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Set Yourself Up to Win: People buy for emotional reasons and justify with logic. You’ve seen it happen over and over. Your sales pitch can be jam packed with great information, but if you don’t move your customer emotionally, you won’t get the sale. On the flip side, you’ve probably also influenced someone to buy based on excitement and enthusiasm and a minimum of information.
We are all emotional creatures, and the great thing about this truth is that once we know how to channel that emotion and use it to work for us, instead of against us, we can all in our own natural way become outstanding sales professionals.
The absolute first step, however, even before you think about picking up that phone or walking into that appointment, is to prepare yourself. You can’t hope to move someone else to action, if you haven’t gone there first.
Believe it and you’ll see it. Know it and you’ll be it! Wayne Dyer
I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” That thinking is backwards. Belief comes first. Belief always comes first. The truth is that you’ll see it when you believe it. Belief is like the seed that holds the beautiful flower; it is the acorn that sends forth the mighty oak. In order to make magic happen in your life you must first believe that you can. In order to be a salesperson who engages and captivates other people you must first believe that you are that type of person.
A belief is a feeling of certainty. It is a statement that guides your thinking and your actions and gives meaning and direction to your life. When you believe that something is true, you are telling your brain to act on that information. That is exactly why beliefs are so powerful: they are communicated directly to your nervous system and from there they dictate your actions. What are your beliefs commanding you to do? The impact of belief is wonderfully demonstrated by the Placebo effect, where people are cured of ailments by their belief in the “medicine” they are given, even when that medicine is a sugar pill. These people are cured by their belief that they will be cured.
Where do beliefs come from? On a very basic level, beliefs originate from only two sources: your environment and yourself. Many of your beliefs were shaped by your parents, your teachers and your friends (who got most of their beliefs from their parents and their teachers) as you were growing up. As you matured, the environment that influenced you expanded to include the media, people you respected and admired, and people you spent time with (whether they were your friends or not). Someone in your past may have handed you a belief about yourself by making fun of you or criticizing you, or alternatively by praising you.
The second source of beliefs is you. What events in your life impacted you and caused you to draw conclusions about yourself and life in general? These events (or rather, what you made these events mean!) are powerful shapers of belief. Remember when you were 10 years old, sitting on the corner behind your lemonade stand, and your neighbor down the street said he didn’t have any money on him, but that he would be right back? Remember (or imagine…play along with me here!) what you did and how you felt when he didn’t show up? Did you finally give up, slinking home with your full pitcher of lemonade, realizing that you just weren’t cut out as a salesperson? Or did you say, “oh, he must have forgotten” and walk over to his house with a smile on your face and a glass of lemonade in your hand, realizing that if you were going to sell this lemonade you would have to go the extra mile?
What was your “lemonade stand” experience? What did you do in the face of your “rejection” and what did you make it mean about who you are and what you were capable of doing? Did you by any chance create a belief that has held you back ever since? What else could that experience have meant? (After all, we’re just playing here, right?)
The good news is that beliefs are a choice. You can choose what you are going to believe from this moment forward. This includes choosing to hold on to old beliefs or not. Do you have any beliefs about yourself that are not serving you? If so, choose to replace them with beliefs that empower you and propel you forward in life, starting now.
What beliefs do you have to have in order to be an outstanding salesperson? Whether you are influencing (aka: selling to) one person or an entire group of people, if being an outstanding salesperson is important to you, take the time right now to answer that question. Here are some examples:
And what if you were given the opportunity to learn from the most amazingly successful sales person ever to walk the earth. Imagine a real life role model, or a character from a movie, TV or a book. You are absolutely mesmerized, writing down their every word. What can you guess is true about that person? What would you guess they think about themselves? Come on; take a minute to write this out. What makes him or her so extraordinary?
Now, what if everything you just wrote down were true of you? Wow. Would that make a difference in how you prepared for and approached every sales interaction? I think so!
How can you make these beliefs become real for you? Simple: experience the result in advance. Act as if they were already true. Visualize it. See yourself acting with these beliefs in place, talking like a person with these beliefs would talk. In your mind, see the results that you will get as you live with these beliefs. See it as reality in your mind. Daydream. Your mind…specifically your imagination…is a powerful resource.
There are many great examples that show how imagination directly changes your physical experience. Have you heard the story about an American POW during the Vietnam War who used his imagination to keep himself focused on the positive while he was imprisoned? Every day this man would play a round of golf in his mind. Not just any round of golf, but the most spectacular game his imagination could conjure up in full, vivid detail. This man would smell the air and feel the heat and the breeze as he walked up to each tee box. He would feel the weight of the golf club in his hand and imagine his fluid swing knocking the ball straight into the middle of the fairway. His iron game was amazing and his putting was out-of-this-world phenomenal. Now, before the war this man had never broken 90 on a golf course in his life. You can imagine his surprise when, after his release, he shot a 72 his first time back on a golf course. That is the power of imagination, and if you don’t consciously use it to your advantage, your fear will use it until it feels as if nothing will ever go your way.
Choose to believe in yourself.
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