serves up a bounty of quotes to explain how self-discipline helps more than just our careers, replete with a 12-step process for practicing self-discipline every day. A great read for discipline ninjas and novices alike.

Somewhere on our lead lists are deals waiting to happen. The challenge is to find which prospects are worth prioritizing, and which deals we should walk away from. In this post, Bardia Shahali highlights discovery questions that can help you spot red flags and determine the sales readiness of the prospect.

For most sales pros, “lose” is a four-letter word. It’s hard to stop pushing prospects towards a commitment even as we see the window of opportunity closing. Sure, the prospect said “no” to your original request, and then again after you attempted to overcome their objections. But what do you have to lose in trying one more time? The answer: maybe a lucrative future opportunity. In this post, Anthony Iannarino explains how losing gracefully can keep the window of opportunity open just a crack, so that “no” becomes “not now.”

This post by Andrew Mauboussin and Michael J. Mauboussin details the differences in how people perceive words like “likely,” “possibly,” and “rarely.” It turns out that imprecise language can be an asset for sales pros. While being transparent with prospect is always the best option, using a word such as “likely,” gives you wiggle room if things don’t play out as planned.

On the flip side, if your prospect tells you that they “always” review vendors at the beginning of each fiscal year, be aware that for some people, “always” doesn’t actually mean always. Check out the post for a chart that illustrates the perceived likelihood of a variety of imprecise words.

If you want to rock the sales charts, Eleanor Beaton suggests you might want to channel your inner Beyoncé in one particular way—practicing your skills every single day. But it’s not all about singing in the shower. For sales pros, working with a devoted coach and setting quick-hit process goals is crucial to putting on a show-stopping performance this quarter and in the future. Check out the post for five ways high performers ensure their skills are always in tune.

For more tips on self-discipline and prioritizing your pipeline, subscribe to the LinkedIn Sales Solution Blog.

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