Hello, my friends,
Not too long ago, I visited with a client to deliver some sales training and to do some one-on-one coaching with some of their sales staff. The purpose of the meeting was to talk about getting appointments. It was about getting past gate keepers and that sort of thing.
If you are in sales, you understand the importance of that phase of the sales process. You can’t have a great sales conversation if you don’t get the appointment, obviously.
Today’s subject is relevant to everyone, whether you are in sales or not.
What is a gremlin?
A gremlin is that inner critic – that inner voice – that is paralyzing you, telling you things like:
- You’re not good enough.
- You’re not smart enough.
- Your sister was prettier.
- Your brother was smarter.
- You know no one will buy from you because of your race, gender, age, ethnicity, or accent.
- You were too poor (or rich and spoiled) growing up.
There are any number of things that will paralyze someone.
What happens is, those inner thoughts show up on the outside.
And if they show up on the outside, they typically hamper your results.
Left unchallenged, you get stuck in a self-fulfilling prophecy: because you think you are terrible, you manifest terrible behaviors. Consequently, you get bad results, which only serves to reinforce the gremlins.
What is the solution?
You have to take the gremlin to court.
You have to face those negative thoughts, those self-limiting beliefs, and make logical arguments against them until you win.
I was meeting with one of the sales staff members one-on-one, and we were talking about his difficulty getting appointments. I noticed his body posture and tone of voice. Both subliminally conveyed the message he spoke: “Why would someone want to meet with me? They know I’m not that experienced, that I am new to this, and I am young.”
I said, “First of all, part of the problem is your tone of voice and your body posture. You have to get your shoulders back and your chin up.”
He said, “Well, I’m doing most of my appointments by phone, so it doesn’t really matter.”
I responded, “Believe me, it matters! The position of your shoulders and your head, and whether you’re standing or sitting or slouching matters on the phone.”
Why? Because people can tell. You can tell the energy level that is being transmitted or not transmitted to you over the phone, can you not?
This client was struggling mightily because of these limiting beliefs.
The bottom line is, if you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect anyone else to believe in you?
I was really wrestling with a way to connect with this man.
Knowing he is a big fan of college football, I said, “Do you remember Barry Sanders?”
He said, “Oh, absolutely, he played for Oklahoma State. The man was a terrific running back, and then he went to the NFL and played for the Detroit Lions. He was an amazing running back.”
One of the things that made Barry Sanders so successful was his ability to shift and avoid being tackled. But one of the remarkable things, to me, about Barry Sanders was the way he behaved when he got to the end zone.
Do you remember Barry Sanders’ celebration dance?
Because he didn’t have one.
Barry Sanders never had one – not in high school, not in college, and not in the pros. He would simply toss the football to the official and jog back. The man was happy he scored a touchdown; he wasn’t going to celebrate. What is fascinating to me is why he didn’t have a celebration dance.
Barry Sanders says he always wanted to convey a message to the defense that he was opposing: “I’ve been there before (meaning the end-zone), and I’m coming back.”
The message here is this: Act like you’ve been there before.
This is true in sales, in meetings, and anytime you are interacting with people.
If you are projecting an image of insecurity or inferiority, people are going to sense it subconsciously; and quite often, they will buy into it. Because you think you are not good enough, they will think you are not good enough.
The self-limiting belief thus fuels the self-fulfilling prophecy that you are not good enough.
To overcome these self-limiting beliefs, you must take that gremlin to court. You have to challenge that “stinkin’ thinkin”. Prove it wrong. Be forceful.
Then be confident, because when you are confident in yourself, other people will follow your lead.
The fact is, just about everyone is successful in sales. You are either selling the idea that you are not good enough…or you are selling the idea that you are.