A couple of weeks ago I was on the verge of buying an expensive business system. I ultimately decided that I wasn’t ready to pull the trigger, and I explained to the disappointed salesperson that I might do it in the future (I might). His response was to tell me that if I didn’t buy it then, I was unlikely to do so in the future.
While technically not a whine – there was neither moaning nor groaning – the effect was much the same. He was complaining essentially that I wasn’t buying the system then, and was probably not going to do so in the future. My reaction (expressed internally) was: 1) That’s not my problem; 2) This is making it less likely that I’ll buy the system.
That was a long demonstrating the impact of whining in and about business. It doesn’t work, and doesn’t do anyone much good. At the outset, I should acknowledge, that I know this from firsthand experience. Yes, I am guilty. I have whined.
Whining is really all about disappointment and frustration. It’s the verbal expression of those emotions. Usually it’s about things not working out or not going your way. Rather than expressing it’s much more productive to ask yourself how things got that way, and how the results could have been different.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you feel a whine coming on:
- Was it something I did? Did you make a compelling presentation or case in presenting your product or service? It’s worth asking whether you truly brought your A-Game to the table and had done all of your research on what you were selling or on your target audience.
- Is it the product? Is there something wrong with what you’re trying to sell. You can have the greatest pitch deck and presentation skills and you still might score a resounding zero. Some products just stink. They aren’t meant to be sold, of they might not be priced right or offer the features that the marketplace in looking for.
- Were You Direct? It’s important to answer questions directly. No bullshit. You should address concerns and questions directly. If someone is asking a question, you need to answer that question, and not the one that you wished had been asked. You should also know and be prepared to address the weaknesses in the products and services you’re selling.
- Was It Just Not Meant To Be? Maybe the stars weren’t aligned. Maybe your prospective client was having a bad day. Sometimes things just don’t work out no matter how on you are or however great the product. In these cases, there’s really nothing you can do. It’s just not meant to be.
The lesson in all of this is not to just throw up your hands in frustration when something doesn’t work, but to assess and examine and to see how you could have done things differently, if at all. Then, tomorrow’s a new day. Just do it. Differently.
Now back to my example, the sale of the business system. The salesperson was actually great. He was responsive and informative and got me much further along in the process than I normally would have gone. In the end it was a little bit about the product – I’m not 100% convinced – and the price, high. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.