By Mo Harford of Momentum Training and Development Ltd
Selling is all about the thinking. Like relationships how we think about it dramatically affects how we react to another person, how our brain works in searching for emotional signals is the same process for searching for buying signals, and like relationships we can get it wrong if we're thinking the wrong things.
"I know he doesn't really love me" will put in place the same filters as "I know they don't want what I'm selling" so we then read the information coming from the other person based on that.
Even when you spend the time preparing for a night of passion by lighting candles and putting on your best undies you're not going to have a great night if you're thinking is telling you that you look fat and you're not sexy and they're not going to fancy you. In the same way, you might prepare for a session of cold calling by clearing your desk, preparing a list and making a cup of tea but if you're thinking is that you're about to suffer wholesale rejection on a massive scale then you're not going to get the results you might be after.
Our experience of life is based on how we interpret information coming in through our senses. At school we were taught that the eye sees something, turns it upside down and then the brain sees the image. A better description is that your eyes are more like virtual reality goggles. They see the image then they translate or interpret what they see based on the programming of the game.
There is a whole discipline in science devoted to this known as quantum physics, fascinating stuff.
Without having that level of understanding we will all have had experience of this. Perhaps looking for your car keys you are unable to find them, searching in all the right places they do not appear yet when you stop looking for them they magically appear on the table where you have looked several times. We might put this down to senility yet consider what you are thinking while you're looking? The usual answer is that you're thinking "I can't find my ****** car keys anywhere" (*insert appropriate expletives).
If your thinking is your programming then the program is' you can't find your keys', so the virtual goggles remove them from your vision until you stop giving that instruction.
When you stop saying that to yourself then the goggles go back to factory setting and the keys are visible.
How does all this apply to selling you may be asking yourself (if you weren't you are now).
If the information you take in through your senses is altered by your thoughts then you are unknowingly affecting your experience of everything around you.
So, if you are altering your experience of life based on what you're thinking the next question has to be. yes you've got it "what are you thinking"?
When I'm coaching business people I get to explore the answer to this question. Typically, regarding cold calling, the answer is " I hate cold calling", "no one wants to receive unsolicited calls", " people hate sales calls on the phone", "no-one likes to be interrupted" etc. Any of these sound familiar to you? If that is your programming then your virtual ear goggles (yes they fit the ears too) will filter out anything that could provide evidence to the contrary. It is true that if you're making phone calls for a whole day to people you know little about then there is a reasonable chance that the majority will be "no-not today" rather than "yes I'm interested now or in the future"(please note the deliberate choice of language there)
This in itself is not a problem unless you make it one through your thinking. If 50 out of 60 calls are no not today, many people will translate that into 50 people don't want me, I'm not good enough, I feel rejected and so go and make yet another cup of tea and determine not to pick up the phone ever again. In my reality, that means I was able to sort through the 60 and find 10 that are prospects either now or in the future. Result!
This does mean that you have to have some control over your internal voices, don't worry, you're not losing the plot, we all have them. You know the one, the inner voice that either tells you it's going to be great or that tells you you're not going to get anywhere with this, try sending emails instead!
Years of personal development and thousands if not 100s of thousands of pounds of training have not yet helped me to shut up this voice completely and why would we want to, it's part of who we are. What I have learned however is that if I thank it for it's input and appreciate it's entitled to it's opinion but I'll just be getting on with it now thank you, seems to work best.
There are many books on the subject of feel the fear and do it anyway. The basic principal is that when you say bad stuff to yourself you get a bad feeling in your body and you take that as a message that it's something you shouldn't be doing. Real fear is useful. It makes us faster and stronger to be able to run away from tigers and bears. The trouble is there aren't many tigers and bears in the average office building and yet we allow ourselves to be affected by the same chemical messages in a way that spoils all the fun of calling strangers to find out if we can help them.
It's not your fault by the way that you hate cold calling. As a child you were taught not to speak to strangers and if you heard someone say "NO" to you it meant you'd done something bad so you felt terrible. Hardly surprising then that picking up the phone to speak to strangers and invite them to say "no" to you isn't something you're thrilled about now is it?
About The Author
Mo is a member of BNI Phoenix www.bni-phoenix.co.uk the Solihull based business networking and referral group.