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How to be resilient when life sucks. With Allison Graham [Episode 524]

Allison Graham, consultant, and author of Married My Mom Birthed A Dog: How to be Resilient When Life Sucks, joins me on this episode.


Allison thinks the biggest challenge facing sales reps is the noise in the marketplace. Allison started writing a column in 2003. It took her five months to get the job. Today, anybody can publish anything, with little or no merit.

Allison suggests a remedy. Salespeople need to flip their script. Talking about their company and product is of no interest to the prospect. Talk about the specific problem you are going to solve for the client, and how you will solve it.

Then, get eye-to-eye with the right buyers, make an impression, and talk their language about problems they are having. Let them know you’re the solution provider, and make it irresistible. Tie your product to their problem.

Allison has written about resilience. She based a book on her work/life experiences of the first ten years of her sales career. Her sales were good, but her health was miserable. You can become a victim, or you can become the Resiliency Ninja. Step into your full potential, your full success, no matter what challenges come. If you can’t bounce back from a low quota, that will influence your ability to sell.

A 50% close ratio means 50% “No.” SDRs hear “No,” maybe 90% of the time. Not hitting your numbers twice, makes it tough to bounce back. Getting a “No,” is better than a “Maybe.” Buyers need to decline, until you earn their “Yes.”

Resiliency is a skill that applies to both big and little issues. Too many little hurts can become a big hurt, if you are not prepared with resilience. Process issues as they come.

Big issues like loss, disease, and divorce, impact performance. Allison created the Resiliency Ninja Formula for the book. It combines self-awareness, strength of heart, body and mind. She developed tools to build strength.

These tools fight our internal messenger of BS that always says the worst. Allison describes a writing exercise to enable seeing self-judgments objectively. Flipping the internal script is key to becoming resilient.

Allison claims positive thinking will make you miserable. She explains how. Positive thinking without basis leads to despair when there is a problem. Optimism is hopeful, and seeing the best. This is good.

Acknowledge problems, and share them thoughtfully with trusted people. Share by giving hope and tools, not sorrow. Share successes with prospects. Allison describes the Continuum of Challenges: stress, obstacles, and adversity.

We tend to minimize big things, and overstress day-to-day stresses. We are taught this from youth. We need to acknowledge big hurts, and give less power to little pains. We must learn to process adversity.