Prepare Mentally and Use Engagement to Motivate
Originally published: 01.01.16 by Anthony Caliendo
The sales world is one of continuous stress and demand for performance. You want your sales team to perform at a high level — and it's up to you to motivate them. But can you truly motivate and engage if you're not performing at peak mental capacity?
As an entrepreneur and a sales leader, you can only manage your stress with mental preparation. Unfortunately, this is typically the last aspect of your life you think of conditioning.
When you haven't taken the effort to mentally prepare, you won't overcome the natural adversity we all face.
Mind ConditioningYour mind will strengthen and become more resilient when you condition your body through a regular routine of exercise. The more consistent, dedicated and engaging your physical routine, the more your mind is also readied and prepared for the stress of the job. Mental preparedness is also setting rules and standards for yourself.
Have you ever been told by someone that your attitude sucks? Your daily attitude is part of your mental conditioning and, therefore, it too must be prepared. The University of Notre Dame football program is well known for its slogan "Play Like A Champion Today." This means play with the attitude of championship.
Be a winner, talk like a winner and walk like a winner. A winner's attitude of success is the result of being able to see things positively and being able to withstand a difficult scenario.
No coach will ever allow his or her team on the field without ensuring they truly believe they can and will win the game. Playing well or performing well does not happen by chance. You have to want it and you have to feel it.
Remember as a kid, seeing yourself hitting the game winning home run? There is no athlete who does not go through the mental process of visualizing being the star of the game. We all have those moments when we see ourselves at the ultimate moment of success.
Mental conditioning is the ability to allow your mind to visualize what success looks like and feels like. You must visualize yourself engaged in the selling process through each step of the way to your desired level of success. You have to be able to see the success and see how you will deal with the turbulent times that will slam you in the worst of storms.
Education, Homework, Repetition
Mental preparation requires educating yourself to knowledge, ideas and possibilities. It takes researching not only your product or service area, but also continuous education on how to think and behave.
Continuous education demands repetition, and repetition conditions our brains to constantly engage and be prepared.
In any sales environment, you're going to realize two irrefutable facts:
- Selling isn't easy.
- You're tougher than you think.
In general, people are tougher than they think and we have an uncanny ability to be resilient and the ability to adapt when mentally prepared. We must trust our instincts that we can persevere in any situation.
When you're prepared mentally, you will likely find no time to doubt yourself and your ability to succeed — this is also when you're most effective at engaging with and motivating your sales team.
Successful employee engagement directly impacts the bottom line. Salespeople who know the company's goals, who understand their performance expectations and how they rate, who are given tools and techniques to improve their sales, and who are recognized for their achievements will sell more and increase company profits.
Goals are Known
Salespeople will sell more and increase company profits if they understand the company's goals. Sales goals are more than just the dollar value of products sold: for a company to be profitable sales profits have to exceed the cost of making the sale.
You must educate your salespeople on both sales goals and profit goals: and the impact both have on their performance.
The key to successful performance reviews is that nothing should be a surprise: the employee should always know where their performance rates against company expectations. For feedback to be useful, you should provide immediate, ongoing feedback to your sales team.
For feedback to get results a sales leader must communicate both positive and negative feedback to salespeople when it happens.
Coaching is Continuous
Sales coaching provides tools, practice and information for salespeople to improve their performance and meet the company's objectives. Sales coaching is not just for new sales reps: continuous, ongoing sales coaching improves the performance of top sales performers and under performing sales reps.
Strength-based coaching develops and coaches each sales rep's strengths, as well as their performance weaknesses. Sales management is not the same as sales coaching. Many sales leaders spend enormous amounts of time dealing with the paperwork and forecasting demanded in their position.
Sales coaching is a vital role of sales leaders to improve the performance of their entire sales team.
To reach sales success, you cannot engage with your sales team from behind closed office doors. You must first mentally prepare yourself, and then engage and interact with your sales teams in meaningful ways that result in increased sales and profits.
Anthony Caliendo is a self-made man, entrepreneur, corporate visionary, leadership coach and author of "The Sales Assassin — Master Your Black Belt in Sales." For additional information, visit thesalesassassin.com.