Honing Mental Fitness for Success

I don't believe that success is the result of natural ability alone. In order to be an effective salesperson, you must have the right perspective one where success is the focus and you are not consumed by the negative.

It takes the proper "mental fitness" to get on top and stay on top. If we wanted to improve our muscle tone, we would probably do weight training. If we wanted to improve our cardiovascular and respiratory condition, we would engage in activities that push our lungs and heart to higher levels. Well, the same is true with mental fitness when it comes to selling.
Included here are some ways to improve your mental fitness for selling success.

GETTING PHYSICAL
n Maintain A Positive Attitude: While this may sound simple, it's actually the most difficult thing to do. Not everything goes right in our business or personal lives, so it becomes very easy for us to dwell on the negative. When we do this, however, it becomes impossible for us to reach our potential.

Positive thinking and positive self-talk are the tools to remaining positive. I maintain that, in order to be a positive-attitude person, you must also be well grounded in reality. Choose the right positive attitude, and you will condition yourself to learn and develop your skills so that you will maximize the opportunity with every potential customer you encounter.

When I gather with some of my peers in the kitchen and bath industry, there is often chatter about the questionable economics of the world. Rarely is enough attention paid to what we can be doing to maximize the opportunities that are right in front of us on a daily basis, many under our direct control.

  • Visualize Toward Success: It's been well reported that many Olympians use mental visualization to condition their mental fitness. They see themselves receiving the gold medal, standing on the top podium, hearing their national anthem. They see themselves accomplishing their goal days, weeks and even months before the games are played. They see themselves as winning.
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    In our industry, it's easy to get consumed and visualize an unstable economy with higher rates of unemployment, and to feel the price pressures of the competition. It's vital, however, in reaching for the top to you see yourself as the winner the person with the skills, products and services to create the smiles on the faces of satisfied consumers.
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    Try to visualize your next presentation. See yourself in control, guiding yourself and your client toward an agreement, where you are trusted with his or her project. You must always see yourself getting the next sale, just like the pro baseball player always expects to get on base during his next at bat.
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  • Psyching Up: This is very different from visualizing. Psyching up is a form of focusing on the objectives by clearing your mind of all distractions. By psyching up, you create the energy needed to begin what you planned and persist until you obtain the results you visualized. Psyching up and creating energy is necessary today, because some prospects and their projects are challenging to say the least. Without staying power and the mental energy drawn from psyching up, you will fall short.
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  • Build Systems Muscle: Having a system in place is key to sales success. For example, McDonalds hamburgers taste pretty much the same wherever you go. Why? Because the company makes them all the same way. It has developed a system for success, and it relies on that system. Its system is its muscle for success. Having it in place and using it will bring its expected results success.
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    For your mental fitness, do you have success systems in place? Take a moment to review your successes and failures. If you're enjoying success, I'll bet you have good systems. If you're having too many failures, examine your systems. It's likely they either don't exist or are flawed.
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  • Quiet Time: Now, I know what you're thinking. What is quiet time, and how do I get it? Quiet time is a period of tranquility only you can give to yourself. Too often, when the door opens for business and the phone starts ringing, there seems no opportunity for quiet time. But, it's very important to find that time to decompress.
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    Years ago, I employed an entry-level kitchen designer. In order for her to keep her head on straight, most of her lunch period was spent on a straight chair in a dark room. She was not disturbed, and she let her mind and body relax. Coming from this relaxed state, she was always ready for the tasks at hand in the afternoon.
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    That was 15 years ago, and just last year I had the opportunity to hear her give a wonderful presentation at the K/BIS annual show. While I know her technique of relaxation was only part of what gave her early success, for her, it clearly worked. It might work for you as well.
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  • Skill Level: These skills could include product knowledge, creative knowledge, people skills, organization skills whatever we need to possess to be the best. It's important to conduct a self-assessment of your skills, but be careful not to confuse an underdeveloped skill with a weakness. If you have taken steps to develop a skill and it still isn't where it needs to be, only then it is a weakness.
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    You need to determine whether you're working at developing your skills, or whether you're just getting by on the skill levels you've always had. If the latter is true, watch out. Your industry competitors will be passing you by.
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    Continuing to work on your professional development is imperative, and will only result in your skills increasing and more success coming your way.
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SELLING BENEFITS
Mental selling fitness is a complex woven fabric of many circumstances, skills, employment, economic conditions and much more. But, this is what makes selling rewarding, and so much fun for those who are able to rise to the top. Not only are the successful people making a good living, they have a passion for their work that drives them to even more success.

I hope you will take a moment or two to conduct a self-assessment to see if there are areas where your mental fitness for selling could stand some improvement.

There's an old saying: "The winners I know don't ask for lighter loads, just stronger backs." That's exactly what mental selling fitness will do for you.

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