By Jack Singer, Ph.D.
Matt is a sales manager in a large insurance company. Besides making sure that his salespeople can answer questions about their products, Matt trains them to communicate with potential clients, how to get them to realize how his company’s products will be great investments, and how to close a deal. But Matt is befuddled at the poor sales success rates of his sales professionals. Traditional sales training techniques ignore the biggest obstacle to sales success: Not recognizing and taking control of the Internal Critic (the habitual pattern of negative thoughts) that lingers within every salesperson.
Here are four tips that you can use:
1. Understand the warning signs of your Internal Critic at work.
Self-limiting, negative and pessimistic thoughts (self-talk) inhibit your success. Examples 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, messages that pass through your mind immediately lead to muscle tightening, rapid breathing, and perspiring. These physiological responses are perceived as “stress.”
When negative thoughts go through your mind, make a fist (out of view of the prospective customer) to remind you to stop thinking that way. Take a few breaths, relax, and think positively and optimistically. What you believe, you can achieve. Internal self-talk leads to beliefs (positive or negative), and beliefs lead to reactions. You need to believe in your products and in your ability to show customers why they need to purchase that product today. Once you believe in yourself and your products, you are in a much better position to achieve sales success.
2. Give yourself positive affirmations
Start thinking optimistic thoughts about your sales success, as if it’s happening today. When you give yourself positive affirmations and imagine that these things are happening right now, your subconscious mind buys into it.
Here are examples: “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 sales records each month.” List 10 positive affirmations and say each one 10 times in the morning and 10 times in the evening, breathing slowly and visualizing the each affirmation happening now.
3. Visualize sales success before you approach potential customers.
Visualize yourself preparing for the sales call and feeling confident as you enter the room. Visualize the sights and sounds around you as you begin. See the client smiling and nodding in agreement as you show them how your product will serve her insurance and investment needs. Visualize yourself shaking hands with the client, closing the deal, and writing up the order.
4. Show them the power of goal setting.
You are 11 times more likely to reach a goal when you write it down. Write down short and long-term goals that are specific and action-oriented. En- sure the goals are realistic. Next, visualize yourself feeling wonderful once you achieve that goal. Imagine it as if you’ve already achieved the goal. List ways in which you tend to sabotage yourself, and how you’ll stop that behavior.
Becoming an Inner Winner leads to sales success every time!