Honing Mental Fitness for Success

by WOHe

I don’t believe that success is the result of natural ability
alone. In order to be an effective salesperson, you must have the
right perspective one where success is the focus and you are not
consumed by the negative.

It takes the proper “mental fitness” to get on top and stay on
top. If we wanted to improve our muscle tone, we would probably do
weight training. If we wanted to improve our cardiovascular and
respiratory condition, we would engage in activities that push our
lungs and heart to higher levels. Well, the same is true with
mental fitness when it comes to selling.
Included here are some ways to improve your mental fitness for
selling success.

n Maintain A Positive Attitude: While this may sound simple, it’s
actually the most difficult thing to do. Not everything goes right
in our business or personal lives, so it becomes very easy for us
to dwell on the negative. When we do this, however, it becomes
impossible for us to reach our potential.

Positive thinking and positive self-talk are the tools to
remaining positive. I maintain that, in order to be a
positive-attitude person, you must also be well grounded in
reality. Choose the right positive attitude, and you will condition
yourself to learn and develop your skills so that you will maximize
the opportunity with every potential customer you encounter.

When I gather with some of my peers in the kitchen and bath
industry, there is often chatter about the questionable economics
of the world. Rarely is enough attention paid to what we can be
doing to maximize the opportunities that are right in front of us
on a daily basis, many under our direct control.

  • Visualize Toward Success: It’s been well reported that many
    Olympians use mental visualization to condition their mental
    fitness. They see themselves receiving the gold medal, standing on
    the top podium, hearing their national anthem. They see themselves
    accomplishing their goal days, weeks and even months before the
    games are played. They see themselves as winning.

    In our industry, it’s easy to get consumed and visualize an
    unstable economy with higher rates of unemployment, and to feel the
    price pressures of the competition. It’s vital, however, in
    reaching for the top to you see yourself as the winner the person
    with the skills, products and services to create the smiles on the
    faces of satisfied consumers.

    Try to visualize your next presentation. See yourself in control,
    guiding yourself and your client toward an agreement, where you are
    trusted with his or her project. You must always see yourself
    getting the next sale, just like the pro baseball player always
    expects to get on base during his next at bat.
  • Psyching Up: This is very different from visualizing. Psyching
    up is a form of focusing on the objectives by clearing your mind of
    all distractions. By psyching up, you create the energy needed to
    begin what you planned and persist until you obtain the results you
    visualized. Psyching up and creating energy is necessary today,
    because some prospects and their projects are challenging to say
    the least. Without staying power and the mental energy drawn from
    psyching up, you will fall short.
  • Build Systems Muscle: Having a system in place is key to sales
    success. For example, McDonalds hamburgers taste pretty much the
    same wherever you go. Why? Because the company makes them all the
    same way. It has developed a system for success, and it relies on
    that system. Its system is its muscle for success. Having it in
    place and using it will bring its expected results success.

    For your mental fitness, do you have success systems in place? Take
    a moment to review your successes and failures. If you’re enjoying
    success, I’ll bet you have good systems. If you’re having too many
    failures, examine your systems. It’s likely they either don’t exist
    or are flawed.
  • Quiet Time: Now, I know what you’re thinking. What is quiet
    time, and how do I get it? Quiet time is a period of tranquility
    only you can give to yourself. Too often, when the door opens for
    business and the phone starts ringing, there seems no opportunity
    for quiet time. But, it’s very important to find that time to

    Years ago, I employed an entry-level kitchen designer. In order for
    her to keep her head on straight, most of her lunch period was
    spent on a straight chair in a dark room. She was not disturbed,
    and she let her mind and body relax. Coming from this relaxed
    state, she was always ready for the tasks at hand in the

    That was 15 years ago, and just last year I had the opportunity to
    hear her give a wonderful presentation at the K/BIS annual show.
    While I know her technique of relaxation was only part of what gave
    her early success, for her, it clearly worked. It might work for
    you as well.
  • Skill Level: These skills could include product knowledge,
    creative knowledge, people skills, organization skills whatever we
    need to possess to be the best. It’s important to conduct a
    self-assessment of your skills, but be careful not to confuse an
    underdeveloped skill with a weakness. If you have taken steps to
    develop a skill and it still isn’t where it needs to be, only then
    it is a weakness.

    You need to determine whether you’re working at developing your
    skills, or whether you’re just getting by on the skill levels
    you’ve always had. If the latter is true, watch out. Your industry
    competitors will be passing you by.

    Continuing to work on your professional development is imperative,
    and will only result in your skills increasing and more success
    coming your way.

Mental selling fitness is a complex woven fabric of many
circumstances, skills, employment, economic conditions and much
more. But, this is what makes selling rewarding, and so much fun
for those who are able to rise to the top. Not only are the
successful people making a good living, they have a passion for
their work that drives them to even more success.

I hope you will take a moment or two to conduct a
self-assessment to see if there are areas where your mental fitness
for selling could stand some improvement.

There’s an old saying: “The winners I know don’t ask for lighter
loads, just stronger backs.” That’s exactly what mental selling
fitness will do for you.

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