What’s the most important tool in your sales arsenal? Is it your CRM? Is it your dog-eared, much-loved copy, of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”? Or maybe the handy-dandy IPhone that allows you to hold all your contacts for your next sales appointment. While any of these might hold a place of importance, they can’t compare to the most important asset of all. And I’m so sure that I have the right answer that I challenge any of you to come up with a better answer:
It’s your mind, and more specifically your brain.
Assuming you could come up with a better answer than mine, you’d have to use your brain, which would only prove my point. Doctors and scientists studying neuroplasticity have discovered that our thoughts can change the structure and function of our brains, even into old age.
It is essential for everyone in sales to understand that the power of positive thinking has scientific creditability. These findings are so revolutionary; they’re only now reaching critical mass outside the realm of neuroscience because some stubborn scientists have resisted the findings. You might want to get a copy of “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale.
But guess what? The brain is not akin to a machine at all. The brain, in fact, can rewire itself in a way that no computer ever could. Scientists have proven this conclusively by citing the work of maverick researchers who teach stroke victims how to use paralyzed limbs again, for example.
What does all this have to do with sales?
Remember your last sales challenge, and you know how hard it is to win the mental game. Willpower isn’t enough. But within the model of plastic brain change, you can find new insights and break bad habits with peak efficiency and skill. That is were ‘’’"'Truth-Talk"' ’’’ comes in.
Neuroscientists studying plasticity have discovered that neurons that fire together wire together. So if you’ve had a bad day on the phone, and several prospects in a row yell at you, your neurons may be creating a new channel that supports call reluctance. Its similar to how a path forms when people continually cross on one area of grass in a park. Over time a path is formed. It doesn’t take long for your brain to create a fear feedback loop, because it associates calling a prospect with getting yelled at, feeling miserable, and avoiding that experience by not picking up the phone.
The good new is that neurons that fire apart wire apart. So if you wanted to beat the call reluctance cycle, your best bet would be to break the pattern and create “a new set of fresh tracks in the grass,” so to speak. If the pattern rears its head again, interrupt it. Change it. Listen to ‘’’"'Truth-Talk"'’’’ for salesmen. Step back from it. Reframe it. But don’t repeat it to the point of doing the same thing that yields the same terrible feeling, and the same result that reinforces avoiding the phone.
We Become What We Talk About
Our brains are so responsive to verbal stimuli that we “believe” things that aren’t necessarily true. Can we use ‘’’"'Truth-Talk"'’’’ to create breakthroughs? The possibilities are tantalizing. What happens if a salesman hoping to make a quantum leap in his career starts listening to ‘’’"'Truth-Talk"'’’’ four times a day?
Zig Ziglar, who inspired countless salespeople over his career, coined this unforgettable phrase: “Your business is never really good or bad 'out there.' Your business is either good or bad right between your own two ears." He knew the importance of what you are thinking. And hundreds of years before that, the Bible stated, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Up until now this was the realm of positive attitude, and easy to lampoon. But now it’s bona fide science. And if you’re in sales, this stuff matters. Big time.
Because as anyone who’s sold long enough knows, it’s largely a mental game we’re dealing with here. While keeping your own spirits and enthusiasm at a peak, you also have to manage multiple feats of diplomacy and strategy. You size up clients, meet objections and manage conversations all at once, and in a fraction of a second. So now that you realize what’s causing your pain, let’s do something about it.