How Your Thinking Affects Productivity

Something I’ll talk about this week is how our thinking affects our output.  We work on a variety of programs, they are all the same in structure, and have to meet a strict guideline for me to take them on. You’ll find your production on them will be very consistent when you think the same thing about each program.  We have a lot of new ones coming on, this week alone I have had 4 new companies call us!   One was a Director we worked with a few years back, she is at a new company and we were the first firm she thought of to bring in.

How you think of your calls will translate into how you communicate to prospects. That is a universal truth for all things, if you believe something will happen it probably will, i.e., the self fulfilling prophecy.

When I train teams at our client sites, I tell them  if they expect prospects to be annoyed at their calls, they will be.  Example: if they believe cold calls are a nuisance, they will project that through voice gestures, choice of words, and overall interaction with prospects.  Reps that assume their call is unwanted, often open up with statements like “am I calling at a bad time?” or “is it okay to talk for a minute?” Some teams have even engaged sales trainers that have them say things like “can I have 30 seconds of your time, and if you like what you hear give me another 3 minutes?”  YUCK!!   Another thing that happens is reps may end their introduction with a question inflection–like “Hi Barbara, this is Bill Smitherton over at Imagintech?” Sending that subconscious message of “do you know who we are? you don’t huh?” Those kinds of statements immediately create a class distinction of “you don’t know me, you are better than me, your time is worth more, will you please talk to me….”I do a lot of troubleshooting for sales teams, and one thing I continually see is the biggest obstacle to success is the belief systems reps have about engaging with prospects.  How we think about things forms the way we DO them, so sometimes what is needed is not coaching but changing a mindset.

What are some mindsets to examine?

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  • “No one answers their phone.” Are you calling the exact same person at the exact same time every day?   Are they on vacation?  Are they in the same job?  Did you check?
  • “People cut me off.”  What are you saying when they cut you off?  What is the stage of the conversation you generally lose people? Is there a pattern?

The good thing about realizing that one’s beliefs are impacting your results, is the ability to change results opens up.  For example, I never expect people to cut me off—therefore they don’t. But I knew someone a couple of years ago that said almost everyone hangs up on them, and you know what—they did.

Sometimes it is a lack of empathy of what is happening on the prospects side.  For example, realizing that most executives get 300+ emails a day, are in meetings, have a team reporting to them, and other things going on that distracts them…..seeing this enables reps to see a couple of things.  First, they may have heard your message and are interested, they have been too busy to call back.  Or maybe they didn’t even get your message.  Everyone isn’t carefully micromanaging each voice mail like a precious piece of data to close the loop on, likely they are just busy and had good intentions but the reality is life happens and days go by and it falls off their radar.

Also, pushing on the system is very important.  What do I mean by that?  If you are calling someone repeatedly and not reaching them–have you even determined they are there?  Many reps get frustrated someone isn’t calling them back or they aren’t reaching them only to realize they are out sick, or on vacation, not the right person, or don’t even work there anymore.  So instead of air coverage of contacts you haven’t personally confirmed, zero out and ask if so and so is in this week–find out if they are even around.  Are they the right person?  You need to find this out earlier than later—not waiting until 6 attempts, but within the first 3 push on the system to make sure you have the right people.

The good thing about owning results, is you can now control what happens.  Conversations and engagements are predictable and measurable and you can change what you are doing to get to the right results.  This is why a person will get 2 calls from 2 different people about the same topic with the same talk track, they talk to one but not to the other–why?  Because it wasn’t what they said as much as HOW they said it.

Here are a few things to do as a homework assignment.

1.     Leave yourself a voice mail of both your introduction on live calls and your voice mail message to see what you sound like, do it until you get it to the tone you want–ask if you would listen to you?  Hearing yourself will surface if you are taking too long, or if you are saying things that could be stated a better way.  Speaking faster, but with more authority helps as well to move discussions faster in the right direction.

2.     Examine if there is some consistency to your unsuccessful calls–there may be a phrase, tone of voice, or term(s) you use that are not resonating.  Use your prospects terms, not yours.

3.     Do you believe prospects don’t want to talk about something specific?  We have well over a million calls under our belt to prove they do now more than ever.

Thoughts are things, so make them things that are working for you!

Have a great week!

Faizan Hayat Dhami

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