By Jamie Crosbie
It’s always there, isn’t it?
That little monologue in your head plays all day, every day.
Like an eternal recording, it plays and plays as you run through your day – commenting on this, musing on that. For many, though, an awful lot of those thoughts tend to be slanted toward self-criticism, worry, or fear.
Like a hungry grub munching down at the root of your mind, those negative thoughts tend to erode your happiness, increase your stress, and maybe even cost you the sale.
In a way, that is good news. After all, if your self-talk and mood can sink a sale, a happier mindset can improve your sales digits. Or, as motivational coach Billy Cox once said, “You can’t win physically if you’re losing mentally.”
Inspirational quotes aside, science seems to bear out the fact that happiness and a positive mental attitude and self-talk really do increase your chances of sales success. Studies have shown that self-talk can literally improve or hamper your performance. In one study, tennis players using motivational self-talk dramatically improved their performance, while the control group who did not use self-talk did not. This same type of study has been done with cyclists, competitive swimmers, and other professional athletes.
If You Think You Can, You Can
A recent Stanford study went even deeper, using an fMRI (functional magnetic resonance) machine to track how attitude and outlook affect elementary age students’ abilities to solve problems. They discovered, among other things, that, when a student was feeling good and had a positive outlook, they performed better.
Moreover, children who felt more positive showed significantly more activity in the area of the brain linked to learning and memory than those who were less positive. This might not seem surprising, but it does give credence to the fact that your mindset and outlook may be just as important as IQ.
Your Body and Brain Respond to Self-Talk
What happens in your head happens in your body. If your thoughts run to the negative, your body will become more stressed. Any inner dialogue you have with yourself inevitably affects not only how you feel, but how you act. From body language to facial expressions, how you feel impacts how you perform.
This goes hand in hand with a study published in Statistics in Medicine, which demonstrated that happiness (for want of a better word) is contagious. Happy salespeople create more pleasant encounters (which increases sales success) than those who are not happy. Harvard professor and author of the study, Nicholas Christakis, explained: “Everyday interactions we have with other people are definitely contagious, in terms of happiness.”
How to Use Self-Talk to Improve Your Sales Numbers
Like rabbits running on familiar ground, your thoughts like to haunt familiar, well-trodden mental paths. Habitual thinking can easily slip into negative patterns if you let it. Negative self-talk can range from anger and frustration to telling yourself that you are not good enough. When, for example, you tell yourself over and over that you are a failure, you become more likely to create that reality.
Your inner critic can leave you feeling depressed and stressed – and even make you physically sick (negative self-talk has been linked to a lowered immune system).
To stop its rampage, call it on the carpet. When you hear your inner Negative Nelly sounding off, start talking back. Simply confronting it can immediately improve your mindset and help you achieve sales success. Try shifting your perspective and even speak out loud to yourself, if necessary. Maybe you can’t stop your thought train, but you can shift it to another track. In doing so, you not only become happier, but you might find yourself selling more than ever.
Jamie Crosbie is an accomplished senior executive with a proven record of sales leadership success. Contact Jamie today and find out how to take your business to the next level. Call 214/720-9922 or email@example.com