Psych Up...Cool Down...Chill Out and Ace Your Sales Calls
by Craig harrison

   Coaches psyche up their teams before a big game. Army bands traditionally played march music to incite their troopsbefore battle. Pilots use an extensive pre-flight checklist to prepare for each flight. What do you do before a big sales call?
   How are you preparing and motivating yourself? How are you fortifying yourself for success? Sales is all about confidence. Build yours before the call begins. Whether you psyche yourself up, cool yourself down or otherwise optimize yourself, think peak performance before you encounter your next prospect.

Psych Up: The Pep Talk

   Psychologists have long known the importance of self-talk in motivating star athletes, actors and musicians to excel. Apply these same techniques that high performers use to your own sales activities.

Just Say "Now!"

   Before your next sales stop, give yourself a pep talk to remind yourself how skillful you are: at listening, asking questions, overcoming objections, upselling and closing. Look into the mirror, praise yourself for past successes and buoy yourself with confidence for having reached this precipice of the next sale. You know you can do it. Tell yourself!

Cool down: Just Say Ommm.

   If you are the type of person who gets too excited before a sales call, try this approach to stay calm and focused. Find a quiet place, free of clutter and distractions. Take a few deep breaths. Breathe in deeply through your nose as if you are smelling a rose. Now exhale slowly through your pursed lips as if blowing out a candle. Try to focus just on your breathing. If negative thoughts enter your mind, recognize them and then let them go, re-focusing on your breathing pattern.
   A meditative state can help you clear your mind of noise and distractions. By lowering your heart rate through deep breathing, you can quell any nervousness that might normally arise before a stressful sales call. Just as great athletes adopt tunnel vision to see only their goals prior to a big game, so too can you concentrate on the task at hand: closing the sale!
   By sitting quietly for ten minutes before your next sales call, you can become more single-minded as you approach your prospect. Once you've slowed your breathing down, mentally let go of the various nagging matters that clutter the mind and bring you down. You are on the precipice of a new sale. Build your confidence from within. Know in your heart that you are ready, willing and able to make this sale. Now seize the moment!

Rally Time: Start Me Up!

   Some people's pep talk more resembles a spirit rally. Yours can too. You may wish to "rev your engines" to prepare. Pump yourself up like a prizefighter before the next bout. Play inspirational music to pump up your heartbeat. Anthems abound. Pick yours: For a first call "Start Me Up" by the Rolling Stones gets you in gear. For a second call, McFadden and Whitehead's "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" is a winner. Others prefer Queen's "We are the Champions." And for that tough negotiation, it's time for Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" or Aretha Franklin's "RESPECT!" Create the soundtrack for your Oscar-worthy performance.

Warm Me Up: Let's Get Physical

   Don't presume preparation is primarily a cerebral exercise. There's a physical aspect to successful selling too. Schedule some physical activity each day to stimulate your mind, ameliorate pent up nervousness, and speed up your metabolism. You actually sharpen your mind through physical activity. The exertion will help your brain fire in more creative ways once you've exercised. Don't forget to hydrate before and after exercising. Water, the forgotten nutrient, is an important component in your success program.

Visualizing Success

   Whether you psych up through music, jogging, power lifting or use meditation to prepare for each sales call, visualize success. What does it look like? What does it feel like? See yourself answering questions confidently, showcasing your product's benefits and exuding a confident demeanor. And project a clear focus.

Zone Alone: Get into the Success Zone

   Find the rarefied air known as the zone: that state of mind where you're on cruise control. You're in the flow: focused, in synch, in full command of your faculties and confident enough to handle whatever comes your way. You're unstoppable!
   Routines and rituals help. Create a series of steps to focus your faculties and free yourself from distractions. All systems should be pointing toward success. You're both master and commander!

Fly Right

   You know best what you need before a sales call. Whether your charge is to get fired up, chill out, or otherwise focus your energy, create a pre-call program to position yourself for success. Just as pilots have a pre-flight routine so too should you strive for a consistent preparation before your next big sales call. Not only will you be cleared for takeoff, you'll soar to new heights. Now SALE away!