I participate in a few charity golf tournaments each summer. At each one, I keep hearing the same comments from some of the participants. “I never hit the ball well off the first tee.” and “I won’t make the putt because I am not a good putter.” Interestingly enough, everyone who made those comments was right! They didn’t hit well off the first tee. It wasn’t that they couldn’t hit the ball because they certainly did off the next tee, but why not the first?
The reason is they kept telling themselves they wouldn’t. They thought it to be true therefore they made it be true. The sociologist, Robert Merton called this a self fulfilling prophecy: What you think and believe will happen actually occurs because you will, either consciously or unconsciously, act in ways that cause it to happen. Many bestselling books like Think and Grow Rich and The Secret have documented countless examples of history’s greatest men and women who believed they could, and therefore did.
One of the best examples of the power of positive thought happened one Labour Day weekend. An unknown, 17 year old tennis player kept pulling upset after upset at the US Open Tennis Championships, taking the sporting world by storm. One simple word was written on her shoes to serve as a constant reminder to stay positive no matter what. The word? Believe.
Be it sports or sales, it works the same way. We all have that inner voice that talks to us. What does yours say? Do you tell yourself “I can’t make quota because our prices are too high.” Or do you think “No one is buying right now because of the recession.” Stop being your own worst enemy! By telling yourself you can’t do it, you are making it so. As a sales professional, you must make a conscious effort to stop being negative and start being positive.
Start your day with a positive thought and end it with another. A cartoon or a motivational quote can put you in the right frame of mind, as will reminding yourself of your past victories. Remember as Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, either way you are right.” More motivational quotes here.
Congratulate yourself on the effort needed to close a sale rather than the close itself. Calculate how much commission you make per call. Set daily activity goals and relish in achieving them. Reward yourself when you do.
Associate with successful people who believe they can, and walk away from those who say they can’t.
Turn off the gloomy evening news and read a motivational book instead. Surround your home, car and office with items that are inspirational to you.
Your thoughts control your outcomes and you control your thoughts. Choose wisely!
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Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Connections