Yesterday I received my “Deal Closers Only” hat from Man Outfitters. As a guy working the grind of sales, being a member of DCO Nation is a no-brainer, because closing deals is a lifestyle. Gotta be on that business 24/7. Needless to say, I was thrilled to finally get my hat in the mail, but I can’t lie that it was bittersweet timing to open that box.
The dark side of deal closing life is that even the best of the best don’t lock it down every time. Shooters shoot, but even Steph Curry clanks one every now and then. I’ve now finally got a DCO hat, but I’m also reeling from a deal that just didn’t get done.
Frankly, it’s a personal embarrassment to even type those words, but sometimes it just isn’t your day. No one gets into business and walks into that deal-making arena expecting to lose. Now, sometimes you know your odds are a little longer than usual, but regardless you square up that deal like a god damn gladiator looking at a lion. Every now and then that lion just happens to maul you like it’s a tiger and you’re Roy Horn.
It’s a bitter and hollow feeling when the last nail is pounded into the coffin of a dead deal. It’s tough getting a potential client to sign on the dotted line, even if from your point of view everything lines up positively. It might be that they just don’t like change, or feel a sense of loyalty and comfort that you just can’t seem to replicate. Occasionally you just show up to the table with losing cards and get smoked.
That empty feeling of a loss can tear at you in the late hours of the night as you stare at your ceiling wondering where you went wrong. One minute you’re envisioning a nice firm handshake that leads to a fruitful business relationship, the next you’re sitting at home in the dark with your face only lit up by a computer screen, sucking back an IPA and wondering how things went wrong.
It’s not just the fact that there won’t be a commission check with your name on it, or that quota you’re striving for isn’t any closer to being reached. That bitter feeling of defeat has never sat well with me or anyone else. It didn’t feel good in Little League and fifteen years later it still sucks.
Now that’s not to say that the lack of commission check isn’t burning like freshly caught chlamydia either. Unlike losing that Little League game back in the day, taking this L means that you’re struggling more to put food on the table. Or get that new set of irons you’d been eyeing for a few months and really considered pulling the trigger on multiple times, but told yourself you needed a reason, and this deal was it. Whether food or new golf clubs, it sucks that your closing failure has real repercussions.
Part of being a member of DCO Nation is being honest with yourself and knowing that even the greats strike out. Business is a game; there’s always a winner and a loser. Coping with a lost deal is about learning from your mistakes.
A true closer strives to not make the same mistake twice. Very rarely do you get as good a learning opportunity as when you fail. Did you come on too strong, or not strong enough? Maybe get a little too greedy on your end? Did your dumbass just say the wrong thing at the wrong time?
Take your lumps and take your lessons. While misfiring on a deal is a massive letdown, a true closer rebounds like Robert Downey Jr. after his stint in prison. DCO nation isn’t for the mentally weak. I didn’t close this most recent deal, but I’m sure as hell going to crush the next one. .
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