Most people dread the idea of making a sales call or presentation. Early in my Sales career, I would sometimes experience so much anxiety going into a sales call that I could barely breathe. Overwhelming fear and insecurity sometimes prevented me from connecting with the prospect.
Over the years, I eventually learned to cover-up the anxiety, but I can’t say that I actually enjoyed the process of selling until more recently. I have discovered that what makes selling enjoyable is exactly what makes life enjoyable. I will be posting more in the coming weeks and months, but for now I wanted to share the first tip: sell with a focus on the present moment.
Present-moment awareness has become something of a cliché, so it is necessary to meditate on this more deeply. Stress is something that is created before the sales call (when you worry about what might go wrong) and after the call (when you beat yourself up for what did go wrong). Instead, ponder this: no problem actually exists in the present moment (which is wonderful because the present moment is all that is real).
A person who exists in the past or the future is a person who is lost in thought. A person lost in thought fails to perceive reality. Rather than perceiving the client, rather than listening, rather than addressing what is actually happening, your monkey-mind ends up trying to figure out what you are going to say next, what the prospect thinks of you, whether they notice your nervousness, and what your boss will say if you lose the deal. In this state, you are lost and you have lost your edge.
Instead, try this during your next sales meeting: when you notice your thoughts shifting to what you are going to say, what might happen, what should have happened, or anything related to the future or the past...simply bring your thoughts right back to the present moment. As you walk or drive to the meeting, notice some detail in the world around you. Enjoy each step as you walk to the elevator. As you shake hands, appreciate the real, actually-existing opportunity you have to form a new relationship. Notice how awake and alive you feel, in this moment. Forget the outcome. Whatever happens, you will deal with it in the present moment. It is only in this state that your performance is optimal. Perhaps even more importantly; no matter the outcome, you will enjoy yourself. When you enjoy yourself, you will preserve energy, you will talk with more clients...I probably don't need to sell you on the idea of enjoying your job. The benefits are clear.
Starting now, shift your focus to the present moment. Customers do not exist in the past or the future. They exist only in the present. Meet them there.