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THIS WEEK: Mental Toughness; Grit; Outlearn = Outearn; Attitude
RRB workflow chart from Montana
Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount Chapter 21 “Developing Mental Toughness”
Fanatical prospectors receive more rejection before 9:00 AM than the average person gets in an entire year. The fact is, most people wouldn’t last a minute in sales. They are so afraid of rejection that they’d rather starve to death than make a single prospecting call.
This is why salespeople are the elite athletes of the business world.
Like top athletes, you must train hard to deliver peak performance.
Data from multiple research studies tells us that mental toughness is more important than talent, experience, education, skills, or technique.
James Loehr was one of the first experts to identify the “psychology of winning.” He described seven core dimensions of mental toughness:
- Attention control
- Minimizing negative energy
- Increasing positive energy
- Maintaining motivation levels
- Attitude control
- Visual and imagery control
The formula is simple: Change your mindset. Change your game.
It takes grit. ( Angela Duckworth’s TED Talk on GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance)
Faith is crucial. Faith that by doing the right things every day, the cumulative impact of these actions will pay off. Faith keeps you focused on your goal when no tangible evidence exists that the hard work you are doing will get you there
Everybody wants the glory of the close, but most people are unwilling to grind—to pay the price for success. In any endeavor, success is paid for in advance with hard work. In sales, success is paid for in advance with prospecting. You will never excel at anything if you don’t put the hard work in first.
In their book Never Hire a Bad Salesperson again, Dr. Chris Croner and Richard Abraham describe mental toughness in salespeople using three dimensions.
Optimism: When you get knocked down, optimism tells you that if you can look up, you can get up. Optimism is the mother of perseverance. It powers a positive belief system and attracts positive energy.
Competitiveness: Do you hate to lose or love to win? The drive to avoid losing is what keeps superstars working longer, harder, and doing whatever it takes to win. Competitiveness is the mother of persistence.
Need for achievement: Psychologist and researcher Henry Murray defined the need for achievement as “intense, prolonged and repeated efforts to accomplish something difficult. To work with singleness of purpose towards a high and distant goal. To have the determination to win.”5 The need for achievement is the mother of self-motivation.
Four Pillars of Mental Toughness in Sales
The most successful people are constantly investing in themselves to increase their knowledge, gain insight, and sharpen their skills. They understand a principle that was true with my chainsaw and true in life. Sometimes you need to slow down to speed up. It is not always about trying harder. Sometimes it is doing or thinking differently.
Outlearn = Outearn
Learners invest their own money in books, seminars, and workshops to keep their skills updated and sharp. They subscribe to newsletters, trade magazines, industry publications, blogs, and sales publications to stay current on their own industry and the sales profession. They follow top experts on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. They listen to podcasts, show up for webinars, and watch educational videos online.
I’ve got limited patience for salespeople who don’t read. There is absolutely no excuse for it. When you decide not to read, you are making the conscious choice to limit your growth and income, and I have zero sympathy for you.
The real secret is breaking reading up into small chunks of just 15 minutes each day. Fifteen minutes a day of professional reading adds up fast. Most people are shocked at how many books they go through.
For salespeople, the key to building mental resilience is using every spare moment to invest in yourself.
Feed Your Attitude
The key to keeping your attitude tuned in to the right channel is self-awareness. When you start to feel uncentered, your language turns negative, or other people start pointing out that your attitude sucks, it’s time to take action.
Change the company you keep. Misery loves company, and it wants you on its team. Hang out with people who have poor attitudes and they’ll destroy yours. Make sure the people you are hanging out with build your attitude up rather than tear it down.
Change your self-talk. There is a little voice inside of you and it jabbers away 24/7. Self-talk, what you say to yourself internally, manifests itself in your outward attitude and actions. Stop and listen to what you are telling yourself. If you are drowning in self-pity, blaming the world for your problems, and telling yourself what you can’t do, then it is time to change your language. You cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought.
Change your input. What you put into your brain is what will come out. If you are reading, watching, or listening to negative things, it will impact your attitude. Take a break from the news. Turn off talk radio. Start feeding positive messages to your brain and your attitude will gain altitude. Change your focus. Yes, you lost. You had a setback. You failed. When confronted with failure, some people waste all of their energy dwelling on it. They play the tape over and over again in their head.
Change your view. Embrace the gift of failure. Leverage that hurt to become stronger and more agile. Harness the energy you are wasting playing the defeat tape and use it to drive you toward your next goal. You are not defined by what happens to you but rather by how you deal with what happens to you. Each time you face adversity or when things don’t go your way, you have a choice. You can either choose to whine and complain, or choose to learn and grow.
Be grateful. Gratitude is the cornerstone of a positive attitude, the spark that ignites self-motivation, and one of the true keys to happiness. It is an appreciation for what you have, what you have been given, your opportunities, lessons learned through failure and adversity, and the help others have given you along the way.
EXPERT BADGE EXTRA CREDIT
Angela Duckworth’s TED Talk on GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
CALL TO ACTION
- The first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem. Read chapter 21 until you agree with it. If you don’t agree with it immediately realize a big part of your difficulty is the way you think…your self reflection. The people who think they need this the least, most often need it the most.
- Resolve to fight the inner game everyday. Plan for the inner battle by choosing podcasts to listen to, books to read, audio books to consume and other recruiters that you will invest time with.
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