The area of performance that I am often approached about by sales people is developing the ability to manage feeling, emotions and judgement under pressure. Sales people who perform at the highest level have the ability to do this; essentially they are able to ‘sell in the zone’.
Being in the zone will enhance your gravitas
Being in the zone will enhance your gravitas, how you resonate with customers, it will increase your awareness, clarity of judgment, decision-making and the ability to manage risk effectively. It will also define you as a person and your level of mental toughness. When I first started my career in performance improvement the focus of my research was on how to ‘get’ in the zone. I now believe that we are all in the zone and the challenge is not getting into it, it is in fact staying there.
There are moments when a sales person will act irrationally and later reflect on this experience wondering what happened, sound familiar? It is simply a natural response to a perceived threat that has occurred during the sales process perhaps when handling objections or negotiating on price. The brain doesn’t differentiate from one threat to another and therefore reacts accordingly. Top performing athletes are known to be able to manage this, remain composed and maintain clarity in crisis, when there is crisis there is also opportunity and selling is no exception.
Sales people with a winning mind-set have an undeniable self-belief
Sales people with a winning mind-set have an undeniable self-belief, which manifests itself as confidence or at least it is perceived that way. You may be surprised how many top athletes and leaders are terrified on the inside but have developed the ability to give off an entirely different perception.
They have learnt how to manage their emotions and behave in a way that is required to perform at their best. The more they do it the more habitual and easier it becomes. When I first started personal coaching I was incorporating hypnotherapy techniques to help clients get into a relaxed state. I rarely use hypnotherapy today, however, there was one thing that really stood out for me when I was training to become a hypnotherapist, and this can be applied to any role.
To be credible I had to be convincing. When someone asked me if they could be hypnotised I’d respond with a positive “yes of course” rather than a timid “I’ll give it a go” even if on the inside I was feeling nervous about it. Whether it was during management training or at a party I would always offer a resounding “yes!” I have even hypnotised an interviewer in an interview at a consultancy to prove the power of positive psychology (I got the job by the way).
To be truly great at something you have to behave like you are great
I have even taken the liberty of sticking a colleague’s foot to the floor at a team-building event. Without having an absolute belief or at least giving off the impression that I am convinced I can do it the results would have been different. This is the same in all walks of life. To be truly great at something you have to behave like you are great. Muhammad Ali was a master at this. He said, “To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.” Whilst he was an extremely talented boxer, he was also very confident and convincing about his ability, however there is a fine balance between confidence and arrogance.
When I work with sales people, one of the key factors for their development is to help them look, act and feel like a top performing sales person. It is quite a transition for them, as sales people can’t see themselves as top performers until they are successful. The problem is, they will never achieve their goals until they started behaving like a successful sales person. It is the same for an amateur athlete wanting to become professional, to become professional they have behave like a professional in the first place. You can adopt successful behaviour; you can assimilate positive behaviours in others and emulate them.
How do you need to behave today, to be the person you want to be in the future?