“I feel like nothing is working,” Connie told me, in frustration about her recent sales numbers. “Whatever I do, it doesn’t seem to matter. I thought the economy was getting better, but no one is going to buy right now. Once the economy turns around and people are feeling more confident, then things will start to move again; but until then, it’s just not happening. I may have to get a part-time job or something until that happens because I am scared that I can’t pay my bills.”
Connie and I talked about some of the scenarios that she has been dealing with. She told me that people really like her product, but they just can’t afford it right now. Connie’s story isn’t unusual, but it is self-fulfilling. Why are some people thriving and others are in Connie’s boat? I believe it is less about the external situation and much more about the internal self-talk we have going on.
I have narrowed it down to what I call, “ITALK.”
I – Initial Situation. The initial situation here is that the economy went through a one-two punch that certainly changed the way business is conducted today. The initial situation is what it is. It’s fact.
T – Thoughts. The thoughts that we create because of a situation are completely ours. This is the filter through which we see the situation. It is how two people can see the same situation differently. Connie’s thought is: “People can’t afford it right now.” That is a big assumption.
A – Attached Feelings. The feelings that we have based on the assumptions we make can be very damaging. They are especially damaging when the feelings turn into “beliefs,” and start to affect the way we conduct ourselves. Connie was so scared, she actually thought about getting a second job.
L – Lead Action. Our lead action is what we do because of our beliefs. When Connie approaches a prospect, she doesn’t have confidence to handle the money objection because she herself believes it. She is practically waiting for the objection to come, which makes her feel defeated or offer a discount.
K – Known Result. The known result is what actually happens. This is very difficult because you will almost always get the result you believe you are going to get. When you do, you say to yourself, “See, I knew it,” and the cycle continues.
ITALK is the talk we have with ourselves. It is our internal dialogue, our internal beliefs. In my opinion, there is nothing more dangerous than this. No matter how many times someone tells you it’s not that way, your subconscious mind is much more powerful than your conscious mind. If you fix your negative thoughts, you can change your outcomes. It’s not the economy; it’s your thinking that is hurting you the most.
Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business, a sales consulting and training firm. She is a best-selling author of “To Sell is NOT to Sell” and works with Fortune 1,000 companies and entrepreneurs. For more information or free sales tips, go to schulzbusiness.com and sign up for “GretaNomics,” a weekly video tip series, or email sales questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.?