3 Lessons J.K. Rowling Taught Me About Sales Opportunities The author of the now-legendary classic "Harry Potter" series was a broke stay-at-home mom who simply learned how to seize opportunity.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Since 1997, J.K. Rowling has been captivating audiences with the story of a very special boy, and his very famous scar. Recently, Rowling was voted the most influential author on Reader's Legacy and to celebrate, our company began running a 20 percent off sale from April 25 to April 30 on each of her books.
As we began marketing for the sale, I began to research more about the author behind one of the greatest series in literary history -- and what I learned blew my mind! Rowling came from humble beginnings -- a single mother who was barely making ends meet, and practically overnight became the most well-known author of the 21st century.
How did she do this, you might ask? Through something all sales people should know about -- opportunity.
Here's what I learned:
1. Opportunity must be found.
Before becoming the world-renowned author she is today, J.K. Rowling was a single mother, who was out of work and barely making ends meet. It was on a delayed train to London that fate would intervene and images of a boy wizard in a mysterious world flooded her mind.
With such a story brewing inside, Rowling chose to look at her unemployment as an opportunity to write in stead of being stuck on a situation she was bound to. In sales, you have to adapt the same mindset and seize the moments you have in order to create the leads you want.
This means you stop looking at how things are, and instead look at all situations as opportunities to grow your business. For example, instead looking at long flights home as painful and boring, look at them as hopeful opportunities to make connections for future sales.
2. Opportunity only comes with adversity.
Harry Potter was rejected by 12 different publishers before being picked up by Bloomsbury Publishing in 1996. Originally, publishers were not crazy about the sheer size of the book, let alone the tale of an orphaned boy making his way through a world of witchcraft. No matter the amount of rejection, Rowling believed in her work and did not allow herself to stop submitting her to publishers until it was finally taken to print.
Sometimes, as you pursue sales, you will come across potential clients who do not like your message or the items you are trying to sell. That's OK -- don't let it keep you from pushing forward. With rejection comes growth, and with growth comes success -- which leads to prosperity.
3. Opportunity only comes in the form of others.
Rowling's Harry Potter would not be the powerhouse it is today if not for her stellar fan following, also known as "Potterheads," who have stuck with her to the very end. For salesmen, word-of-mouth can make you or break you. It is imperative when generating leads that you take the time to listen and get to know who you are working with. Doing so will make them feel cared for, and when they're cared for, they will begin to care about you too. When you provide outstanding service, people notice -- and their contacts soon become your clients.
Though the moral of Harry Potter may not apply to the message above, the moral of the story that is J.K. Rowling's life does. Whether you're a business expert, an aspiring writer or a stay-at-home mom, opportunity is everywhere and is yours for the taking. Keep your eyes open -- and go for it with gusto!