3 Ways to Wire Your Brain for Successful Selling (Winning at Selling Podcast)
I invite you to take a peek at my speaking notes for my sales and leadership development notes with Scott Plum and Bill Hellkamp.
You can find the full Winning at Selling podcast here.
Are you familiar with the Winning at Selling podcast? It’s dedicated to the overall success in the sales channel. From the CEO to the front-line salespeople, every role must be aligned, trained, and committed, every day to achieve the desired outcome. This is not done without a commitment to ongoing career development:
- in learning market-relevant techniques,
- overcoming conceptual barriers,
- applying proactive and productive behaviors, and
- projecting a positive attitude.
These are challenging and disruptive times. You can fight negativity and bad news with a grateful mindset….and wire your brain for success.
Here’s my Speaking Notes….
3 Ways to Wire Your Brain for Successful Selling
Did you make a list of New Year’s Resolutions? I find it difficult to stick to multiple resolutions. So, I didn’t.
Instead, I pick one key “word” for the year.
It’s still a challenge! I get fired up about a grand idea for the first 30 to 60 days of the year. Then, I run out of steam. My good intentions fade into the background as I get caught up in my ToDo List.
But, not this year! I have a new strategy that I’m confident will carry me the entire year.
So, what is my one “word”? And, what’s my plan to give it momentum all year long?
This year, I’m choosing gratitude as my one word!
Bad news dominates our news headlines: health concerns, volatile financial markets, and natural disasters. While the war between Russia and Ukraine continues to wreak havoc, the rest of the world is fighting a war of its own. The enemy? The Commander in Chief is Fear. He has a platoon of field marshals. On the front lines, he has the most advanced combat units, led by Anxiety, Stress, and Depression. They seek to destroy our dreams, steal our brilliance, and demolish our hope.
As an avid news junkie, I’m navigating treacherous terrain – How do I stay up-to-date, without getting dragged into doom and gloom?
Gratitude changes the atmosphere in any situation. When we focus on things that are good, pure, and lovely, we are open to creative opportunities. We wire our brains for success. Gratitude fuels…
- A courageous spirit
- A can-do attitude
- Connection with others
So, what am I doing to keep it fresh in my mind all year? I’m talking about it as much as possible.
I invite you to take a sneak peek at my preparation notes for the interview. It is my hope that you too, will fight negativity and bad news with a grateful mindset….and wire your brain for success.
Question 1: Wiring Our Brains for Successful Selling? What are you talking about, Danita?
As a young salesperson with Xerox, I read Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends, and Influence People. This book is packed with great human relationship principles. There was one principle that caught my attention. I posted it on a few 3 X 5 cards and taped it next to my telephone, my mirror, and the dashboard of my car. It says, “Don’t Criticize, Condemn or Complain.?
If you can’t Criticize, Condemn, or Complain, what can you do instead?
The answer? Be grateful!
To practice a grateful mindset, I did two things. I did these if the call went brilliantly well, and I thought I was the best salesperson in every life. Or,if the call went horribly bad, and I thought I was the worst salesperson ever born, and I should pursue a different profession!
- After every sales call, I take a moment to reflect. I write down three things that went well during the sales call. I took time to be intentionally grateful.
- Then, I write down three things I could do better next time. I didn’t write down what I did wrong. I focused on continuous improvement. That forced me to be grateful for the progress I had made in my selling acumen.
That year, I finished #3 in the Region.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but, in doing these exercises, I was wiring my brain for success.
Question 2: These are Best Practices. We all know we’re supposed to do these. What’s stopping us?
There are two-three outside forces attacking us from every angle. First, the Blame-Game Culture. It seems like the American way of doing things is to blame others when something in our lives goes wrong. Studies show that at least 60% tend to play this game.
As a participant in the Blame-Game Culture, you undermine your God-given brilliance.
Let’s go back to my Xerox example. If the call didn’t .” What are my options?
- I can blame the prospect for not being willing to spend money.
- I can blame the prospect for not being smart enough to see how their business would grow if they had my solution.
- ..I can take personal responsibility and ask myself questions like:
- What might I do to improve my questioning and listening skills, so that I better understand my prospect’s perspective?
- What might I do to improve my selling acumen?
- What might I do to make a difference?
It’s a natural human response to look at what’s happening around us and say…
- I can’t.
- It’s impossible.
- There’s nothing I can do about it.
Yet, research consistently tells us that top sales leaders focus on saying…
- I can.
- It’s possible.
- There’s something I can do about it.
So, you have a choice in every single sales call, every day. You can give voice to negative thoughts. When you do, you undermine our brilliance and wire your brain for failure.
To be successful, be proactive in wiring your brain for success. Choose gratitude above grumbling!
Question 3: You mentioned two daunting challenges. What’s the other one?
Financial experts call this time in world history an Era of Exponential Progress. It happens about every 500 years. Things change at lightning speed. For some, that’s exciting. For others, it’s fear-inducing.
I became aware of the impact of fear while serving on the ND State Board of Higher Ed. (It’s like the Board of Regents in Mn.) Here are some of the startling stats from a recent survey of students.
- 71% reported a loss of social connections, they feel isolated;
- 69% experienced increased anxiety or depression; and,
- 61% expressed concern about their own physical health or the health of a family member.
This is what students are saying. I believe it’s a tell-tale sign of what’s happening in our culture
Feelings of stress and fear have a negative impact on our brains.
Dr. Mark McDonald, author of United States of Fear, describes it this way….
“When fear is the predominant emotion, it overpowers every other feeling. It overpowers love. It overpowers hate. It also paralyzes the rational faculties. It also makes it impossible to think.”
Problem: Fear makes it impossible to think. To be successful in selling, you need clarity so that you can see, help, and serve your client in the best way. You need to be able to ask intentional, strategic questions…and then listen well. It’s hard to do that when you’re so afraid, you can’t think well!
To be successful, be proactive in wiring your brain for success. Choose gratitude above fear!
Question 4: What’s the antidote to a Blame-Game Culture and the Fear Pandemic? How can we wire our brains for success?
The antidote is to live with a mindset of gratitude.
As a pre-med student, I did my Capstone Research Project on “The Stress Concept”. Hans Selye, the father of this type of research, says that the best antidote to stress—is “an attitude of gratitude.”
So, let’s look at the positive impact of gratitude on re-wiring your brain for success:
It bolsters your self-worth and self-esteem. You become more resilient, and less l likely to suffer from burnout. Gratitude helps us cope with trauma, and reduces feelings of anger.
You are better able to connect with people and to build social bonds. Instead of comparing ourselves to others, you respect each person for their unique gifts.
Gratitude has a myriad of health benefits. Researchers report that a grateful mindset contributes to a lower heart rate; lower blood pressure; better quality of sleep; and, less physical stress!
I also like, Switch on Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health, by Dr. Caroline Leaf.
When you’re healthy spiritually/motivationally, relationally, physically, and mentally, you’ll be amazed at how you’ll be able to focus on your financial health.
Question 5: So what are some practical, everyday steps we can take to wire our brains for success?
I have three recommendations. After every sales call…
1. Give yourself a pat on the back:
- Jot down 3 things that you did well.
- Be grateful for your natural talents, for what you’re learning to do.
- Even when you’ve made one small move in the right direction, acknowledge your efforts.
2. Think about life from your prospect’s perspective.
This can be hard to do. Sometimes it feels impossible – it’s so difficult to stop focusing on our own goals, and to focus on our client. Be grateful for the opportunity to step out of your personal world and think about the other person.
- Dale Carnegie had another best-seller, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living: Time-Tested Methods for Conquering Worry.
- Be grateful for the learning opportunities that your client’s perspective brings to your professional and personal journey. By thinking creatively how you can solve their problems, you stimulate your innovation mindset and your ability to overcome your own challenges. It’s a win-win situation.
What is your One Word for this year?
I invite you to consider Gratitude to wire your brain for success!
DANITA BYE, M.A. is a leadership and sales development expert. She’s a Forbes Coaches Council author, Harvard Business School MBA sales coach, and a TEDx speaker on Millennial Leadership.
Her book, Millennials Matter: Proven Strategies for Building Your Next-Gen Leader, is one of the best how-to books on motivating and managing emerging leaders. She’s been published in Forbes, Huffington Post, and CEO World.
Recently, she spoke at a virtual keynote for Economic Summit in India. She builds on the theme of “5 Bold Mindsets for a Post-Covid World,” in her writing and speaking. Check out this free resource: 5 Success Mindsets to Create Breakthrough Results.
She is a mother of three millennials. Has five grandchildren. Lives in The
Triple T Ranch country in North Dakota. Loves Minneapolis. Speaks and travels globally.