Are You Finished Before You Start?

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A colleague and I were in conversation recently when he shared a very profound statement, “You can be finished before you start.” 

We were talking about the power of one’s mind, more specifically about ones sales mindset. Eugene was relaying an exchange he had many years ago when he was a pharmaceutical sales rep. He was comparing notes with another rep that was having difficulty getting in to see physicians to promote their company’s product. He wanted to know why Eugene was having so much success, and he was not. 

Turns out, this other sales rep found it extremely difficult to turn the doorknob to enter the doctor’s office. He had such high self-doubt, Eugene explained, that he had lost the sale before he even initiated the call. This is when Eugene summed things up by commenting, “You are finished before you start!” 

This simple statement may apply to those suffering with weak sales results. Appreciate sales is not for everyone. Being in the sales profession requires intelligence, personality, perseverance and a strong believe in ones self and belief in ones customer. 

When you think about it, your objective is to help your prospect make an informed purchasing decision (or not) based on the knowledge you bring to the table. Most successful sales people are advocates for their prospects, doing what is in the client’s best interest. This typically evolves into a meaningful relationship based on mutual trust and understanding. Those that rise to the top in the sales profession also tend to have a high belief in self. 

How is your belief in self? Do you experience self-doubt to the point you have trouble dialling that cold call, or making that initial visit to your prospect’s office?

This is more common in sales than we think, not just for those new to the business, it can affect experienced sales people who have fallen into the infamous “rut”. How we think and how we see our self causes this “affliction”. 

How we see ourselves in our minds eye determines our belief in self. The subconscious mind is incredibly powerful. Research by psychologists Dr. Henry Murray, Dr. David McClelland, and Dr. Clayton Lafferty has determined our actions are a result of what we think. 

The challenge is to recognize when one is not thinking positively about their capabilities and then develop strategies to counteract this thought process. Here are some tips you can use: 

1. Remind yourself of your previous successes
2. Focus on your current strengths and future potential
3. Visualize yourself being successful several times a day
4. Record a positive belief statement you can repeat 5 times a day
5. Set and achieve realistic goals (start small), then stretch them 
6. Celebrate successes along the way

In the classic book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, he makes the case it is scientifically impossible to conceive an idea in your mind, to believe you can do it, and then not be able to. The fact we can conceive something in our mind and believe we can do it, means we can. 

Don’t be finished before you start. Your sales mindset needs to be the “hidden partner” that allows you to not only succeed in sales, but to thrive. 

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