The following response is excerpted from a longer interview. I was asked by HRD Press the following question:
What is the biggest priority shift that people should make, in order to become better at closing deals and completing projects?
As discussed in Seal the Deal, it’s really all about numbers. The biggest shift to make, particularly while we are on the road to economic recovery, is a return to basics. Focus on your core business, your core competencies, the best use of your expertise and skillset and team, and increase your outreach significantly. I can’t stress enough that it’s a numbers game. Not just for creating opportunities and keeping your pipeline filled, but for protecting yourself emotionally as well. If you are pursuing 3 great leads, you have time to worry, fret, second-guess, and self-doubt. If you are pursuing 150 leads, you only have time to focus on where you are in the process with each one and how to advance the ball to the next stage of the game. With 3 leads, when you lose one it hurts. With 150 leads, when you lose one it’s no big deal, you’re already onto the next ones.
Another major priority shift to make is around fear and risk. In challenging times, fear becomes enormous compared to normal levels, and it’s contagious. We hear messages of fear from colleagues, family members, the media, and others, and it has its impact. It gets under your skin in a way that positive psychology isn’t sufficient to eradicate. The places where we place our attention and focus are the things that expand. If we focus on fear and doubt, we will find evidence to support that that is true and real. This thinking is detrimental to your ability to seal the deal. Even if you spend time resisting fear, you are still focusing on it, and that which we resist persists. Stop. Take a moment each day to focus on what you are grateful for and what makes you feel resilient. Spend time each day breathing and smiling and cultivating a feeling of gratitude and joy – even if only for a few moments each day. This will go a long way to shifting the prevalence and control of fear that’s limiting your success.