By Paul Reilly

Jon Rahm is currently the third best golfer in the world. Last weekend, he withdrew from the Memorial Tournament, missing out on his chance to win $1.67 million. Rahm tested positive for COVID-19. He was A-symptomatic, but unable to play on Sunday.

Rahm was obviously frustrated, for good reason—he was leading the tournament by six strokes. There is little doubt that Rahm would have won the tournament on Sunday. Although Rahm’s pain pales in comparison to the devastation of this pandemic, it’s still pain. Instead of lashing out and venting his frustration, here was his response:

“I’m very disappointed in having to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament. This is one of those things that happens in life, one of those moments where how we respond to a setback defines us as people. I’m very thankful that my family and I are all OK. I will take all of the necessary precautions to be safe and healthy, and I look forward to returning to the golf course as soon as possible.”

In sales (and life), you face setbacks and struggles. You will face tough times that are out of your control. Those tough moments are defining moments in your life. Many sellers continue to face new challenges through this pandemic.

Recently a salesperson confided in me with one such event. This seller worked for nearly a year to win over a prospect. The seller had countless Zoom calls, numerous follow-up e-mails, and chased down multiple decision makers. All his hard work paid off and he received a purchase order. However, his company is facing several supply-chain issues and they are unable to fill the purchase order. He lost the opportunity. This is a defining moment for that seller.

Another salesperson recently lost her largest customer. This customer accounted for one-third of their business. The customer was purchased by a larger organization. The newly formed organization wanted to streamline their purchasing process and consolidate vendors, which meant the acquiring company no longer wanted to partner with this seller. The salesperson lost over $300,000 worth of business. This is a defining moment for that seller.

Both salespeople faced defining moments in their careers. The question is, how will you respond in those defining moments? John Rahm exemplifies how to manage tough times. In my upcoming Value-Added Selling public seminar, I will preview the six mental exercises to build your mental strength. You will learn what it takes to build a steely resolve in the face of struggle.

My dad always said, “You can win business on the golf course.” It turns out, you can also learn about business by what happens on the golf course. Your response to adversity determines the type of person you are. When you face defining moments, embrace the challenge. Use the pain you feel as motivation to press on.

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