First of all, did you know that you are talking to yourself all day long? (You're thinking, "Do I talk to myself? What does he mean, talk to myself? I don't talk to myself!") Psychologists estimate that you are talking to yourself at a rate of 1,200 to 1,500 words a minute (in contrast, when we speak aloud we can only go up to 250 words a minute and that's if we're talking REAL FAST).
The problem is that most of our self-talk is negative. And even worse, we tend to believe our self-talk and that influences our performance - in a big way. For example, have you ever stopped to listen to your self-talk after you missed a sale? Mine used to go something like this:
"There I go again. I'm an idiot! I'm amazed I've ever made a sale. This product sucks, nobody is ever going to buy and I even knew he wouldn't buy. I wonder when lunch is - do I have enough money for lunch today? I wonder if I'll make a sale this week - how am I going to pay the rent if I don't close at least X amount of business. I wonder how long they'll keep me, shoot, why didn't I stay in college. I hate sales...."
Sound familiar? This is the self-talk (or some variation of it) of 80% of your competition. Not very empowering, is it? And the biggest problem with this is that it leads to even poorer performance. With self-talk like this, you automatically stop using effective sales techniques, you don't qualify properly, you begin using negative, closed ended questions, etc., and you anticipate being blown out (and then give up). In other words, poor self-talk leads to and creates poor sales performance.
Here's the good news: The opposite is also true. When I committed to becoming a Top 20% producer, the first thing I did was begin to monitor and change my self-talk. When if missed a sale, I began to say:
"Gee, that wasn't like me. Let me think about what didn't go right with that and here's what I'm going to do to change it. OK, I'll use this line or I'll ask this qualifying question next time, and here's how I'm going to improve on my next sales call."
Then I'd pick up the phone to prospect and say to myself, "OK, watch this, this will be much better!"
And it really worked! Suddenly, it was "like me" to use proper qualifying questions and to qualify red flags. Suddenly "I regularly" used my scripts and was "in the habit" of practicing perfection on each call. And my performance and production reflected it. Within 90 days I was the top closer in the office. And monitoring and changing my self-talk was a HUGE part of it.
I challenge you this week to begin getting accountable for what you say to yourself, and begin taking responsibility for your attitude. When you find something you don't think is positive or helpful, don't beat yourself up, but rather, change it to something more empowering. I've been using and teaching this (and other) attitude adjustment techniques for years and THEY WORK!
The bottom line is that your attitude determines how much of your ability, knowledge and desire you have. The question is, "What are you doing to improve yours?"