In sales, you leave a lot of voicemails and send a lot of emails. Many of them go unanswered. When they are ‘cold’ reach-outs, it is likely that most of them will go unanswered.
What about the people you do know? The people you have a relationship with, those who have chosen to work with you in the past. People you have met, had coffee or lunch with.
What does it mean when you leave them a voicemail or send them an email and hear nothing in return? Did they decide to stop working with you? Are they going with a different provider now? Did you do something wrong? Maybe it was the way you ended that last call or the pricing you quoted on that last deal. Or maybe it was when you had lunch a couple of weeks ago and forgot to ask about their daughter who just went off to college.
Maybe, just maybe, it has nothing at all to do with you. Not only does it ‘maybe’ have nothing at all to do with you, but it almost definitely has nothing at all to do with you.
I know this because I live it all the time. The pressure and fear that I messed up in some way with friends, clients, candidates only to discover they were on vacation, out sick, dealing with budgets, had a project that had their full attention, or thought they replied already.
We are (I am) so good at creating these stories in our heads. It is easy to do and it is seriously inhibiting. Next time you have this happen, flip the script and stop thinking about you and start thinking about them. Once you realize that you also have ‘life happen’ and that there are plenty of things you also want to get done, but haven’t been able to, it might help ease your mind.
I know it works for me.