Don’t Get Distracted by Disappointment

AdviserBlast – Quick Tips to Accelerate Your Practice

In this issue: Be careful not to let disappointment turn into a distraction which keeps you from great opportunities.


Sometimes things just don't go your way. It might be due to something you did or didn't do, or it may be because of something beyond your control. Either way, sometimes prospects choose another adviser, deals don't go through, or clients move on, leaving us feeling disappointed and even frustrated or angry.

Recently a client was courting a new prospect and had done everything right in developing the relationship. Things were looking good. He was eager to close this new and profitable deal and started anticipating how much he would enjoy working with these people. Then, the day of decision came, and for reasons he had no control over, the prospect did not choose to work with him. The decision blind-sided him, and he was devastated.

When I spoke with him the next week, he had not completed any of the activities he had committed to do the previous week. He said he kept thinking about what had gone wrong with that prospect and going over and over what could have been done differently. His confidence in approaching other prospects had been knocked, he just didn't "feel" like talking to existing clients, and he ended up spending his week on inconsequential activities.

In short, he was distracted by his disappointment. That distraction kept him from going on to accomplish other valuable achievements.

Of course when things don't go your way, it is OK to feel disappointed and review what could be done better in the future. If you cared at all about what you were doing, some disappointment is inevitable. However, don't let it overcome you and wallow in self pity! You simply sabotage other opportunities when you refuse to get back in the game.

This was really well illustrated in the Olympics last month. We saw athletes who were expected to medal experience devastating crashes. For some, that crash ended their Olympic experience because of the mental, rather than physical, damage they caused. Still others dusted themselves off and got their heads focused on their next events. They came back, performed well, and enjoyed the thrill of standing on the medalists' platform, the disappointment of their earlier losses fading in the glory of their present win!

When the prospect should have signed with you but didn't, have a process to effectively get you back on track for other opportunities.

  1. Acknowledge that you're disappointed. It's OK – you felt you deserved better:  the deal meant something to you, and it hurts that you missed.
  2. Review the occasion. Is there something that you should tweak slightly to give yourself a better chance next time you're in that position? Did you take something for granted? Did you not listen as well as you should have?
  3. Learn from the experience. How will you be better prepared next time when you have another opportunity to bring in a new client?
  4. Move on! Once you've acknowledged you're disappointed and given yourself a short time to process that and analyze what can be improved, get up, dust yourself off, and with the benefit of a little more experience under your belt, get back in the game!

Copyright Paul Kingsman 2010


As a motivational speaker and executive coach, Paul Kingsman provides financial services professionals practical tools to overcome distractions and stay focused so they can get the money they need, clients they want, and time to do what they love. Combining his experiences as an Olympic medalist and his background as an adviser for Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, Paul understands how to stay focused over the long haul, as well as the unique business challenges faced by advisers, and equips them to build the businesses they desire.

To find out more about how he can equip you or your team to achieve your own Split Second Success® through his presentations or executive coaching, visit or email him at

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