“There just aren’t enough hours in the day to exercise!” “My injuries prevent me from doing yoga now that I am older.” “I tried Pilates once, and it didn’t do any good.”
Do any of these statements sound familiar to you? Wellness professionals have heard them all. What these excuses really amount to is “head trash.” We know that these types of self-defeating and negative beliefs often prevent our clients from changing their behavior and achieving their goals.
But our clients are not alone in this. Your own head trash may be keeping you from fulfilling your personal and career goals. The truth is that personal beliefs drive behavior. If we think we can’t accomplish something, chances are we won’t bother taking the steps needed to achieve our goals. This is especially true when it comes to being effective at making sales.
The 5 Major Negative Beliefs
According to the Sandler Sales Institute, there are five major negative behaviors and beliefs that inversely impact the selling process:
*comparative price shopping
*the need for approval
*other self-limiting beliefs
Comparative Price Shopping
This behavior is the most powerful and common weakness found among people who sell a product. If your personal shopping style is to take your time comparison shopping and procrastinating about decisions, chances are you will have trouble with the selling process, since salespeople have a tendency to sell the same way they buy.
The Impact: Salespeople who comparison-shop will have a complete understanding of prospects who do the same. While some empathy is an important part of bonding with your clients, too much empathy can render you unable to close the deal. You may even have trouble persuading prospects to choose your services, since you are well aware that others out there will provide similar services for less. This negative head trash will result in a much longer sales cycle and make you far too receptive to a prospect’s excuses to “comparison-shop and get back to you.” If your own style is to procrastinate, your empathy will backfire on you and allow the prospect to stall the sales process.
The Need for Approval
When you seek approval from prospects, the need to be liked is greater than the need to conduct business and finalize the sale.
The Impact: The need to be liked can make you reluctant to say or do things that might result in hard feelings. This can manifest itself in an inability to ask tough qualifying questions or to handle a prospect’s rejection. The result? You end up with a pipeline of prospects who can’t say no but instead say, “I’ll think it over some more and get back to you.” In essence, the need to be liked will have you continuously chasing these prospects because they will never close the deal.
If you have difficulty discussing financial “issues” you will likely be uncomfortable talking about a prospect’s actual budget. Many of us are taught by our parents that discussing money is rude and to be avoided. Too often, people who have been reared this way also have an unreasonably low concept of how much money constitutes “a lot” when it comes to wellness services.
The Impact: If you are wary of money talk, you will usually bring up the cost of class packages too early in the sales cycle. And the price you quote will typically be too high or low because you haven’t spent time finding out exactly what the prospect is comfortable investing. All of this occurs because the topic of money makes you uncomfortable. Additionally, if your own fees are above what you think is a large sum of money, you won’t be comfortable asking a prospect to pay that amount.
Other Self-Limiting Beliefs
You can sabotage your ability to sell if you are dealing with a collection of self-limiting beliefs.
The Impact: As long as you take your head trash along with you on every sales call, each negative belief will be another obstacle in the selling system. For example, most of us were taught as children not to talk to strangers and not to ask too many questions. This is something that stays with us well into adulthood. Most prospects are strangers to us in the beginning. But the sales system requires that we ask a lot of personal questions to reveal a prospect’s wellness goals and budget. If you are uncomfortable asking these kinds of questions, you will have great difficulties making a sale.
Too often, we become emotionally involved when a prospect appears to be interested in what we have to offer. Often referred to as “hope-a-hope-a land,” this kind of reaction can cause you to lose your footing during the sales call. You may find yourself getting overly excited, worrying, panicking and strategizing on the fly; in other words, you lose your objectivity. This reaction is often the result of lack of preparation.
The Impact: Anytime you get too emotionally involved when trying to sell your services, you lose control of the process. You stop listening to the prospect and start listening to your inner self. You lose your focus along with your ability to be objective. One way to prevent emotional involvement is to be fully prepared for each sales call so you are not emotionally vulnerable. Over time and with practice, your own emotional needs will no longer sabotage you.
We might not need to be prodded to exercise like our clients, but the truth is we all have to deal with head trash, especially when it comes to increasing earnings and boosting sales. Until we learn how to empty that trash, these negative beliefs will continue to be a major obstacle to our success.