The One Question

It all starts by asking this one question

It’s Tuesday, July 18th If you are a sales leader, you know what this means.  It’s less than 2 weeks until the end of the quarter.  You are putting the finishing touches on your forecast and have asked your sales team to clean up their pipeline to ensure all opportunities are in the appropriate stages.  Some of you have taken the time to do an official “Pipeline Review”.  Your incredibly awesome salespeople comply to the best of their ability and some of your team members, with opportunities at the “negotiation” stage, have asked their clients for permission to forecast the incoming contracts to be received no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.

BUT what happens on Monday, July 1st when you notice one of those opportunities has been moved to the “closed/lost” stage?  Do you immediately react by copying the opportunity link to an email with a subject line of “What happened”?  I know I’ve done just that and have also received this exact email.

Can you remember a time when it was hard to just shrug it off?  Can you recall what you made that loss mean?  Can you remember how that felt?

What would it look to do something radically different?  What would it look like for you to mindfully think about a time in your career when you lost a sale and were completely blindsided?  It happens and most of us immediately go to, “What did I do wrong”.  Sometimes we are able to see the missing link and sometimes it’s just beyond our control but the one thing most of us experience is emotion, we feel varying levels of crummy and that “crummy” has the ability to set the trajectory of our day depending on the degree to which we can let go and be resilient.  So what would it feel like instead of shooting off that email you actually took the time to remember how you felt to be in the situation?  Can you remember a time when it was hard to just shrug it off?  Can you recall what you made that loss mean?  Can you remember how that felt? Maybe it was the difference between making or not making your quota, maybe you went to, “I’m going to get fired” or maybe you had a series of lost business and were really just battle weary.  Instead of shooting off that email, what would it look like for you to either pick up the phone, walk over to this person’s desk or even send an email acknowledging this person with compassion for the shared experience before sending off a reactive email all leading up to asking a radically different question,

“How do you feel”?

This 4-word sentence demonstrates the human connection to the universal truth in life and in sales and that is sometimes we lose.  When asking this question, you are giving this human being permission to be human, remembering humans have feelings.  The response to this question can also help you become a better leader, mentor, and coach by gaining insight into this person’s level of resilience.  By inviting an honest response and sharing with compassion you can be making the biggest difference in helping reduce the stress level of your team member and actually open them up to learning from the experience, moving on and making the true human connection.

I don’t know about you, but most people want to work with people who let them know they matter.

Practicing mindfulness gives you the opportunity to make a choice between reaction or contemplating and responding and that choice can help you cultivate more compassion.

If you would like to explore more about the practices of mindfulness and meditation for you and your team, please message me here or go to my website link below or email link below!


Shelley Brown
Shelley Brown
I’m Shelley Brown, A "Type A" Meditator. I spent 25 years in corporate sales, climbing the ladder and making great money, all while stress slowly consumed me. Then, after a particularly difficult time, I decided it was enough. So I learned how to address my stress. Then, I became better at my job AND my life. Today I teach sales leaders and their teams how to mitigate stress so they can be human beings at work and win more deals. And, BONUS! I help teams cultivate a sales culture that drives continual success. I’m not your typical corporate mindfulness trainer. In fact, I’m probably a lot like you.

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