Are They Their
your satisfaction is dependent on certain results, then you are doomed
to perpetual dissatisfaction. Whenever you want something so much that
you make your satisfaction conditional upon receiving it, it is a sure
sign that you are afraid to receive it. Keep in mind: if you were not
afraid of it, it would be easy for you to receive it. One’s inadequacy
actually exacerbates it and that intensity actually scares prospects
away. They sense that you are desperate. They fear manipulation and
they withdraw. Often we unconsciously scare away what we seek. We must
conclude that either we don’t really want it or we are afraid to receive
it. Both are probably true in most cases.
don’t try to always seek control. Often, we end up being controlled
by the control we seek in our sales role. There is no greater feeling
and emotion that will strengthen your self-esteem than the freedom and
liberation of “nothing to lose”.
salespeople are forced to stay with poorly qualified prospects with
low probability because they aren’t strong enough to lose. Frequently,
they are also in denial because as soon as they get rid of all their
poor prospects, what activity does that free them up to do that they
despise? You guessed it: new business development. This avoidance
activity forces salespeople into a vicious cycle of acting like a gerbil
on a treadmill that aimlessly goes nowhere. Being needy isn’t an attractive
quality to try to captivate and lure prospects with. We all experience
this to some degree in our personal lives. Society looks at people who
are needy as a sign of weakness.
you expend all your energy and passion chasing phantom opportunities,
you will have little left for when you pursue legitimate opportunities.
When salespeople refuse to be taken advantage of, they naturally increase
their own self-worth and self- esteem. Ultimately, confidence goes up
and so does results. Keep in mind though; the real problem with your
self-esteem is not really being taken advantage of by your prospects,
as it is beating ourselves up because of it.
of closure, resolution and getting people to make decisions is debilitating
to one’s self-concept. Salespeople need to first become good decision
makers themselves before they can expect to get others to be decisive.
The longer it takes one personally to make decisions, the more likely
they will attract like-minded prospects.
contributing factor that eats away at one’s self-esteem is when salespeople
are constantly getting beaten up on price. Again, like attracts like,
or, birds of a feather flock together. Salespeople who are skinflints
and frugal will disproportionately attract price shoppers. Like anything
in life, we unconsciously set ourselves up for failure because of our
unconscious beliefs more so than the negative circumstances that we
face. You can cure your problem of attracting price buyers only when
you first decide to take personal responsibility for your own fate and
not blame it on outside circumstances.
can better manage their self-esteem and have greater control of the
level of rejection they experience in selling by better coordinating
their information. Salespeople set themselves up for failure by prematurely
selling their products and services. Frequently, they are betting all
their chips on losing hands. You can’t be rejected unless you have
made an offer. Protect your self-concept by being judicious with your
information as to when and under what circumstances you will release
it. Also be aware that you will allow rejection to negatively impact
you because it offers you some measure of security and sense of control.
salespeople are into the cult of positive thinking; however, so often
what they think about doesn’t result in prosperity. This is an age-old
problem. The reason is because, regardless of the surface level of positive
thinking, we ultimately don’t understand and value our true self-worth.
If you really knew your true worth and were in touch with it, you wouldn’t
feel that something was missing. Arguably, positive thinking has surface
benefits, but they are superficial.
can’t make negative thoughts go away by focusing on positive thoughts.
For example, think positive thoughts for a moment… now think negative
thoughts… now positive… now negative. For the next 20 seconds, think
of anything other than pink giraffes. The problem is, you have to think
of pink giraffes in order to remember not to think about it. Wow, ironically
the more you try to control your thoughts, the less control you have.
Sometimes the more you focus on positive thoughts, the more energy and
power you give to your negative thoughts. A positive mental attitude
is best characterized by not being emotionally attached to an end result.
You maintain positive thinking when you accept your circumstances without
author Paul Ferrini states:
want to control the flow of consciousness, but it cannot be done. We
can discipline the mind, exercise it like a muscle, even get it to perform
magic tricks, but we can never really control the content of consciousness.
At best, we focus on certain things and repress others. But what is
repressed does not go away. It is impossible to control the content
of consciousness. It comes and it goes. You can’t know why it comes
or why it goes. The idea that you can influence what
comes up is magical thinking.”
example of this would be cultural differences between Germans and Austrians.
As the Second World War dragged on, the pervasive German attitude was:
things are serious, but not hopeless. On the other hand, the Austrians
where thinking the exact opposite: things are hopeless, but not
serious. We compound our problems by giving them meaning. The act of
being rejected only becomes a problem when we resist the rejection and
try to change it and react to it. A positive mental attitude in the
traditional sense tries to change your experience, and therefore compounds
all hocus-pocus. Stop chasing away negative thoughts and just be aware
of them and accept them for what they are…
random negative thoughts. All obsessions with scarcity thinking come
from constantly reliving your past circumstances. If you didn’t mind
having negative thoughts, you would no longer have them. It is your
resistance and your chasing away of thoughts that make them so real
and omnipresent. You guarantee their perpetuation,” says Paul
Ferrini. Positive thinking is negative thinking all dressed up. You
can’t force yourself to be positive and even if you do, it is just
a surface projection and it’s superficial.
thoughts that pass through your mind are just a mirror of preexisting
negative feelings that must be brought into a conscious level before
they go away. They never ever go away when you suppress them or deny
them. Denial is weakness masquerading as strength.
other problem with positive thinking, excessive enthusiasm and fake
cheer is that it is not real or authentic. Prospects see through your
veneer and you can sometimes come across as a phony, stereotypical,
selling and excessive positive thinking dilutes your judgment and your
ability to objectively assess whether you and your prospect have a basis
for a mutually acceptable reason for doing business together. Emotional
involvement clouds your thinking.
often, positive thinking is a fake sense of security because positive
mental thinking does not have sustainable lasting power. We now have
plenty of burned out enthusiastic salespeople that it has become an
occupational hazard. The best way to be positive is to not be emotionally
vested in the outcome. And the easiest way to remain internally enthusiastic
and confident is by increasing your probability of success by reducing
your risk of failure.
irony about self-esteem is that you need to feel good enough about yourself
to know that ultimately you are unimportant in the selling event. You
must have a very positive self-concept to be humble and to put your
prospect center stage, with your product and yourself off to the side.
Not being center stage for a lot of salespeople can become a tough pill
much of our day-to-day actions, activity and conversations are to confirm
and validate our self-esteem. However, prospects only care and are concerned
rightfully for themselves. So we have to be strong enough to place them
first and confirm and validate their needs before our own. The reason this is important is because
questioning and listening skills require you to temporarily cede control
and require you not to be self-absorbed. It becomes very apparent that
salespeople must have a very healthy self-concept if they are going
to be able to take on a posture of “not knowing”. The power of “not
knowing” is a neutral position of looking at everything as new and
fresh. Starting with a blank slate with every new client meeting, you
are more curious and inquisitive. Also, you enhance your opportunity
to be present and in the moment which always enhances rapport. By taking
on a posture of “not knowing”, you are more flexible and fluid and
you won’t be concerned as much about the outcome. It’s liberating
for you and your prospect. Moreover, as soon as you believe you don’t
know much, you are positioning yourself, ironically, to be learning
a lot. When you don’t know and think you do, you can’t learn. This
is worse than ignorance. Those who know everything know very little.
In the beginners' minds, (not knowing), there are infinite possibilities.
In the expert posture you are reduced to very few.
enhancer to self-esteem is your goals. Only three percent of adults
have written goals. The key to goals is to be focused on the journey,
not just the final destination. Over-reliance on the destination can
have a reverse effect on your self- esteem. In sales, it is critical
to emphasize activity over results. You can control activity, you can’t
control results. Have a plan of how many deals you want to make; how
many people you want to talk to; how many appointments scheduled and
attended; how many proposals submitted; and final orders received. By
focusing on and monitoring activity, you will find yourself having days
where you got poor end results as far as business, but you got lots
of positive reinforcement from achieving the activity.
can be even more powerful than goals is having a vision. A vision encompasses
more than what you want to achieve but also how and why you want to
achieve it. Generally, a strong vision will have greater traction and
will be more sustainable than just having goals.
is critical in being able to constantly ascend the food chain of large
accounts and higher-level executive contacts. Salespeople tend to associate
with prospects whose self-esteem mirrors their own. The reason salespeople
have reluctance to calling high in an organization or going out of their
comfort zone and calling on marquis new accounts isn’t because of
poor tactics, but because of internal confidence. It’s important to
maintain your dignity and guard your self-esteem so there is a constant
reservoir to draw upon.
isn’t working in your sales position, you must take 100% responsibility.
Once you do this, you will quickly learn that all frustration is solely
with the past. What others have done to you or are doing to you that
causes you discontent, is only an external version of what you are doing
to yourself. When you stop beating yourself up, you will find that others
will stop beating you up. Simply put, you bring into your sales life
what you allow to come in. The problem is, we don’t know what we really
want or we don’t trust it.
your negative thoughts that you entertain are always putting the blame
elsewhere. Since our self-worth only comes from the internal, blaming
others is not taking personal responsibility. Our mind is the cause
of everything it feels and thinks. Our mind therefore is the only thing
we can legitimately blame. We have total power and control. We just
don’t know it or are afraid of the consequences of that knowledge.
What intimidates us is that our power and control is in our choice of
what we think about, not in trying to change our circumstances,”
says Paul Ferrini. As salespeople, we are constantly giving up our power.
We make customers into scapegoats. We blame the economy or our company
for our lack of performance.
key is to admit your mistakes, take responsibility, but don’t be critical
and be attached to the alleged corresponding negativity. The more you
justify your failures, the more you hold on to them, the greater the
likelihood you will project them onto your prospects and the greater
the likelihood you will simply recycle them. Try to look at everything
with utter neutrality.
your frustrations and rejections allows you to come to terms with them
and ultimately release them. Denying and justifying your shortcomings
with positive thinking without first truly emotionally experiencing
them only represses them deeper to pop up at a later date. When you
first see negative thoughts, don’t judge or resist them. When you
start to increase your awareness of them, you find that they don’t
have as much potency to run your life,”
says Paul Ferrini.
salespeople find themselves under a spell that as soon as rejection
and frustration enter their minds, an experience will quickly come to
confirm and validate that negative thought. That is how powerful your
mind is. When you truly accept the truth about yourself and take personal
responsibility for everything that you think about, you soon find out
that all the random thoughts that come and go through your mind don’t
represent your true self. Your true self is peerless. You cannot put
holes in it. It is bulletproof. You can only pretend to be frustrated
you take ownership and personal responsibility for your life, you position
yourself to learn and grow from your mistakes. Taking ownership always
empowers us. Denying responsibility will always disempower us.
irony is, no one will beat you up or reject you more than yourself.
There is no one who is as hard on us as we are on ourselves. We need
to protect ourselves from ourselves. We are always our own worst critics.
By preserving our self-esteem, we ultimately are kinder to ourselves.
responsibility allows you not to take things so personally. Frederick
Douglas said what protected him from all the low points in his life
was the posture, “I shall not allow no man to belittle my soul
by making me hate him.” Don’t get down on your prospects because
ultimately it leads to getting down on yourself. Also, the mind can't
differentiate between when you are down and mad at another person or
when you are down on yourself. Protecting what you think about protects
has been said that we decide what we want to see before we see it. We
will find whatever we are looking for in our sales career because all
perception is a choice and a matter of deciding to take or not take
personal responsibility. So whatever you put your attention on, you
become the creator of.
is also human nature to milk our biographies for entertainment value,
sympathy and self-righteousness. We love our scripts. Most of us would
be nonentities without them. They are truly our false identity that
we desperately cling to.