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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.

Feb 25

How to Motivate Your Sales Team for Consistent Success

By Dr. Jack Singer | Sales Professionals

by Jack Singer, Ph.D.

Professional Clinical/Sport Psychologist

How to Motivate Your Sales Team for Consistent SuccessAllison is a very successful sales professional.  Last year her income was higher than she ever imagined that she would earn.  But, Allison came to see me because she dreaded going to work each day.  It was not the process of selling that she dreaded…it was the fact that she was struggling to motivate herself. You might wonder how someone making a great income could be unmotivated regarding her job.

Research on motivation began with the pioneering work of Dr. Abraham Maslow, who determined that people are motivated according to a hierarchy of needs, and money happens to lie near the bottom of that hierarchy.  Consequently, once someone makes a good income, the higher order needs become paramount in driving that person’s passion.  Earning more money does not satisfy a deficit in higher order needs, such as  a feeling of belonging and a sense of accomplishment.

In Allison’s situation, she didn’t trust her sales manager, believed he didn’t genuinely care about her, played favorites, and rarely gave her verbal recognition of her success. As a result, Allison didn’t see a future with the company, regardless of her sales success.

Another pioneer in the research regarding job-related motivation was Frederick Herzberg, with his two factor model.  Herzberg’s research showed that salary or commission rarely motivates people; instead, having not enough money will make them dissatisfied with their jobs. Earning more than they need is nice, but will not motivate them or enrich their jobs.

So, what motivates a sales force?

It’s an age-old question, of course. Money has always been the big carrot for sales people.  But, as both Maslow’s and Herzberg’s research showed, financial compensation is an important determinant of job satisfaction only when a person doesn’t have enough for her/his needs.

David Joyner, executive vice president of sales for Caremark Pharmaceuticals describes it this way: “Salespersons in general have more needs than simply getting a paycheck. That is part of the reward, certainly, but once you have a fair compensation plan in place, then the real work of employee motivation begins.”

To create satisfaction, a sales manager needs to provide job enrichment by addressing what motivates his team to do their jobs, then finding out how to make it better and more satisfying for each of them.

My own research into job stress showed there are marked individual differences in the way working people are motivated. However, we can generalize from the vast number of motivational studies conducted with thousands of sales professionals in hundreds of working situations.  Survey data shows that beyond a good income, most sales professionals need to feel a sense of trust, for both their colleagues and managers, a real sense of achievement, and recognition of their hard work.

  • Creating a culture of trust. Sales professionals need to trust that their supervisors want them to succeed, not just to hit quotas and the monetary rewards. They need to feel that their supervisors genuinely care about them.  As a sales manager, it is critical to take the time to show a genuine interest in the families and lives of your sales people.
  • Creating a culture of achievement. Setting individual and team sales benchmarks is fine, but it is even more motivating to show your sales force how their performance has enhanced the image and success of the company.  They need to feel as if they are important ingredients their company’s success. They need to buy into the important role that their products or services play in the lives of the end user.  All of this ties into Maslow’s need for a sense of belonging and feeling like an important a part of a successful group.
  • Creating a culture of recognition. Sales professionals feed off of recognition.  This means that managers need to be personally recognizing them frequently.  A common misconception by some sales managers is the belief that “their paycheck shows them how well they are doing, so I don’t need to pat them on the back.”  This notion is absolutely wrong.  Everyone loves a pat on the back.

There are other forms of recognition that are just as important.  A sales manager at Nortel Networks emphasizes this kind of recognition and states, “There are two things that Nortel has never stopped or changed, even through challenging economic times. One is our annual sales conference, where we bring our sales team together, both to interact with each other in a forum setting, but also to do peer recognition. You get the sales team up there on stage and you reward them in front of their peers. That is hugely important to them.”

The other way to feel recognized is to belong to an exclusive group…such as the high producer’s group that is invited to attend seminars with powerful speakers at lavish locations, at company expense.  This feeling of being a member of this elite club is the ultimate in personal recognition.

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 negative thoughts and beliefs about feeling unfulfilled in terms of trust, belonging, a sense of achievement or recognition.  Sales managers can certainly eliminate these distractions from their sales professionals by consistently providing these powerful motivators to them. Frequently ask them for feedback to get a pulse on how they are feeling and what you could be providing that is missing for them.  You will be rewarded greatly with a highly motivated team!

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.

In his speaking presentations, Dr Jack teaches sales and financial services professionals the exact same skills he teaches to elite and world champion athletes to Develop & Maintain the Mindset of a Champion!

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.

Dec 13

How to Fight Boredom and Become More Motivated at Work

By Dr. Jack Singer | Blog

by Dr. Jack Singer

How to Fight Boredom and Become More Motivated at Work by Dr. Jack SingerHaving trouble finding the motivation you need to get things done at work? When you begin an exciting project, it’s easy to find the motivation you need. Maintaining that level of motivation every day, however, can be a challenge. Sometimes, your work is just downright boring!

Just remember that you’re not alone in your feelings. Instead of beating yourself up or giving up, take a few small steps that will boost your motivation and lead you to the success you deserve.

Take Care of Yourself

  • Are there any basic needs in your personal life that need to be addressed? Sometimes, your lack of motivation at work can result from a lack of sleep, proper nutrition, or conflict that drains your energy. Choose to take care of yourself, and your motivation will naturally increase in every area of your life.
  • For instance, if you’ve become accustomed to staying up late and getting little sleep, you’ll drag and lack energy at work. Everyone’s sleep needs are different, but the average person requires 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Make sure you get an adequate amount of rest.
  • Also make sure that you maintain a healthy diet. The food and drinks you put in your body have a huge impact on the way you feel. If you eat poorly at work, you’ll feel lethargic. Also, a diet that’s too strict can make you feel tired, hungry, and irritable.
  • Pay attention to your mental health. Sometimes you can’t find motivation at work because your thoughts are preoccupied with something else. Get to the root of your challenges and seek the advice of friends or loved ones. Choose to nurse your body and your mind so that you’re ready for the challenges of each workday.

Stay Active and Motivated

  • Once your basic personal needs are met, you can turn your attention to fighting the boredom. Ask yourself what you like about your job. Write down as many positive things about your job as you can think of.
  • Then write down the things you dislike about your job. Ask yourself, “What am I willing to do to make it the way I want it?” Focus on solutions instead of problems, and your motivation for success will quickly increase.
  • If you’re bored because your day has become monotonous, seek opportunities to make changes to your daily routine at work. Come up with a new way of doing things. Ask about training programs or other duties you can take on to increase your value to the company and your level of interest in your job.
  • Another powerful approach to stamp out boredom is to seek a mentor. Learn to be the best from someone who performs your job at a high level. Anything is more fun when you’re good at it. A mentor can answer specific questions about your job and help you to find the excitement in every day as well.

Know When It’s Time to Make A Change

Sometimes, boredom is a signal that something’s wrong. You may be in the wrong position to utilize your talents most effectively. Perhaps your employer may be able to direct you to other opportunities within the company that are better suited to your talents, abilities, and interests.

Often, taking part in other hobbies and interests that you’re passionate about on the weekends can cure the boredom you experience on the weekdays. Having something you look forward to can be a powerful antidote to the daily “blahs.” Pursue what makes you happy in your free time and you may find that motivation appears out of nowhere.

Most of all, realize that you deserve success. Set yourself apart from those who settle for the tedious, daily grind. Today, decide to take care of yourself, pursue your passion and make the most of every day at your job. You’ll be glad you did!

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