Olympic MindSet to Improve your Sales
Olympic athletes are obviously in top physical condition but they are also in top mental condition. Mental toughness is part of their training. One of the sports psychologists for the Olympics has stated that 80% of an elite athlete’s success is based on the mental aspect. It is no mistake that the same number applies to the sales professional’s level of success, 80% is based on attitude and mindset. So what do Olympic athletes do that makes them have such a strong and focused mindset and how can you get it?
They have no fear of failure. Fear of failure stops the less successful athletes from pushing forward. Instead of failure the Olympian takes the feedback from the unsuccessful attempt and uses it to become more successful the next time. In the language of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) there is no failure only feedback. From each attempt they gain distinctions and those distinctions allow them to make small adjustments and be better the next time out. Just think what would happen in your sales career if you had no fear of failing. You would easily make cold calls and presentations because you wouldn’t worry and stress over the outcome. The more a person is stopped by this fear the less successful they will be in life.
They are able to be coached and have specific goals. They are not only able to be coached but they take the information and integrate it into their training plan. They don’t feel bad about themselves when their performance is critiqued. Instead they are excited about learning a better way to perform an aspect of their sport. This is very important since someone outside of yourself is more likely to see where you have challenges. They can also help you to keep focused on the appropriate goal.
They use the science of the subconscious mind, visualization/hypnosis/guided imagery and the positive use of disassociation will not only help them to sink a putt or make a perfect ski jump it will also help a sales person function at their peak. The Russians first used hypnosis and autogenic training back in 1980 to improve their athletic performance. Since that time all professional athletes have added a sports psychologist to their staff of coaches. Many sales people now have performance coaches but in my opinion simple coaching does not go far enough since the subconscious mind has to be engaged to get the full effect.
They strive to improve themselves. Olympic athletes spend an incredible number of hours in what has been called “deliberate practice” by Geoff Colvin author of “Talent is Overrated”. This means to sell at an Olympic level a salesperson has to continually improve not just in techniques but improve their attitude/mindset as well. Deliberate practice according to the author is practice that is done to specifically improve performance.
They are committed and will do what it takes to get the job done. Olympic athletes are incredibly committed. They push past pain and defeat and stay focused on the prize. What would change for the average salesperson if they didn’t give up after a couple of no’s? The studies show that it usually takes 3-5 contacts before a person is willing to buy from a previously unknown salesperson.
So make the calls, do the follow up, keep a positive mindset, improve constantly and you will succeed more. By taking these lessons from Olympians you can see how you can use the experience and knowledge gained from exceptional athletes to improve your sales.