Last week I cringed as I watched the ‘guys’ return to the sales office bragging of their latest sales activities in the iconic sales movie Glengarry Glenn Ross. (We had a very long drive south last week to move our daughter for college and I needed something to occupy my time.)

boastfulI found it painful to watch the actor’s bravado, lies to prospects, and desperation about closing sales during the movie. Worse was their blaming of others when things didn’t go their way. It is in such contrast to my strong beliefs that collaborative sales conversations are much more successful in the long run than coercion, lying, and manipulation.

Of course it feels good when we win and that confidence helps us win more doesn’t it? Yet what about when we lose? Maybe we lose the sale, our confidence, their trust, or our belief in the value we bring. Our reaction during those times also can help us win more…if we are humble enough to step back, evaluate, and then move forward.

My dear friend and long-time colleague of mine, Melissa, and I call these the humbling moments. These moments provide the opportunity to keep us sharp, consistent, and open to the fact that we have to continue working at what we to develop our ability to sell. Or these losing moments can crush us.

The term emotional intelligence comes to mind as I consider humbling moments. Do we have enough emotional intelligence to keep going? Or do we let our emotions get the best of us and say or behave in ways that make it worse?

I admit to lack of energy and desire to make additional calls after something doesn’t go as I believed it should. Yet it’s when we humble ourselves and admit we could do better and continue to push our activities, efforts, and risk for being humbled that we find the greatness we can really achieve.

p.s. Pushing yourself to go for more can make the difference between an average and a top performing career. If you want to read a parable about how your willingness to go for more impacts your career I highly recommend the book called Go For No by Richard Felton and Andrea Waltz. 

Your Turn! What has been your most recent humbling sales experience? What did you do to recover and go for more? Leave a comment and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a signed copy of the Conversations That Sell book.

Congratulations to Mike Maisel for winning the book from their comment on the post from 1/28/14.

An after-press time addition: I just watched Thursday night Olympics – the men’s short program for ice skating. American Jeremy Abbott displayed strong humility and emotional intelligence after he took a very hard fall, and after nearly 12 seconds, picked himself up and finished flawlessly. Afterward, his comment included something such as “I might not be an Olympic champion but I can teach people something about finishing.” Well done Jeremy.