SALES

Think Your Way to Success

The spin that you put on objective reality largely determines whether you succeed or fail.
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In sales (as in everything else in the business world), your success hinges on how effectively you envision yourself, your firm and your customers.

When habitually put a negative emotional spin on objective facts, it's like piling weights on your shoulder before a footrace.

By contrast, if you put a positive emotion spin on those same facts, you'll be freer to see opportunities and possibilities that others might miss.

Here's an example:

  • The Reality: You're competing against a more established firm.
  • Negative Spin: "Why would customers buy from a lesser-known company?"
  • Result: You approach customers like a supplicant, ready to be rejected.
  • Positive Spin: "Customers will see us as new and innovative."
  • Result: You exhibit and inspire confidence in your offering.

Please note that we're taking about the SAME reality. What's different is the way that you're interpreting that reality and, by extension, the results that you'll get. Here are some other examples:

  • The Reality: You're an introvert among extroverts.
  • Negative Spin: "I'm so quiet that people seem to ignore me."
  • Result: You become resentful and sound bitter when you do speak.
  • Positive Spin: "I'm valuable to the team because I think before I speak."
  • Result: You wait until it's the right time time, then speak your mind.
  • The Reality: You failed to achieve an important goal.
  • Negative Spin: "!*#% &$!"
  • Result: You're in a foul mood all day and everyone knows it.
  • Positive Spin: "This is only a speedbump in my road to success."
  • Result: You shrug and figure out something useful to do.
  • The Reality: Your team is too small for the workload.
  • Negative Spin: "We're stretched so thin we're going to snap!"
  • Result: You find reasons that you're going to fail.
  • Positive Spin: "We don't have any bureaucracy to weigh us down."
  • Result: You look for ways to make it work for you.
  • The Reality: You lack experience selling to top execs.
  • Negative Spin: "Why would a CEO want to talk with ME?"
  • Result: When you finally get inside a corner office, you babble.
  • Positive Spin: "I can offer any CEO a fresh perspective."
  • Result: The CEO "picks up" that you're worth a listen.
  • The Reality: A customer yells at you over the phone and then hangs up.
  • Negative Spin: "That customer hates me and rejected me."
  • Result: You feel awful so you flub the next 10 calls.
  • Positive Spin: "I'm glad I don't have to talk to HIM any more!"
  • Result: You laugh and move on.
  • The Reality: The competition has a lower price.
  • Negative Spin: "Our product costs so much it will be hard to sell."
  • Result: You nervously anticipate price objections.
  • Positive Spin: "Customers know that the best products cost more."
  • Result: You concentrate on proving that you've got the best product.

Get it? Great! Now here's the fun part. I'm going to tell you exactly how to make a positive spin into a mental habit.

1. Make a decision to edit your interpretations for at least three days.

2. Whenever something happens that irritates or worries you, write down the intepretation you just had (your automatic negative spin).

3. Immediately write down a better interpretation of the event (your desired positive spin).

4. SCRATCH OUT THE NEGATIVE STATEMENT.  I mean totally scribble over it, like a little kid eradicating a picture of a scary bug. The act of physically assaulting the crystalization of the negative though is primal. It gets right to your gut.

The first day the process will seem a bit awkward. The second day it will seem easier. By the end of the third day, your positive "editing" of events will become automatic.

Seriously, I'm giving you a huge gift by telling you how to do this. Don't squander the opportunity.

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Last updated: Oct 29, 2012

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed over a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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