E-Newsletter – June 2013
This Month’s Selling Principle:
Controlling Our Emotions Through Self Talk
This is just one element of what is commonly referred to as state management skills or managing our emotional state. We manage our emotional state primarily in three ways:
* With our self talk,
* With our focus,
* With our physiology.
In this article, we will examine self talk. The next statement is a culmination of literally hundreds of hours of research on the subject of human emotional states. Here it is: Facts are facts, our emotions are simply our opinions of the facts. If we can control our opinions, we can control our emotions. Let me ask you something, “Do you ever talk to yourself?” If you just answered “Yes,” rest assured that it’s natural and perfectly normal to do so. Let me ask you this, “Do you ever talk to yourself out loud?” If you just answered “Yes! Yes! I do! I do! I do talk to myself out loud!!”, well…maybe that’s not so normal. But the point is that we all talk to ourselves. If you’re not sure, you know that little voice in your head that just asked, “Oh wow man, do I talk to myself?” Yeah well, that’s it!
It’s not what happens around us that determines what we feel. It is what we say to ourselves that does. Now, of course, I am talking about emotional feelings and not physical ones. If upon meeting each other for the first time, you decide to slug me in the mouth, you’d probably hurt me, no matter how much I chanted, “That didn’t hurt, that didn’t hurt, that didn’t hurt.” However, if you decided instead to call me a jerk, one of two things would happen.
I could say to myself, now she has only known me for a couple seconds. How did she figure it out so quick? In which case I would probably feel hurt. Or I could say to myself:
She has probably heard one of my programs and knows I have a strong enough self-image to take this kind of kidding, in which case I would probably feel pretty good.
The point is, it is not what someone says to us, but what we say to ourselves that create our emotions. Let me give you another graphic example of this.
Four years ago, three friends went on a skiing expedition together, Bart, Mark and Mitchell. These three guys went to school together, they graduated together, and even worked at the same construction company together. Fortunately for Mitchell, he is a lousy skier because he was well behind Bart and Mark when they both skied off a 70-foot drop onto uncovered boulders. Both guys were pretty busted up. Both had broken their backs; they both broke both their legs and other bones. Actually they thought Bart was going to die. He was the worst off of the two and had been in a coma for several days. Everyone was relieved, to say the least, when he woke up and immediately complained about being hungry, which, by the way, is very typical for Bart. Even though they were both sentenced to life in a wheelchair, their reactions were 180 degrees opposed. Mark thought his life was over. He thought he couldn’t effectively swing a hammer anymore. He thought he could not be nearly as physically active as he once was, he thought all the things he loved to do were now gone, he thought there can’t possibly be a God. Life is over. Bart, on the other hand, had always wanted to make a living with his paintings (he was an art major in school), but never could seem to pull himself away from the money the construction business provided. Now, he thought what happened to him was a clear gift from God; finally a clear path to do what he had always wanted to do. He was saddened by his physical limitations but not for long because he saw them as new challenges. His life wasn’t over. His new life was just beginning.
Same paths, same sets of circumstances, different self talk, different prospects for life. One more example, and I will bring this idea home.
In the retail car business, the average dealership has a closing rate of around 20%. The average commission is around $250.00, so for every ten people a salesperson talks to, they average around $500.00 worth of commissions. How about this? Every time a customer just has enough time to get a brochure and nothing else, they say to themselves that they just earned $50.00. Every time a customer who hates sales people and just wants to be left alone — thank you very much — that’s $50.00! Every service customer they greet who just bought their car elsewhere and is just killing time — thank you very much, $50.00. Is it not true that according to those numbers, we’d get paid $50.00 for every “Welcome to ABC Motors” we give, regardless of the outcome? Every time we tell ourselves this we get closer and closer to really believing it. If we truly felt this way, do you think we might be inclined to talk to a few more people? If we talked to a few more people, do you think we just might make a few more sales? So take a second, and figure out what each customer you serve means to you based on your own closing rate and average commission. It is certainly worth a try, isn’t it?
Behavioralists have determined that eight out of ten of our thoughts are negative. That’s 80%! As a matter of fact, did you know that there are roughly two and a half times more words in the English language representing negative emotions than there are for positive ones? Next time you’re bored with nothing to do, read the dictionary and count for yourself! You’ll see.
Now, my experience has been a little bit different than the above. In many of the workshops I’ve conducted around the country, I’ve asked the participants to list out all the emotions or feelings they experience in any given seven day period. Any emotion, any variation of that emotion, any at all. I give them anywhere from three to five minutes to do this. Whether I do this with high school students or a group of sales professionals, the results are just about the same. Virtually every one of them comes up with 10 to 15 different emotions and about 70% of those are negative.
When life presents us with a series of situations, we are forced to quickly evaluate each situation and act accordingly. Since the way we represent each situation to ourselves is through our self talk, the ranges of our emotional experiences are limited to our readily accessible emotional vocabulary. If our readily accessible emotional vocabulary is limited to 10 to 15 words, and 70% of those are negative, is there any wonder why so many of us find ourselves feeling down, depressed or equally as undesirable (as far as I’m concerned) “just okay.” Now, I’m aware that most of us know the definitions of considerably more than 10 to 15 words representing emotions or feelings but if we can’t quickly retrieve them, we won’t experience them. If we habitually use the same 10 or 15, then our life experiences, our emotional repertoire, will be confined to those same limits.
So, as we expand our emotional vocabulary, we need to be sure to establish more positive words than negative. I suggest the ratio of four to one. I also suggest that we expand the readily accessible emotional vocabulary to at least 50 words. We need to not only memorize these new words but to also condition ourselves to use them regularly. This will take time, but with patience, persistence, and practice, this simple exercise can dramatically improve the quality of our lives.
I’ve often been asked, “Why even have any negative words in there at all?” My stock answer to that is success without failure or happiness without sadness would be as unbearable as life without the prospect of death. We need one to truly appreciate the other.
Self talk can be as obvious as; “Man, I”ll never be able to do this.” It can be as subtle as; “Oh gosh, I can’t remember his name, I can’t remember…” as opposed to; “It’s right on the tip of my tongue…it”s coming to me…coming to me…”
We need to condition ourselves to speak to ourselves the way we would a child we love. We would never speak to a child in a way that would discourage or disempower them. We should treat ourselves with the same respect and reverence.
The Eastern philosophies have a saying that goes something like; “Stand forever diligent at your mind’s gate.” Pretty good advice if you ask me.
Until the next time, be well, do good work, and keep in touch!
Michael D. Hargrove
“Cherish your emotions and never undervalue them.”
Objection of the Month: “I don’t have a lot of time.”
These are just a few of the most common strategies shared at the workshops we’ve conducted all across North America and attended by thousands of the top sales people in our field. Please keep in mind that nothing works all the time, and no one thing will work for everybody. Each of these strategies, of course, need to be tailored to the individual user, to the specific customer, and the particular situation. Also, this is by no means the definitive work on overcoming this particular objection and it’s not intended to be.
a. “Fine, then to make the best use of your time, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?” (Then we go ahead and ask our needs determination questions.)
b. “Okay then, what were you hoping to accomplish today?”
c. “How much time do we have?” (then reply,) “Oh that’s plenty of time to get you all the info you’ll need to make an intelligent decision. Did you want a coupe or sedan?”
d. “Wow, only twenty minutes? That’s not a lot of time. Let me give you as much information as I can, as quickly as I can. How will you be using your new car?…” (Then we just go into our needs determination process. After about twenty minutes goes by, we look at our watch and say,) “Well, looks like it’s gonna take a little more time but you said you were in a hurry. Are we okay or do you have anyone you need to call to be a few minutes late?”
e. “I think you’ll be impressed with how efficient I am with your time.”
f. “You say you only have ten minutes? Then what makes this so critical? (Our customer may not understand the question and we may need to clarify by asking further,) “You have to be somewhere in ten minutes but you stopped here first. So, what’s going on? Did your car break down, or are you at the end of your lease, or did you just get car jacked?! What’s up?”
g. “How much time do we have?” (then reply,) “I’ll tell you what, you tell me when our time is up, fair enough? And to make the best use of your time, let me ask you a few quick questions.” (Then we just go ahead and ask our needs determination questions.)
h. “Two minutes? May I have just two minutes more of your time?” (This will almost always get us five to ten minutes more.)
i.(This one is for situations where our customer tells us they need to get back to work.) “If you don’t mind me asking, how much do you make an hour?” (Wait for their response, then ask,) “What if I could do this, what if I could get my manager to pay you ten times your hourly wage to simply call in and get us an extra hour to put this shopping chore behind you?” (Then all we have to do is show a discount of ten times whatever they told us their hourly wage was.)
Next month’s objection will be: “The price or payment is too high” We need YOUR input! Please forward your ideas on this one, or your suggestions on which objection to cover next, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don’t know when to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to.”
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared; he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther.
Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If nature allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.
And we could never fly…
Learning To Get Back Up
Bringing a giraffe into the world is a tall order. A baby giraffe falls 10 feet from its mother’s womb and usually lands on its back. Within seconds it rolls over and tucks its legs under its body. From this position it considers the world for the first time and shakes off the last vestiges of the birthing fluid from its eyes and ears. Then the mother giraffe rudely introduces its offspring to the reality of life.
In his book, A View from the Zoo, Gary Richmond describes how a newborn giraffe learns its first lesson.
The mother giraffe lowers her head long enough to take a quick look. Then she positions herself directly over her calf. She waits for about a minute, and then she does the most unreasonable thing. She swings her long, pendulous leg outward and kicks her baby, so that it is sent sprawling head over heels.
When it doesn’t get up, the violent process is repeated over and over again. The struggle to rise is momentous. As the baby calf grows tired, the mother kicks it again to stimulate its efforts. Finally, the calf stands for the first time on its wobbly legs.
Then the mother giraffe does the most remarkable thing. She kicks it off its feet again. Why? She wants it to remember how it got up. In the wild, baby giraffes must be able to get up as quickly as possible to stay with the herd, where there is safety. Lions, hyenas, leopards, and wild hunting dogs all enjoy young giraffes, and they’d get it too, if the mother didn’t teach her calf to get up quickly and get with it.
The late Irving Stone understood this. He spent a lifetime studying greatness, writing novelized biographies of such men as Michelangelo, Vincent van Gogh, Sigmund Freud, and Charles Darwin.
Stone was once asked if he had found a thread that runs through the lives of all these exceptional people. He said, “I write about people who sometime in their life have a vision or dream of something that should be accomplished and they go to work.
“They are beaten over the head, knocked down, vilified, and for years they get nowhere. But every time they’re knocked down they stand up. You cannot destroy these people. And at the end of their lives they’ve accomplished some modest part of what they set out to do.”
Upcoming Public Events:
Retail Automobile Sales : The Professional’s One Day Workshop
“Michael’s workshop is a profound insight into the psychology and behavior of sales. This was incredibly useful not only in determining what works but how and why it works.”
Duke Kimball, Sales Consultant – Ron Tonkin Chevrolet
“This is my second time around and I enjoyed it each time. I love the interaction and to know that you have someone to help you throughout the year and not just for a day. Money well spent!”
Ammie Jose, Internet Sales – Courtesy Ford
“This is the best workshop I’ve attended in eleven years. This contains all real stuff and no smoke.”
Jeremy Kumm – Acura of Portland
Date(s): July 9th & 10th, 2013
Location: Embassy Suites Hotel – Seattle North
20610 44th Ave. West
Lynnwood, WA 98036
Date(s): September 3rd & 4th, 2013
Location: Shilo Inn Airport Hotel
11707 NE Airport Way
Portland, OR 97220
© 2013 by Bottom Line Underwriters, Inc. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized duplication or distribution is strictly forbidden by law. Besides think of all the bad karma you’d earn.
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