Fire Up!

Bouncing Back

Feeling bummed because you lost a major account, let an ideal prospect slip away or got chewed out by a client? What can you do to overcome the "woe is me" syndrome and get your business back on track?

Danielle Kennedy, CEO of Danielle Kennedy Productions, a sales education consulting company in Sun Valley, Idaho, offers four tips:

1. Stay focused on growing your business. "Losing a customer or an order hurts most when your entire business depends on closing that deal," Kennedy points out. "If you've been working various niche markets all along, then you'll have other prospects and customers to fall back on when you lose one to a competitor."

2. Immediately following any type of rejection, call someone who believes in you and your product. "I'd say to my customer `Hi. I just need to reassure myself that you are pleased with our service.' The reply is always good. They might say: `Are you kidding? We love our widgets and are so glad you called. Can we order more?' Tell me that response won't help you forget your troubles fast!"

3. Read inspirational stories of people who had it worse than you. "There's nothing like hearing how your hero or someone you admire got punched in the stomach but didn't lie down and die--they popped up and kept going," says Kennedy, whose book is loaded with stories from legends who describe painful times in their development. "Never giving up is really the secret to success."

4. Don't overdramatize. "Rejection and failure are dramatic words that rarely apply to our situation," Kennedy contends. "Setbacks, or a stall, maybe--but a rejection? A failure? Please??? get over yourself and get to work!"

Sean Lyden is the CEO of Prestige Positioning (a service of The Professional Writing Firm Inc.), an Atlanta-based firm that "positions" clients as leading experts in their field-through ghost-written articles and books for publication. Clients include Morgan Stanley, IFG Securities, SunTrust Service Corp. and several professional advisory and management consulting firms nationwide.

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This article was originally published in the November 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Fire Up!.

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