Newsflash! We’re all born with a critic within us; a little voice that tells us when we’re screwing up. A voice that’s often overly negative and judgmental. A voice that spends its days trying to sabotage our efforts. That was the case with Fran; a sales professional who desperately wanted to have greater financial success. I knew she could get there, but in order for that to occur, she’d have to take her inner sales critic to the woodshed.
Here’s what I mean: Fran was her own biggest critic. She would hash and rehash every sales call, but the tone of her introspection was primarily negative. She had the skills to achieve great success but was never going to get there with this inner voice wreaking havoc on her. Unfortunately, the voice was weakening her strength and spirit, which wasn’t surprising given that experts in kinesiology believe that doubts and negativity can weaken the body immeasurably.
This was quickly becoming the case with Fran. She was taking off multiple workdays per month and arriving at work late on other days; the stress of the job and revisiting all her failures was making her physically ill. Her symptoms weren’t overly serious, but were enough to affect her performance at work.
It was important for Fran to understand that gaining information about past calls could be a positive, but only if she used that information productively. Fran, like most people, probably has around 35,000 thoughts per day, most of which are predominantly negative.
Her thoughts were akin to following: “I can’t do this! I’m always screwing up! I’m never getting my point across! I’m worthless at this…”
Negative, negative, negative!
In fact, Fran would tell me that she beat herself up endlessly when a call didn’t go her way. She could get downright mean to herself. So one day I asked her, “Fran, would you say these things to your children?”
“Of course not!” was her reply.
“Then why on Earth,” I asked, “would you say (or think) that about yourself?”
I told Fran that of course, it’s ok to be introspective about your daily activities, but only from a standpoint of objective improvement.
If your last sales call was a disaster, try to determine why. Could you have prepared more? Could you have been more enthusiastic about your product? Could you have presented more compelling sales materials.
Try to understand what happened; just don’t go to town on yourself. If your introspection is raising more insecurities, then that’s just more doubt you’ll have to work to dismiss.
Instead, switch the conversation in your head to a less emotional discussion of improvement opportunities, and the experience will change from a negative one to a positive one.
Negative self-talk and general pessimism are not all that uncommon. It’s a regular part of your day and my day, and that’s not going to change. What helps people like you and me achieve success is the ability to dismiss the inner sales critic and keep moving forward. Once you get this habit down, you’ll be unstoppable.
That’s just the way it works!
About Darryl Rosen:
Darryl Rosen is one of the food and beverage industry’s leading consultants. He uses his experience and relatable speaking and training style to transform his client’s cultures and lead them to extraordinary results. Darryl’s program is designed to transform the cultures of food and beverage sales organizations in the areas of relationship building, sales presentations, sales coaching, feedback, accountability and execution, meetings, strategic leadership and success and achievement.
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