Great selling requires doing the right thing with the right person at the right time. There’s no pat formula for how to do this. You need to find your way to be effective in selling.
A short cut to this is learning how to employ what Schwartz and Begley refer to, in their work The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force, as “directed mental force.” We call it “aiming your brain.”
Decades ago, Dr. Maxwell Maltz, in his book, Psycho-Cybernetics, proclaimed that the brain is a great servant but a lousy master. He was the first person we encountered who compared the brain to a servo-motor mechanism that, at lightning speed, focuses its resources at the target toward which it has been directed.
Here’s a quick experiment that proves the point. Think about a purple elephant with white polka dots. Notice how quickly the image comes to mind? Give the brain a command, and it delivers.
But what if your brain is aiming you at the wrong thing and in the wrong way? Neuroscience has discovered that – somewhere between four and six years of age – our brain spontaneously develops a self-reflective capacity that starts deciding for us who we are, who we’re not, what we can do, and what we can’t do. It forms a self image toward which it aims us for the rest of our lives – unless we intervene.
This has everything to do with how we sell. It is why ineffective selling habits return under pressure and persist over time. The good news, however, is that you can learn how to take over this process and unlock in yourself a capacity for change that is genuinely astounding.
We suggest experimenting with two key practices to utilize your natural ability to transform your capacity to sell.
Make an Aim Plan Every Week
At the end of a week, we develop an Aim Plan for the week to come. Follow these steps to direct your mental force at the upcoming seven days.
Get into the present moment. This is a state of relaxed focus, free of distraction. We utilize a technique called Split Attention (video available here). Do whatever works best for you.
Write your targets – these are your sales targets: annual, quarterly, or whatever you’re ultimately aiming at.
Decide the three to five key objectives for the following week that will move you as quickly as possible toward your targets.
Develop a deep desire for these objectives. Your brain responds to passion, not a laundry list of obligatory behavior.
Try this exercise: Complete the sentence: I want to achieve these objectives because… Then continue with another sentence: And I want that because I want… Continue this until you feel a deep intention to make these things happen in the following week.
Decide your next step to achieve each objective. Write this step into your calendar or diary for the following week.
Put your Aim Plan away and go enjoy your weekend.
Start Every Day with Some Aim Time
Many people begin their working day by checking their email inbox. This is a highly distracting practice – proof positive of your brain aiming you, driving you into automatic behavior that feels productive, but actually isn’t. Instead, try some aim time by taking these simple steps:
Get into the present moment, where your clarity of thought, objectivity, and bold creativity can come forth.
Again, use Split Attention or something that works equally well to give you greater perspective and connection with the natural wisdom we all possess.
Look at your Aim Plan for the week. Review your objectives, your reasons for achieving them, and your next steps. Adjust them according to whatever has emerged since you wrote them.
Notice what your brain – your creativity, your inclinations, your desires – has thought up since you wrote this plan. Adjust your next steps and put them in your calendar or diary for the week.
Ruthlessly remove from your week all the activities that don’t matter as much to you! Prioritize your next steps and take them.
Do these two things – consistently and thoroughly – for three weeks. See what happens.
We wish you all the best in your experiment. We’d love to hear from you about what you observe. Just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. W. Roy Whitten and Mr. Scott A. Roy are co-founders of Whitten & Roy Partnership.