Becoming An Inner Winner in Your Sales Career:
Secret Sports Psychology to Skyrocket Your Sales Performance
By Jack Singer, Ph.D.
Matt is a sales manager with a computer software company. His
sales people have the responsibilities of generating new business by making
"cold calls" and following up on leads from potential customers who respond
to inquiries that his company receives. Besides making sure that his sales
people can answer any questions about their products, Matt has also trained
them in the traditional practices of how to communicate with potential
customers, how to get them to realize how his company's products will make
their jobs simpler and more efficient, and how to close a deal. But Matt is
befuddled at the poor sales success rates of his people. Are there other
training techniques that can dramatically improve their performance?
Yes! Traditional sales training techniques ignore the biggest obstacle to
sales success: Not recognizing and taking control of the Internal Critic
that lingers within every sales person, and every athlete. The internal
critic is basically a habitual pattern of negative thoughts that people
allow to continue unabated until they recognize that they are engaging in
such thinking. Using techniques that professional sport psychologists use to
help elite athletes overcome their obstacle to success works the same
wonders on sales people.
Here are a few tips that you can use with your sales people immediately:
Teach them to understand the warning signs of their "Internal Critic" at work. Self-talk will either make you successful or will lead to disappointment. So often, people unconsciously use self-limiting thoughts, which prevent them from being successful. Examples of negative, pessimistic self-talk phrases, are: "What if ," "I hope I don't" I should have said" "The client won't like me if" "I always have problems with"I probably won't be able to close this sale," or "I can't believe how stupid I was to say that"
Negative, pessimistic messages that people allow to pass through their minds
immediately lead to muscle tightening throughout the body. More rapid
breathing and often perspiring accompany this tightening. Consequently,
these physiological responses are perceived as "stress" and you can read
that all over the face and body language of the sales person (or athlete,
for example). Sales people can practice catching themselves when these
types of negative thoughts go through their minds and they can make a fist
(out of view of the prospective customer), which is a reminder to STOP
thinking that way and to take a few relaxing breaths, release the fist,
relax and proceed to think positively and optimistically.
There is an old saying that "What you believe, you can achieve." Internal
self-talk leads to beliefs (either positive or negative) and beliefs lead to
the body's reactions. Sales people need to believe in their products and in
their ability to show the customer why she/he needs to purchase that product
today. Once sales people believe in themselves and their products, they are
in a much better position to achieve sales success.
Suggest that they give themselves positive affirmations each day.
Positive affirmations are positive, optimistic thoughts about your sales
success as if it is happening today, right now. Since our subconscious mind
doesn't know the difference between something real or imagined (for example,
visualize yourself biting into a tart lemon and see what your mind tells
your salivary glands to do), when you give yourself positive affirmations
and imagine they these things are happening right now, your subconscious
mind wants to make them happen for you. Here are examples of positive
affirmations for sales people: "I know my products and I will show my
customers how these products are perfect for their situation," I know how to
treat people so they will be open to my suggestions," My self-confidence as
a sales person grows each day," I see myself breaking my sales records each
Make a list of at least 10 positive affirmations to say each morning upon
arising and each evening when retiring. Say each one 10 times in the
morning and 10 times in the evening, breathing slowly and visualizing the
each affirmation happening now.
Encourage them to visualize sales success before approaching the potential
Your subconscious minds take orders from you without judging success or
failure. As noted above, internal dialogue and beliefs are one means of
directing your subconscious mind. Another powerful technique for directing
the subconscious mind is actually visualizing success. Professional golfers,
for example, who visualize each shot before they make it find a tremendous
similarity between their vision of that shot and the subsequent shot that
Tell your people to visualize themselves preparing for the sales call,
gathering their materials, feeling really encouraged because they know their
products and feel confident as they enter the room where the pitch will take
place. Visualize the sights and sounds around you as you begin the perfect
sales presentation. They then see the customer smiling and nodding in
agreement as they show him/her how much this product will help them.
Finally, visualize themselves shaking hands with the client, closing the
deal and writing up the order.
Show them the power of goal setting. People are eleven times more likely to
reach a goal when they write it down, as opposed to simply thinking about
the goal. Have your sales people write down short and long-term goals that
are specific and action-oriented. For example, "For this month, I will sell
at least 27 widgets." Make sure the goals are realistic.
Next, have them visualize themselves feeling wonderful once they accomplish
that goal. Have them imagine it as if they have already accomplished the
goal. Finally, have them write down ways in which they can sabotage
themselves so that they won't accomplish that goal. This is a critical way
of recognizing ways they perhaps didn't realize they were undermining their
success and how they will now stop that behavior.
Using these tips will help your sales people look at the internal barriers
to their success and how to release their true talent. In short, becoming
an Inner Winner leads to success every time!
About the Author:
Jack Singer, Ph.D. is a professional speaker, trainer and psychologist. Dr.
Singer has been speaking for and training Fortune 1000 companies,
associations, CEO's and elite athletes for 34 years. He is a frequent guest
on CNN, MSNBC, FOX SPORTS and countless radio talk shows across the U.S. and
Canada. He is the author of "The Teacher's Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide,"
and several series of hypnotic audio programs, some specifically for
athletes and some for anyone wanting to raise their self-confidence and
esteem. To learn more about Dr. Singer's speaking and consulting services,
please visit http://www.drjacksinger.com or call (800) 497-9880.