Extracting practical lessons from 'The Secret' and using them to improve sales performance.
The great thing about being in sales is that we all have an opportunity to raise our game.We can improve sales performance and reap the short-term rewards of our efforts. All we have to do to sell more is to think a little smarter, learn some new approaches, and work a little harder.
Alternatively, try magic.
'The Secret' was released as a film in March 2006 and later the same year as a book. The book is influenced by Wallace Wattles' 1910 book The Science of Getting Rich. The book has been translated into 50 languages and has sold over 20 million copies. The author, Rhonda Byrne, based it on the pseudo-scientific 'law of attraction' which claims that thoughts can change the world directly.
"Realising dreams requires little more than holding them in mind." This is how a friend summarised the content of ‘The Secret'.
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 desired results. 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 results, 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 for realising the situation in your second video clip. It doesn't matter if it is to improve sales performance or attain any other aims. Break up the plan into easy steps. Keep breaking up the steps until it is a list of actions that are easy to do. Finally, transform your detailed action by action plan into another mental video clip.
If the plan has too many actions for one video clip, make as many as you need. Remember to include the other people involved. Make the scenes colourful and dynamic. Add feelings of satisfaction that you will experience when each part of the plan is complete.
Use the three steps 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 the planning clips in between the first and third clips. Then 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 and act upon.
Keep reviewing your visualisation of the plan. Update it to incorporate any new ideas, as they occur to you. Notice any improvements in sales performance 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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