Do You Have Any Idea How Good You Really Are?


Very good is the answer for most people – salespeople included

Yes, we all know the narcissist. The self-centered, arrogant egomaniac. Always the smartest person in the room. It’s all about him or all about her. You know, the people that really aren’t even close to being as good as they think they are. But that’s a blog for another day.

Today will be about you & how good you really are.

Why is it that some people are the opposite of the above? They never think they are good enough. Never think they can do anything right. Others are not as completely negative – for them it’s a certain “thing” or two that they are convinced they can’t do. And they prove it. It’s all between the ears.

Story. From 2001 to 2010 we were a host family for amateur hockey players here in the Detroit area (a billet family). Our first “billet” was a goalie from Hudson, Quebec – just outside of Montreal – we’ll call him Jacques. Jacques was a 19-year-old sophomore playing for UMass-Lowell. Unfortunately for Jacques, that team had two senior goalies coming back for the season. He knew he would “ride the pines” as they say, so he took a season to keep his skills fresh & joined the NAHL Detroit Compuware Ambassadors Tier 2 team (since disbanded).

Wouldn’t you know it, that was the season the NAHL instituted the shoot-out to end tie games. Jacques was quick to admit to us that breakaways were his weak spot. He talked himself out of performing well when a player came at him uncontested. For a goalie, this is the worst thing to talk yourself out of in a league that just instilled the shoot-out. And he proved it . . . breakaways . . . not so good.

About 1/3 to 1/2 way through the season I went to talk to Jacques up in his bedroom (the guest room). I noticed a piece of paper pinned to the ceiling above his pillow (4 pushpins . . . in our ceiling!). The paper said “EVERY DAY, IN EVER WAY, I GET BETTR & BETTER & BETTER” in large font – easy to read.

Dying to know what that was all about, I asked, “What’s that, Jacques?” “Oh,” he said, “I’m seeing a sports psychologist for my breakaway issue. He told me to make a sign & put it where I can see it. Some kind of positive-reinforcement therapy. Thought I’d give it a try, eh?

WHAT? Jacques had been living with a Sales Coach for the last several months. He knew what I did for a living & that “attitude” was a big part of it. Yet, he hired a sports psychologist for help, instead. I got over it. And it worked!

For the rest of the season (including winning the Gold Cup) Jacques’ performance on breakaways & shoot-outs improved incredibly. He no longer “told himself” that he stinks on breakaways. Instead, he wanted breakaways. Told himself: I can do it. I got this. Bring it on! Really cool to see. Thanks to sports psychology!

This is a picture-perfect example of Henry Ford’s “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right” quote. Interesting. . . the way we think can effect how we perform. Why don’t we just think differently?

Shad Helmstetter Ph. D wrote a book called What to Say When You Talk to Your Self  in 1986. It’s timeless. That thing could have rolled off the press yesterday, it is so good. In it, he lists 68 different things we say to ourselves similar to goalie Jacques’ I stink on breakaways negative self-talk.

We won’t list all 68 – just the ones that pertain to sales & business. See how many you agree with.

  1.   I just know it won’t work (What if you just knew it would work)
  2.   I don’t have the talent (not good enough) (In every day, in every way, I get better & better & better at _____!)
  3.   I’m just not creative (I can do this – everyone can be creative)
  4.   I can’t get organized (Take a deep breath, focus, one thing at a time)
  5.   I never have enough time (Use your calendar, stop chasing shiny balls)
  6.   I get sick just thinking about it (Picking up the phone . . . do it – the phone won’t bite)
  7.   I’m too shy (Not as shy as you think – shy people can make great salespeople)
  8.   I never know what to say (What if you thought – I always know what to say)
  9.   I’ve never been any good at that (Doesn’t mean you can’t get good at it – every day, in every way, . . .
  10.   My desk is always a mess (Deep breath, one at a time, clean it up)
  11.   I never win anything (I got this! I can do this! Not so hard!)
  12.   Someone always beats me to it (Competition? Get on things earlier, develop relationships)
  13.   Nobody wants to pay me what I’m worth (You are making exactly what you think you’re worth – think higher)
  14.   I’m just not a salesperson (Oh yes you are. You’re good)
  15.   That’s impossible (Somebody’s doing it. Might as well be me!)
  16.   There’s just no way (I got this! I can do this! Not so hard!)
  17.   I always freeze up in front of a group (The more you do it, the easier it is – volunteer to get in front of people)
  18.   I’ve always been bad with words (I can do it, I can ask for help, It’s just words!)
  19. If only I were smarter (You’re plenty smart – everyone else knows it – now it’s your turn)

Every single one of these is “between your ears.” You think you can’t, so you don’t. Change the way you think.

Hell, it worked for Jacques, eh?

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Dave Tear

Dave is passionate about selling & helping others understand the sales process. Whether a client company has a 5 person sales team or a 300 person National sales force, Dave can Coach & Train them to be the best in their industry.
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