By Sharon A.M. MacLean
“If I fail, I am dead,” thought Bill who sold insurance.
Bill’s mind was busy recalling the criticism he heard from the age of five. The reproaches carried into his adult life where he literally froze at times when making sales presentations to clients.
We hear it all the time. “I’m an (accountant…lawyer…business owner…artist…pick your profession). However, I am NOT a sales person.” Selling suffers from a bad rap as described by Jeoffrey James, contributing editor at Inc.com http://www.inc.com/author/geoffrey-james
“It’s a form of resistance,” says neuropsychologist and internationally licensed NLP trainer Anita Kozlowski pictured above. https://id.linkedin.com/in/livewithpower “Resistance is fear based. People do what they do because of feelings they have.”
Neurolinguistic programming is a branch of life sciences that deals with behaviour and how we learn. Anita, who trains therapists around the world, founded Structural Psychology Systems for Change. It’s designed to maximize the potential of the human brain for learning. By the way, this is one smart gal with a Mensa score of 198 and, if you’re wondering, Mensa considers those with a score above 160 to be a genius.
Neuropsychology and social selling
Anita also loves coaching business people, especially those in sales. She explains why some people sell a lot and others don’t. Here are 3 reasons that account for lost sales combined with her recommended treatments–and a few best practices from social selling.
1. Fear of rejection. This fear often arises during a first connection because a sales person does not know how to begin the conversation. Any of these self-doubts sound familiar?
- I will make a fool of myself
- I will blow it
- I don’t know what to say
In order for these narratives to take shape, sales people imagine themselves smaller and less significant than the buyer. The buyer has all the power and they are at the mercy of the buyer’s decision.
Anita’s help: To alleviate this problem, a lot of things need to change: first, the individual must find what the master trainer calls the “subconscious I am”. Stay with me because this is esoteric stuff.
Next, she wants to alter the internal dialogue, the accompanying imagery, and the feelings that emerge. Anita wants you to, “Get out of your own way,” and she’s got strategies to help.
Social selling tip: We see poor introductions in social networks all the time, especially LinkedIn for business. Contacts often rely on the LinkedIn default message that reads: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” Instead, take time to read a prospect’s profile, find an intriguing descriptor, and refer to that detail in your introductory conversation.
2. Fear of Success. Any of these lines sound familiar?
- I may not be able to stay on top, so I better avoid getting there;
- Being alone on top of the mountain means I will be so much better than my friends or family. They may not want to be around me;
- What’s left for me after achieving all my success?
- I may have to work long hours and miss out on my family time or other things I love doing;
- I may succeed but what if I make a wrong decision and choose the wrong success? I may miss out on other possibilities;
- I am not sure where am I going.
Anita’s help: In this case, a sales person does not have clearly defined goals or a goal-setting strategy; a powerful “why” needs to be applied. There’s methodologies for this treatment, too. Unspecified goals cannot be successfully achieved. Goals that are unsupported by a strong “why” are not real goals.
This person must rewire their identity statement to: “I am capable and I have the skills to do it.” Someone who perceives the “road to get there” as painful needs to be shown how small, manageable steps can be used to accomplish the most complex task.
“The reason for wanting to achieve the goal is the real goal,” says Anita.
Anita’s help: All goals are positioned on a timeline. We have a representation of where the future, the past, and now is. Sometimes a goal is positioned out of alignment with the future, and the person misses it. The shift has profound and lasting impact in all aspects of life which leads to a person becoming more effective, focused, confident and powerful.
Social selling: Dig deeper into finding the greater good around your product or service that is beneficial for all or most members of a given community. Discover the tie-in to your customer’s core values and explain the correlation. For example, selling a home equipped with eco-friendly designs contributes to a safer world…or updated SasS (software-as-a-service) leads to happier, less stressed employees better able to manage their workload.
3. Not closing the deal. People fail to close the sale for three reasons:
- Fear of rejection
- Afraid of taking advantage of the customer and feeling guilty
- Not feeling worthy of success
Rejection becomes their reality and these people master the art of projecting the awful thing that is going to happen. They effectively created a movie in their mind—with a bad ending. The feeling of failure is fully present, the images vivid and the feeling of despair well accessed. Anita says, “Changing the script of your mind is as easy as changing a movie script.”
Anita’s help: Redirecting attention to the customer is a more effective strategy than replaying internal movies of the mind. Besides, it takes adequate planning to feel bad.
Social selling: Aim for authenticity in your dealings. This means being honest, inclusive, refreshingly to the point, insightful and occasionally, a little edgy. Steer clear of being artificial, judgmental, insecure, timid or gimmicky. Clarity is captivating—it makes us want to follow your parade.
In the case of Bill? Anita tells me they worked to change his self-perception by setting powerful goals supported by a strong WHY, and role playing interactions with various clients.
Bill became a top producer in his company.
Need help with modern marketing? Contact me through LinkedIn or by email:email@example.com.
Life-long communications strategist Sharon MacLean owned and published a traditional print magazine over 21 years for business people. She now applies her enhanced knowledge in digital marketing to the needs of her clients and believes in the value of combining the best of both worlds.