“I’ve always considered myself to be just average talent and what I have is a ridiculous insane obsessiveness for practice and preparation.” Will Smith
It’s no secret that a focused and positive mindset in sales creates focused and positive results. Learning how to let go of negativity and get in an ideal state of mind greatly increases your potential for getting appointments, negotiating and closing business—and it feels a heck of a lot better! But just how do you do it — especially when you’re having one of those days? You know the days I’m talking about: you left your phone on the train, spilled coffee on your new shirt or banged up the car pulling out of the garage. It happens to all of us. Especially on those days, it’s critical that you take a few minutes to get your mind focused and clear.
Here are some quick tips that actors use before they have to go on and give a performance:
Dump the Business Baggage
Because so much of what you’re thinking or feeling is communicated through the sound and quality of your voice, it’s important to get rid of any frustrations, disappointments, and resentments (in other words, your daily baggage) before you speak to a prospect or client. This exercise involves releasing all of these negative emotions until depleted so we can replace them with a positive mindset. It is the cheapest form of therapy you will ever have. But instead of using words (which we are sometimes hesitant to say out loud—even when we are alone), use gibberish. Gibberish is a tool used in many acting and improv classes precisely because it frees us up to express ourselves without getting hung up on the words. It takes the focus off the actual words and puts it where it should be: on the meaning and intent of what you’re saying.
- Stand up and, stream-of-consciousness-style, spit out your grievances and gripes using any made up words that you like. Your gibberish may sound like a German general, a Disney character or a badly dubbed kung fu movie. Mine sounds suspiciously like pig Latin. Don’t overthink it; there is no wrong or right way to do it. This should be fun and freeing.
- Add gestures while you’re talking in gibberish—anything that helps you express your frustrations. Pump your fists at the sky. Kick. Jump up and down. Scream! Rant about that ticket you shouldn’t have received. Whine about how much you hate making cold calls. Continue to do this until you feel like you’ve said all you need to say. There. Feel better? That will be $150, please.
Pre-Sales Call Energy Booster (better than Jamba Juice!)
Making a sale, like giving a performance, sometimes feels like a sprint, sometimes a marathon. Making a presentation or cold call can feel like jumping into an icy lake. Either way, selling requires energy. Although you want to be flexible and free of tension, don’t confuse that with being sleepy or groggy. We are striving to keep our energy high and our bodies and minds focused, free of wasteful tension and ready to react—not ready to dose off on our prospect’s couch. Here is a quick way to get your energy flowing before that critical sales call or appointment…
Do the Hokey Pokey
You don’t see performers sitting around leisurely checking email while waiting for their turn on stage. So stand up and stretch, reach up for the sky. Shake an arm. Shake a leg. Hop around. Dance. Do the hokey pokey. Whatever you do, be sure to move loosely and fluidly and engage your whole body. Move your body, and the mind will follow. You can even kill two birds with one stone and do vocal exercises while you move.
You’re just a quick warm-up away from striding in with the confidence of Will Smith! Download more free physical and vocal warm-ups on my Resources page.