Why does the truth hurt, especially when its feedback about our sales effectiveness? We have been talking about mindset all week and how your mind will try and protect you. That is what you are feeling when someone gives you constructive feedback – a perceived attack on your survival.
The question is, what would it take for you to fulfill your pursuit of sales success? Is your desire to win for yourself and the people you serve by selling to them greater than that primal fight or flight reflex?
Link from this episode:
Check out Toastmasters International
Episode 8 – Transcript
Welcome to Episode 8 of The Sales Experience Podcast. My name is Jason Cutter and my goal is to share what I have learned from my own experiences, watching hundreds and hundreds of reps attempt a career in sales, and speaking with so many other sales professionals and sales leaders.
I will never claim to know it all, but I do know a few things in the area of sales, especially when selling directly to consumers who want or need your product or service.
This week’s focus on the podcast is Mindset. It all starts with your mindset. There are ton of great books and podcasts out there regarding mindset, but I want to break down just a few areas that are important to success in sales.
Hopefully you listened to episode 6 and 7. I know I had fun talking about saber tooth tigers and openness.
Today I wanted to take the openness concept and conversation one step further. Let’s talk about the truth when it comes to feedback. My question to you would be ‘are you truly open to feedback?’ And ‘do you seek it out?’
Its one thing to say you are open. Its another to have someone give you honest and constructive feedback on your performance or actions and to not react negatively, deflect the focus, or defend your position.
Like I keep mentioning, the subconscious primitive parts of our brain are constantly trying to keep us safe and secure. It wants us to live in our comfort zone.
Even if there could be bigger and better things for us, our box is a known place for us to be and has proven safe enough. When someone gives us feedback, that part in our brain will want to go into one of two modes – fight or flight. Either fight back against this attack at our ego, and thus an attack on our mental safety and security. Or flight – run away from it.
That is why I titled this episode – Truth Hurts. Because it does…it hurts our ego. Now…some people can handle it better than others. Part of that is a matter of personality. Part of that comes from building up the mental muscles to push aside the ego and primitive parts to pursue the expansion of the comfort zone.
Like exercising…you push yourself, lift weights or run on the treadmill. After it hurts, then you recover, and do it again and lift a little more or run a little further and easier. Then it hurts….then you do it again, and keep improving. Like they say – no pain no gain. True for muscles, building new habits, and for expanding your comfort zone. It hurts a little at first, push through, reflect back and notice you didn’t die, and then do it again, but easier the next time.
That is how it goes when getting feedback from someone who is focused on your improvement. There are always be people in your life who will give you feedback, just be careful which ones you listen to and let penetrate into your mind.
If its for your improvement, by someone you know and respect for their perspective, then let that truth in. At first it will hurt. Your subconscious will flash back to times someone criticized you as a kid, maybe a teacher or a parent, or your peers. It will instantly bring back all those feelings which will, like I said, trigger your fight or flight.
But always remember you are not that same kid who did bad in school or was picked last on the playground or wasn’t as good at everything like your siblings.
You are a sales professional. Hopefully you know that your product or service provides value to others. Hopefully you are open and willing in order to achieve more in your life, which will lead to fulfillment of your goals as well as provide for improvement in the lives of your prospects.
My hope is that you can also create small victories against your tricky mind by pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone. I know for me, one of the most profound comfort zone busting things I have done in my life was to join Toastmasters International.
If you aren’t familiar with what Toastmasters is, it’s a voluntary club where you go practice public speaking in front of a group of people every week. For fun! Public speaking is usually placed at the top of people’s list of fears, even ahead of dying. And if you are in a sales role, or sales management or training – then I always suggest people check out Toastmasters.
I went almost every week for over two years, did dozens of speeches, not just for at my club, but at district and regional events. It was the most terrifying thing I have voluntarily done, and also the most amazing and life changing, especially being an analytical over thinker. Each time you speak there are people in the meeting that give you feedback and criticism your presentation, or how many times you said UH or UM. In the beginning they are nice about it and lenient, then the more speeches you do, the more precise their feedback is. And its all with love and support to help you be a better speaker and communicator. At first it hurts…but then you recover, go back, and it hurts less.
In the beginning they are nice about it and lenient, then the more speeches you do, the more precise their feedback is. And its all with love and support to help you be a better speaker and communicator. At first it hurts…but then you recover, go back, and it hurts less.
I would challenge everyone listening to go to a Toastmasters meeting in the next week. I will put a link in the show notes. Wherever you live I bet you will find at least 5 different clubs meeting at various times of the day and week – morning, day time, evening, any day of the week. I live north of San Francisco in an area that used to be mostly farm land and is now dominated by wineries, and when I just searched the Toastmaster’s site, there are 11 clubs in a 10 mile radius around me.
Just go, see what you think, and give it a shot. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone and show your primitive brain who is really in charge!
That’s it for this episode. If you haven’t already, please subscribe so you can get new episodes each day as soon as they are published. If you are enjoying it, I hope you share it with your fellow sales coworkers, with your sales team, or friends who you are in sales. Until next time, always remember that everything in life is sales and people will remember the experience you gave them.