These challenging economic times have created many fears for sales individuals. The Following is one technique you can use to gain the upper hand.
I remember in the early days of my sales career being afraid of cold calling at the door of a potential prospect. Before going to the door I would drive around the block several times to build up enough nerve to knock on it. Unfortunately, I was dealing with a picture of the owner that I had created in my mind. He was 6’ 5”, cranky, cigar in his mouth, and not about to talk to another anonymous salesman.
After several laps around the block I finally had the nerve to park the car and walk up to the door. As the door gets closer I begin to go over and over in my head the scripts that I will use on the 6’ 5” prospect.
The tension starts to rise as I begin to crystallize the image of who this person behind the door is.
I knock on the door and wait for the encounter. The door opens slowly. I adjust my eyes to the height of the individual I am going to confront. The door is finally fully open as I look straight ahead ready to engage….and no one is there. I begin to pan my eyes down slightly and there standing in front of me is a 5’ 2” elderly lady with a big smile.
Completely shocked, I begin slurring my script and she responds by saying, “come in, sit down son, how can I help you”.
I learned several big lessons that day:
- My mind can create a story that 90 percent of the time is not accurate.
- Sometimes just being yourself works.
- My business grows in direct proportion to how well I can control my thinking.
Dr. Ali Arnold, a frequent guest on my blog talk radio show, works with Olympic athletes to prepare their mindset for their specific event. She says athletes, as well as business people, create stories that can be negative and effect performance.
If the mind is not under control, the outcome can be devastating.
Dr. Ali tells her athletes that when they are in that negative mindset they have to “flip it”, meaning that when the person creates the negative thought or image in their mind they quickly need to flip the thought or image to something positive.
This technique has to be practiced over and over again so that it becomes automatic. This instantly begins the reprogramming and gets the athlete back in focus to perform at the highest level.
As a sales training coach, I recommend that business professionals do the same. Sales is as competitive as any sport. Training your mind the proper way is necessary to achieve greater success.
We need to have new techniques to keep our head in the game. The market demands a high level of performance and what we use to get away with in sales and management before 2008 is not effective now and will not be effective in the coming years.
So when you are creating a negative story in your head, or you begin to doubt yourself — just “flip it” to a positive picture or outcome. You have nothing to lose.
What are you afraid of?