According to G. Clotaire Rapaille, a psychoanalyst and ethnographer whose research on salespeople led him to characterize that group with a Happy Loser archetype, being a happy loser is what drives their success. That is to say that the successful salesperson is somebody who sees rejection as a challenge – a happy loser comes back to try again and again for the win. They look for new ways to get the outcome they desire. The rejection stimulates them instead of beating them down, and in the end, they win more often. And winning more often, well, that’s definitely a good thing!
A Strategic Account Manger’s role often includes advising your clients to adopt solutions that will drive profitable growth for their organizations. Even when you are not explicitly selling a product or service, you are still in the role of a salesperson: selling your clients on the value of your insights, expertise and perspective, and convincing them to step outside their comfort zone and take a risk to earn big rewards. And like more traditional salespeople, it is likely that you hear no a lot more than you hear yes. How you treat each no will make the difference. Each no should be a chance to learn from mistakes, to refine your approach. Each no should spur you to behave like a happy loser, and come back with another recommendation on how to help your customers grow. Each no increases your odds of winning the next time.
Interested in how the Happy Loser archetype may be the secret to success? Read more at this link to INC. Magazine’s April 2010 issue.
VP, Strategic Accounts
(This blog was originally published on SAM Source on June 18, 2010.)