Novice vs. Pro
If you are an entrepreneur in the early stages of your business, then you likely do not have a salesperson working for you. You are the one doing the selling and that means you are the one who has to pitch and ask for business. For many people this is one of the most uncomfortable things to do because it means taking the risk that the person on the other end might say no. The main reason for this:
The focus and the anxiety are tied to the future outcome.
This is very similar to what you see in tennis. A novice player comes on the court and starts the game. If they give up a point, they may get freaked out and start playing erratically. If they gain a point, they may get careless and sloppy. The reason for this is they are tied to the outcome of the game. They are living in the future as opposed to being there in the present. Now if you watch a pro come on the court, you’ll see something very different. Whether they gain a point or give up a point, they show little emotion. They observe and adjust their game and follow the process that they have trusted that got them this far. Each moment in the game is a chance for them to refine their process and become a better player. Their detachment from the outcome allows them to overcome moments that can make others freak out.
They see each moment of the game as an opportunity to learn.
Now think of your own asks. When you go out looking for business are you like the novice tied to the outcome or are you like the pro, following and adjusting your process?
If you focus all of your energy on the imagined future, will you be effective in the present?
This simple reframing of your ask is a way to get beyond the anxiousness you might feel when pitching a client or referral partner. If you are focused on what you can learn and adjust from each interaction, then you’ll be less concerned about the outcome and start to discover which methods work. Look at these asks as research. You are simply discovering ways to perfect your pitch so that in the future you close more business. Now, like the tennis pro, getting a point or losing a point won’t faze you. You’ll keep going.
Those who stay calm and focus on learning from each moment are usually the ones who win.
Today it’s your turn to serve.
Make it count.