Your Choices Regarding Friction

Because business is a complex, dynamic, human interaction, it comes with an inherent element of friction.

  • Misunderstandings can cause friction. What you thought you communicated was not what your client heard. The difference between what was said and what was heard can cause friction. Your client believes they heard something that hasn’t come true. You believe you communicated clearly. Friction.
  • Competing needs are source of friction. The fact that you need your dream client to invest more in the outcome they want is in stark contrast to what your prospect wants to spend to achieve that outcome. There is no way for both of you to get exactly what you want. This is another form of conflict or friction.
  • When things go wrong, it is easy for emotions to run hot. The stress of struggling or failing to generate results can cause people to say things that are hurtful to others, even if they don’t mean to, and even if they later regret it. Stress is a source of friction.

To succeed in business and in sales, you have to understand and accept that a certain amount of friction comes with the territory. The more comfortable you are with the conflict that occurs in the normal course of business, the more successful you will be. The more uncomfortable you are with friction, the more you may struggle.

The fact that friction exists, that there is an element of conflict in business and in sales, does not mean that you have to be the source of the friction or accept that there is nothing you can to do to reduce the friction. Not only can you successfully navigate and reduce friction by exercising emotional intelligence, practicing patience, using the power of persuasion, and winning hearts and minds by indefatigably pursuing a third way (not your way, not my way, our way).

Friction is inevitable. Your response to friction is within your control. You can increase the friction by responding from a place of fear and the belief that others have bad intentions. Or you can respond from a centered place of empowerment, believing that you are resourceful enough to find a third way—and to sell it to others.

Filed under: Accountability

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