Extracting the practical, down to earth secrets from 'The Secret' and translating them into the secret of success in sales, selling, and business.
The great thing about being in sales is that we all have an opportunity to raise our game, increase our success, and reap the short-term rewards of our efforts. All we have to do to sell more is to work a little harder, think smarter, or get lucky.
Alternatively, try magic.
"Realising dreams requires little more than holding them in mind." This is how a friend summarised the content of ‘The Secret’ – a DVD purporting to show any of us the path to fulfilment.
I watched a couple of minutes of it online, by way of a sample. I couldn’t tolerate the hype and quickly gave up. Nonetheless, if you want to change your experience of life the message at the heart of ‘The Secret’ works like magic.
Boiled down, a magician’s art is that of transformation - transforming one condition into another. All true sales people are in the business of transformation. They help customers achieve a different outcome, result, or experience.
Here is a practical three step method for working magic.
1. Construct a mental video of the circumstances that you want to change, as they are now.
For instance, suppose you don’t have enough potential sales in your pipeline to achieve the results that will lead to the experience you aspire to. Create a video clip in your mind to represent the reality of the situation. Focus on representing facts. Put yourself in the picture. Make it a silent film in black and white or sepia.
This is harder than it sounds. It takes a lot of concentration and creativity to construct a repeatable moving mental scene that represents the facts of your current circumstances. It needn’t be any longer than the time it takes to acknowledge reality through all of your senses.
2. Create another clip that includes the experience that you desire – fulfilment, achievement, sales performance, family time, money, freedom, new car, holiday, house, equipment, excitement, accolades etcetera.
Include all of the people who will benefit. The more who will gain from your efforts, the easier you will find it to get help. Make your movie specific, vivid and colourful. Include sounds and attach feelings. Add distinct details. Exaggerate colour, sound, smell, movement, and feelings.
3. Make a plan and transform the plan into another mental video clip.
Use all of the above to represent how you expect to get from your current reality to the desired sales performance improvement or whatever result you are aiming for.
4. Insert this clip in between the other two and play all three, every day.
First, review the current situation via the facts. Next, go through your plan, playing the video clip in your minds eye. Finally, watch the result you want unfold. See it, hear it, and feel the emotion you expect to feel when you experience the result.
Set a regular time to do this each day. Prepare yourself by finding a comfortable seated position, away from distractions. Get into a relaxed state before running your video. Go through all your major muscle groups and deliberately relax them. When you feel relaxed, visualise a tranquil scene – beach, garden, river – whatever place you find restful.
Count yourself down to achieve a deeper state of relaxation. Now play your prepared mental videos.
It takes a good deal of concentration, persistence, and determination to create these programmes for the mind. It takes resolution, repetition, and doggedness to make the review process a comfortable habit.
Grounded practical and realistic plans produce results faster than vague or lofty aspirations because they are easier to believe. Keep reviewing your visualisation of the plan. Update it to incorporate any new ideas, as they occur to you. Notice any sales performance improvement or things that advance the plan including any learning that you come by as a result of trying.
5. Devise small rewards and celebrations to acknowledge effort and mark progress.
Follow this formula until you achieve the outcome you want.
If you do this, you will keep the end in mind. You will be much more likely to act on your plan. You will be much more likely to notice and seize opportunities that make it easier for you to achieve the desired result. You will be much more likely to think of ideas that will accelerate your progress. You will be more likely to attract the support of others who can help you in your quest. Amazing results bless those who keep the end in mind and keep taking action to bring about the desired results.
It isn’t magic, it just seems like it to onlookers.
If you manage a sales team, you may not feel very comfortable instructing your people in the ways of magicians. Some may take you seriously. Others may laugh behind your back and speculate on who will fill your shoes when you are gone.
Instead, tell them about your vision, or at least a sanitised corporate version of it. If you communicate the truth, the way, and the destination, often and with passion, soon the people around you will remember it. Next, they will begin to believe it. When they believe it, they will act on it.
I make no claim to be the originator of this tried and tested formula. It is based on very old and proven principles that have been improved and repeated by hundreds if not thousands of very successful people, over hundreds of years. Henry Ford said it – “If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right”. Walter D. Wintle said it in his most famous of poems that ends, “But sooner or later the man who wins is the one who thinks he can”.
Article by Clive Miller
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