This week we bring you an article from Paul Atherton, one of the UK’s most respected and influential sales trainers.
Paul has 25 years experience working with self-employed sales professionals and has transformed the success of countless commission-only sales teams all over the country.
Be sure to watch for Paul’s next guest post that helps agents master their 'Outer Game’. Also be sure to read to the end and take advantage of Paul’s special pre-Christmas referral offer to share in 50% of his profits._
5 Steps To Mastering The “Inner Game” For Self-employed Sales Agents
To consistently achieve in commission-only selling you need to sell to yourself before you can sell to others. Mastering your 'inner game’ is as important, if not more so than mastering your 'outer game’.
Are you totally sold on your own goals?
Do you truly believe at the deepest level that you deserve to sell today?
Do you sincerely expect to sell before you have even “dressed your head” and yourself?
If the answer to any of these questions is not a firm YES, then help is at hand!
Here are 5 proven strategies for success and mastery of your “Inner Game” to ensure that you are totally sold on yourself and your abilities on a daily basis. It takes 28 days to form a habit. So discipline yourself to follow these five steps each day for only one month and you will begin to unleash the incredible selling power you never even knew you had.
1. Write down your sales goals for the day
The very act of writing your sales goals down instructs your subconscious to find the ways and means needed to achieve them. Make them BIG—never be safe when setting sales goals, the bigger the better!
Make them R.E.A.L. Goals:
- R esults: Start with the end in mind and be specific in terms of sales value and commissions earned for that day.
- E xperience: How much fun do you want to have today when you’re out selling?
- A ttitude: How do you want to think, feel, act and move during today’s sales activities?
- L earning: List the things that you hope to learn during the course of the day. Who are your customers? What are their needs? What motivates them to do business with you?
Carry your written goals with you – or type them into your phone using a notes function or app, if possible 'screenshot it’ and save it as your wallpaper.
This ensures your goals are right there in front of you every time you check your phone. Each evening review your goals for the day—honestly—just for you—nobody else—how did you do? Congratulate yourself on goals achieved, take stock of what you can do better tomorrow and if necessary resolve to achieve even more tomorrow!
2. Spend at least an hour a day in the company of successful sales achievers and business leaders
There are many great sales related audiobooks on iTunes or other platforms, download one and listen to it whenever you get a second or two during the day.
It is said that we become like the 6 people we spend most time with. So, if you spend at least an hour (preferably more) in the company of inspirational sales achievers and business leaders, you will become more like them over time. Let them sell you on your potential and trust me, you will start thinking like them.
Avoid cluttering your mind with the daily negativity associated with the news and media, and avoid sitting in silence if your 'mental chatter’ is not 100% positive. Remember, the subconscious mind listens and takes in every word and then treats them as instructions so that it can do its job for you. If you truly want to succeed in becoming a world class self-employed sales agent then you must start investing in your own success conditioning now!
3. When you arrive at your sales appointment park away from the address and take a walk to your meeting
Physically write down the sales process (as a list or bullet points) you are going to follow whilst in your meeting.
As you write down each stage of the planned sales process, make notes of the key points that you need to remember.
Continue taking notes during the meeting and follow this process all the way to the end of the sale. This again is an implicit command to the subconscious that lays down a neural pathway from initial meeting to the closing of the deal which can be used in all future meetings.
Keep these sheets with you at all times and success will follow you wherever you are.
4. Use NLP to visualise your greatest sales successes before it even happens
You want to be successful don’t you? How much do you want it? Whatever it takes right? Can you see it in your own eyes before it has even happened? Here is the technique used by some of the most successful commission-only sales agents, celebrities, Formula 1 drivers, stage performers and world leaders of today.
The technique is called Neuro Lingistic Programming (NLP) and is essentially a powerful yet simple method of re-programming your mind to enable you to think like the person that can truly achieve your ultimate sales or even life goals.
Here’s how it’s done:
Close your eyes and in your mind play a DVD of the most successful sales call you could ever imagine. Think of it like this: If this was a movie staring the best commission-only sales person making the perfect sale for the viewing pleasure of the world’s top sales influencers at the most prestigious commission-only sales superstars convention – how would it look? How does achieving absolute perfection look to you?
Play the movie all the way through to the end in your head and as vividly as you can. Truly feel how it would feel to be up there in lights as a shining example of the ultimate closer. Take in each moment, capture every image, every sound, every smell and every smile on everyone’s faces as they watch you conquer the ultimate sales call. Hold that feeling because that is truly you up there. That simple little exercise has now set the wheels in your brain in motion. You are now well and truly on your way to be set for success!
Remember, this technique is employed by those at the top of their game. Whether that person is a world leader, a world class Football star or the best sales professional in the world, it works!
5. The Flag In The Summit—The final 1% To Successful Selling
So, your “Inner Game” is now 99% set up for success. You are “sold” on your own goals, vision and success and now you have only 1 thing left to do to take your inner game to the highest possible level. This is known as the “flag in the summit”, the final 1% personal power motivator to help you absolutely smash your sales goals.
Focus on your true purpose in life for just 30 seconds immediately before you enter a sales negotiation and ask yourself why do you do what you do?
Is it all for your family, your wife, husband, children, your mum, your cat, your dog or even your birthright? Whatever your ultimate motivation is for being a sales entrepreneur, HOLD IT UP IN YOUR MIND’S EYE NOW, and remember that this is why you do what you do. Really feel the pride and sense of worth.
It takes 28 days to form a habit—1 month. Follow this for 4 weeks one day at a time with no days off, before you judge. You will unleash the selling power you never knew you had!
Interview With Paul Atherton - Independent Sales Rep Coach
We took a few minutes to interview Paul and find out more about his unique results-based sales training:_
Industry Experience: I have over 25 years Experience working directly in or allied to the commission-only sales industry. I have trained well over 5,000 commission-only sales professionals to sell their way to both their business and life goals.
Specialist Areas: I teach the psychology of sales motivation, goal setting and achievement. I also teach the 'how to’ of sales excellence irrespective of product. I have vast experience of selling at every level and now I am brought in to train the sales trainers. I also run world class sales meetings, conference events, and sales presentation skills seminars.
Attitude Statement: In commission-only sales, the battle for success is fought between your ears.
In your opinion what sets a self-employed sales agent apart from an employee?
Any self-employed sales agent is by definition, an entrepreneur, one who engages in a business while taking personal financial risk.
Commission-only sales professionals believe in themselves and are prepared to stand out when others want to fit in. They live their business and work is play to them.
They have the courage to pursue their goals relentlessly and believe that feedback is the breakfast of champions.
A great sales rep is always prepared to make radical change to see radical change.
They train like they’ve never won, so they can sell like they’ve never lost. They feel the fear and do it anyway.
They know a truth, a truth so obvious that it is very often missed or overlooked – “Results based self-employment is the ONLY long term security in an otherwise uncertain world”.
What makes you different from other sales trainers?
In line with the commission-only sales industry I offer purely results based sales training.
Why are you excited to be associated with CommissionCrowd at this stage?
A great question! CommissionCrowd has all the vital ingredients that are currently lacking in the self-employed sales industry.
Quantum Leap change is needed in the self-employed, independent commission-only sales industry both for companies and sales reps to thrive going forward into the future.
Being a part of this project and the ability to contribute and add value from the inception is exciting.
The potential is massive and that excites me.
Read Part 2: How To Master Your Outer Sales Game