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Tag Archives for " mental toughness "

May 13

Coach Your Sales Team Like a Pro Sports Coach – Part 4

By Dr. Jack Singer | Sales Professionals

GAME PLAN FOR SALES SUCCESS: Workshop Thursday

Today is “(Mental) Toughness Thursday!”

By Dr. Jack Singer
Licensed Sport Psychologist
Professional Sales Team Speaker/Trainer

This is part 4 of a 5 part series.

GAME PLAN FOR SALES SUCCESS: Coach Your Sales Team Like a Pro Sports CoachThis is the fourth day of my week long Game Plan for Sales Success. The week began by exercises aimed at developing group cohesion, and was followed on Triumphant Tales Tuesday by case studies of sales successes that colleagues in your team can share with each other. Wednesday was the day that sales managers introduced specifics about a new sales push, new products, services, sales strategies etc. Workshop Wednesday was more of a didactic format, so that attendees could be exposed to your power-point, video programs, handouts, etc., teaching them all they need to know about these products and services.

We now have arrived at Thursday, which has the goal of troubleshooting problems sales, disappointments, missed opportunities, etc.  This is where mental toughness comes in.  Elite athletes gain knowledge from setbacks and bounce back quickly.  So, (mental) Toughness Thursday is all about training your team to deal with disappointments, mishaps in sales and missed opportunities.

Like athletes, many sales professionals look at missed opportunities and setbacks as “failures,” which now erodes their self-confidence.  And obviously, loss of self-confidence feeds on itself and undermines performance.  So, you need to teach them to quickly defuse the self-flagellation that could result from perceived “failures.” The best way to do that is by pro-actively putting this skill into the training package during the Toughness Thursday.

Using mental toughness in the face of disappointment is one of the most important ingredients for maintaining focus and overcoming the fear of continual failure. Once the sales professional runs into adversity, it is easy to become distracted from the goal, focusing instead on his perceived failure and the fear of repeating the failure.

Sales Performance= Sales Skill + Knowledge + Motivation  Minus Distractions.

This simple formula tells it all.  The more the distractions, the less the sales performance, regardless of skill, knowledge and motivation.  And, the number one distraction is the negative self-talk that follows setbacks in performance. 

Four training tips to help your sales team overcome negative distractions. 

#1) Stop negative self-talk immediately. Self-limiting, negative and pessimistic internal dialogue (self-talk) always inhibit success. Examples are sentences that begin with: “What if …,” “I hope I don’t . . .” “I should have said . . .” “The client won’t like me if . . .” “I always have problems with . . .” “I probably won’t be able to close this sale,” and “I can’t believe how stupid I was to miss that . . .” Negative, messages that pass through your mind immediately lead to muscle tightening, rapid breathing, and perspiring. These physiological responses are perceived as “stress,” and stress inhibits great performance.

Wear a loose fitting rubber band on your wrist and when negative thoughts go through your mind, snap the rubber band hard enough to stop the thought.  If a rubber band isn’t convenient, tighten a fist as a reminder to stop thinking that way.

Once you succeed in stopping the thought, take a few slow, deep breaths, relax, and change your thoughts to ones that are positive and optimistic. For example, when you catch yourself beginning a thought with “What if…,”  change it immediately to “No big deal.  I’ll learn from this and move on.” Always tell yourself to move on to the next opportunity and never linger on the negative situation that already passed.

Once you have taught your team these tips, pair them up and role play negative thinking scenarios and practice healthy responses.  Share examples with the rest of the team.

#2) Give yourself positive affirmations, continuously.  Regardless of what happened that you are not happy about, look to the next opportunity right now. Fill your thinking with positive affirmations about yourself, such as… “I am a very successful sales professional. In my career, I have bounced back from many disappointments and achieved success. I don’t have to be perfect to be successful, and I don’t have to get every sale to be successful.” 

A great plan is to have each member of your team write down 10 positive affirmations and say each one 10 times in the morning and 10 times in the evening.  Make sure they write down the affirmations, not just think about them.

# 3) Visualize sales success before you approach potential customers. Visualize yourself preparing for your next sales call and feeling confident as you enter the room. Visualize the sights and sounds around you as you begin. Picture the customer smiling and nodding in agreement as you show him/her how your product or service is perfect for their needs.

#4) Use the power of goal setting. You are 11 times more likely to reach a goal when you write it down, as opposed to simply thinking about it. Write down short and long-term sales-related goals that are specific and action-oriented. Ensure the goals are realistic.

Next, visualize yourself feeling wonderful once you achieve that goal. Imagine it as if you’ve already achieved the goal. It’s important to then list ways in which you could (or did in the past) sabotage yourself from accomplishing the goal, and how you’ll avoid that behavior.

Training your team to recognize negative distractions resulting from sales  disappointments and how to overcome those distractions will give them the mental toughness necessary to be continually successful.

Stay tuned for the next installment: Finale Friday.

 

Free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation with Psychologist Dr. Jack Singer

About the Author:

Dr. Jack Singer is a professional speaker, trainer and psychologist. He has been speaking for and training Fortune 1000 companies, associations, CEO’s and elite athletes for 34 years. Among the association conventions which Dr. Jack has keynoted are those which serve financial planners.

Dr. Jack is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX SPORTS and countless radio talk shows across the U.S. and Canada. He is the author of “The Teacher’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide,” and several series of hypnotic audio programs, some specifically for athletes and some for anyone wanting to raise their self-confidence and esteem. To learn more about Dr. Singer’s speaking and consulting services, please visit DrJackSinger.com and FunSpeaker.com or call him in the U.S. at (800) 497-9880.

Oct 31

The Elusive “Mental Toughness” Ability

By Dr. Jack Singer | Applied Sports Psychology , Elite Athletes , General

by Dr. Jack Singer
Licensed Sport Psychologist

The Elusive Mental Toughness Ability by Dr. Jack Singer, Licensed Sport PsychologistCoaches, players, parents and the like are always asking me how to help their athletes become more “mentally tough.”

Is this an inherited trait, or a learned ability?

The answer is that “Mental Toughness” is definitely an ability that can be developed through repetitive training of some relatively simple skills.

The 4 C’s of Mental Toughness:

  • Control
  • Commitment
  • Challenge
  • Confidence

Mental toughness involves teaching athletes how to take Control of their performance (rather than feeling they have little control over it), maintaining a Commitment to their goals, embrace the Challenge of performing their best, and feel the Confidence that they can perform their best when it matters the most. Of course, there are many ways of teaching these skills, but the one I prefer involves the following 5 steps:

  1. Take a deep Centering Breath, breathing in through your nose to the count of 4, holding it for 4 and exhaling completely out of your mouth to the count of 7.
  2. Repeat a statement to yourself that focuses you on what it takes to be a success at your sport. Repeat it several times. For example, a baseball player can say to himself, “relax, breath, track the ball, smooth swing.”
  3. Visualize your best performance ever and imagine yourself repeating that performance again, taking in everything you see, hear, feel, etc. from the original performance.
  4. Repeat your personal Identity Statement, which boosts your self-confidence. Remind yourself of your greatest athletic strength and project it into the future as if you are already an all star performer, for example.
  5. Repeat the Centering Breath.

This Mental Toughness routine can be learned by any athlete and it takes only a few minutes to repeat each day and before your competition. If you are consistent, this simple routine will lead you to the winner’s edge!

Free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation with Psychologist Dr. Jack Singer

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About the Author:

Dr. Jack Singer is a professional speaker, trainer and psychologist. He has been speaking for and training Fortune 1000 companies, associations, CEO’s and elite athletes for 34 years.  Among the association conventions which Dr. Jack has keynoted are those which serve financial planners.

Dr. Jack is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX SPORTS and countless radio talk shows across the U.S. and Canada.  He is the author of “The Teacher’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide,” and several series of hypnotic audio programs, some specifically for athletes and some for anyone wanting to raise their self-confidence and esteem. To learn more about Dr. Singer’s speaking and consulting services, please visit  DrJackSinger.com and FunSpeaker.com or call him in the U.S. at (949) 497-9880.

May 10

A Young Gymnast Excels in Her Sport

By Dr. Jack Singer | Blog , Elite Athletes

Congratulations to my mentally tough workhorse, Ashton Woodbury.

As her proud dad wrote, “Ashton had her Level 7 State Championship meet this weekend.  Going into the meet, she had 3 goals:

  1. Stay on the beam
  2. Win vault
  3. And score a 38 in the all-around (which she had never done before).

Ashton Woodbury - CA State Vault Champion. Client of sports psychologist Dr. Jack Singer.

Well, she did all three!  Ashton is the newly crowned CA State Vault Champion.  She also medaled on Bars, Floor, and Beam (all with personal bests), and was second in the All-Around with a 38.00.  Her teammate (and good friend) was the all-around champion, with a score of 38.10.”

Ashton is well on her way to gymnastics stardom.  I am so proud to have helped her along the way!

Free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation with Psychologist Dr. Jack Singer

Dec 28

How to Develop Tough Skin And Refuse to Give Up

By Dr. Jack Singer | Blog , Sales Professionals

by Dr. Jack Singer

How to develop mental toughness by Dr. Jack SingerDo you give up easily? When you fail to get what you want in a short period of time, do you quickly throw up your hands and move on to something else?

The roadblocks you experience on the road to success either lead to ultimate failure or serve as a stepping-stone to your victory. And, the choice is yours. Refuse to give up, and you’ll experience victory.

Setbacks are a natural part of life. They can derail your train to success if you let them, but their purpose is to build you up. They test your resolve so you can see what you’re made of. They show you how bad you want the goal you’re after. They show you where a course correction is necessary. And, they help you to appreciate the sweet victory at the end.

When you learn from your mistakes, you see the value in them. The more mistakes you make, the quicker you’ll reach your goal. Mistakes are simply corrections to your course that keep you on the correct path to your destiny. So hold onto your dreams and keep the momentum building!

How to Keep Yourself Motivated

Motivation is the fuel that keeps your engine running toward your dreams. Here are some great ways to keep motivated:

  • Keep a diary or journal of your accomplishments and how you overcame setbacks.
  • Remind yourself of where you started and how far you’ve come since then.
  • Spend time with happy, motivated people who encourage you and build you up.
  • Keep moving forward, even if you falter or become frightened.
  • Hang on to the dreams that you have, and know that you can achieve them.

Choose What Matters in Your Life

Staying motivated is mostly a matter of choice. If you’re focused on doing well and staying on course, you’ll have a much better chance of achieving what you desire. Reminding yourself of your goals and what you’ve managed to do so far is a great way of keeping yourself interested in where you’re going. That makes you want to continue instead of giving up or getting discouraged.

No matter what you want to do, you can achieve it. No matter what obstacles you face, you can power through them or find ways around them. Your attitude and determination matter more than your skill. When you set your mind to accomplish something important and pursue it with all of your heart, you can achieve anything your heart desires.

When your attitude is positive and focused, you’ll be destined for success. Success is the only option when you have the proper attitude. Setbacks are only failures if you give up. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and visualize the success you’re working to attain.

The success you crave is within your grasp. Obstacles along the way only serve to show you how strong your desire is to achieve victory. When you find a way around, over or through your obstacle, you’ll discover a renewed confidence and determination that will fuel your journey to the realization of your destiny.

Free 20 Minute Telephone Consultation with Psychologist Dr. Jack Singer

I am also available for phone consultations with athletes around the U.S. and in-person visits with athletes in Southern California. Call today toll free at 1-800-497-9880 for a free 20 minute telephone consultation with Dr. Jack Singer.

Jack N. Singer, Ph.D.
Certified and Licensed Sport and Clinical Psychologist
Diplomate, National Institute of Sports Professionals, Division of Psychologists
Diplomate, American Academy of Behavioral Medicine
Certified Hypnotherapist, American Academy of Clinical Hypnosis