“Never give in! Never give in! Never, Never, Never, Never in nothing great or small, large or petty.” Winston Churchill
“It is all very well and good knowing your product, and making a good presentation, but unless you connect at an emotional level you will not consistently win good business. People buy from people, you have to make them feel passionate about what you offer.” Kevin Uphill
“A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go farther than a great idea that inspires no one.” Mary Kay Ash
A) The Power of Negative Thinking
B) Motivation – Avoiding Bad News, Seeking Good News
C) Morning Focus
D) Setting Up Your ‘Motivation Magic’ Switch
E) The Points Award Self-Motivation Scheme (PAS)
F) If You Find Yourself Reticent to Call Strangers
G) Getting To and Keeping at Ten
H) Always Make One More Call
I) Public Speaking
A) The Power of Negative Thinking
I once gave a lecture on motivation and put a flip chart on both the left and right hand side of the front of the class. I asked the group to write everything on the right flip chart that motivated them positively. I asked for things on the left hand flip chart that motivated them negatively, i.e. things they wanted to avoid.
After 20 minutes ten pages on the negative board were used up and the positive board had not filled one half of a page.
If I said you can have one hour of everything pleasant you could possibly imagine in return for 5 minutes of experiencing everything negative you could possibly imagine, what would you say. Well I have found that few people will take the offer. This suggests that keeping away from unpleasant things is more than ten times as powerful a human motivator as moving towards the goals of things we like. Puts a whole different perspective on achieving goals doesn’t it?
There are hundreds of books on positive thinking, how many of them radically improve the lives of the readers. Not many, because negative thinking is ten times more motivational that its positive counterpart. People are told the benefits of eating fresh fruit and vegetables and doing regular exercise. Do they do it? No. If they then have a mild heart attack, would they then change their attitude to healthy living? Yes, you bet they would. Fear of that negative experience happening again moves them to take action. Whatever it is usually negative motivation works faster and stronger. The personal development industry for years has filled the shelves in bookshops and delegates into training courses with advice on positive thinking. “Think positive” has become the mantra of business. Sounds great, sounds logical, it just does not work that effectively.
Researching entrepreneurs I have read in great detail, reading very much between the lines the biographies of famous entrepreneurs. I also read the biographies of other famous people to learn their secrets. The interesting thing I noted is that people who are successful at something don’t do it the way most books tell you to. The theory and the practice are worlds apart. I suggest you read some biographies yourself of people you wish to learn from and look between the lines to establish what really motivated them.
I have an audio product project underway at the time of writing with the above title, “the Power of Negative Thinking”. I have already improved company results by teaching them how to practically use negative motivation to increase results. I have researched very successful people, specifically entrepreneurs. There is no doubt in my mind that negative thinking beats positive thinking in achieving success.
So think negatively, start by anticipating future threats and take measures to avert them now, whilst time is still an ally. Not when they become real and time has become the enemy. For example now think of what you can do if the following happens and decide a policy and action plan now, put things in place. I know so many people who learnt about the importance of backing up their computer files through having their files corrupted.
Cash flow crisis (Get a credit line available now when you don’t need it. They will be less available to you when you do).
Your best customer closes down (Make sure you do not have too much credit exposed at any one customer).
A key member of staff resigns (Do things to keep them loyal and locked in now).
Your web site crashes (Have a contingency plan or a second web site ready).
All your computer files are hit by a virus (Back up at the end of each day).
A Recession hits your market (Ask yourself ahead of time how can you can profit from this).
Action overcomes fear by moving you away from it. Negative thinking means making mental pictures, sounds and feelings of what failure would be like. Then each day move as far away from these as you can. They will drive you 24/7, they will push you to go that extra mile. Not being able to bear the idea of coming second will push you further than the pull of wanting to come first. Churchill imagined what England would be like under the Third Reich. These images and thoughts were so horrible no cost was not worth paying to stop it. That is how we won the Battle of Britain-many of our pilots were Czechs and Poles and had real images in their mind of what life was like under the Third Reich.
Design a way that you can motivate yourself negatively: For example with a previous business partner we did the following. We agreed that if we did not hit the week’s sales target we would have to go to the pub on a Friday night and order two babychams!
Believe me. It never happened, and it wont.
Now your turn.
Design a way that you can motivate your staff negatively.
B) Motivation – Avoiding Bad News, Seeking Good News
Are you motivated by avoiding bad news or seeking good news? In other words, is your motivation style based upon moving away from threats or towards rewards, moving away from the stick or towards the carrot? Most people are somewhere between the two with the average as we have seen being far nearer to the stick. It is important to have some idea where, as this will determine where the emphasis should be for you when motivating yourself.
For example, let us say that you want to make fifty telephone canvass calls a day. However, somewhere along the way your motivation wanes and you never consistently perform the task as well as you would like. Typically nine out of ten calls don’t produce a result. Therefore being rejected nine times (bad news) outweighs being accepted once (good news). To avoid bad news you therefore avoid cold calling.
How can you allocate more bad news to not doing the calls and good news to doing them? The answer is to allocate as much ‘bad news’ as possible to not doing them and as much ‘good news’ as possible to doing them.
Bad News If You Don’t Do The Calls
1. No future clients.
2. Less opportunity to build the business.
3. Miss opportunities that were just waiting for the picking.
4. Beaten by competition.
5. Go bankrupt.
6. Constant nagging pressure and guilt from not doing it.
7. Limited client base.
8. Declining size of client base
9. Less interesting work to do.
Good News If You Do The Calls
1. Business grows faster.
2. Plenty of potential customers.
3. Breakthrough sales to a new level.
4. Feedback information on market conditions.
5. Satisfaction of success.
6. Money (list all the things that you want money for).
7. New car.
Every ten calls means a result thus each call is 10% success.
Leads to securing the business.
Sooner done the quicker you can move on to more interesting things.
Compile your own lists, and when you have completed them as thoroughly as you can, read them and think about them before every canvassing session.
C) Morning Focus
Start the day as you mean to go on. Every morning ask yourself five questions that will get you into a resourceful state, focusing on achievement for the day. When you have decided on your five questions stick them on a wall so that you see them before you leave home in the morning.
Answer these questions every morning. Put them in a prominent place, where you will see them soon after waking up. They will immediately get your mind focused towards your objectives and provide you with a positive orientation.
1. What do I wish to achieve today?
2. Who would be really worth calling or e-mailing?
3. What could I do today that is different and useful?
4. What would make me happy if I achieved it today? What can I do to achieve it?
5. What would I have done differently yesterday if I had the chance?
What are the three most powerful questions that you can ask yourself in order to access your most resourceful state?
D) Setting up Your ‘Motivation Magic’ Switch
When you geared up for in your motivation magic state, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to access it just by flicking a switch that immediately opens it up? Well, if we think about it there are various naturally occurring ‘switches’. For example, when I listen to an old Beatles hit, it immediately takes me back to my teenage days to where I was living, what I was doing and the people around me at that time. It is a very nostalgic experience. In fact, for me, and for most people. I suspect, hearing any pop music hit, particularly if I really liked the group, takes me back to the experiences that I was having when it was in the charts. Do you have a piece of favourite music that takes you to a time when you were unstoppable? Other memories can also affect my ‘state’ immediately, usually something involving high emotional content whether it is good or bad news.
Now the question is if these strong links occur naturally how can we harness that power to enable us to access our most resourceful, peak performance states when we need them? When we are naturally in our peak performance state, I mean really feeling good, we should introduce a stimulus at the height of the feeling, clench a fist, shout, ‘Yes, Yes, Yes’, play our favourite music… whatever. In fact, I have found that for most people certain music will already have strong emotions for them and uplift their state for example, Land Of Hope And Glory, Chariots Of Fire, Theme To Rocky, Simply The Best, or the theme to ‘The Dambusters’.
Of course, as well as controlling your own emotional states, you will also want to elicit the ‘state’ of the recipient of your communication. For example, if you want a future client in a buying state, ask him about a time when he bought the type of product you are selling and ask him as much as possible about it. While you are gaining information about how he buys and what is important for him, he is reliving a successful purchase and cannot help but access his ‘buying state’.
E) The Points Award Self-Motivation Scheme (PAS)
What is PAS? PAS is an incentive programme designed to motivate people both on an individual and a team basis. It also allows you to monitor and review your own performance and have a useful yardstick from which to improve, the basic theme is: ‘Never try to be better than someone else; be better than yourself’. It is therefore very applicable to those who are self-employed and entrepreneurs who have no boss. PAS gives you the feedback that indicates where you can improve and what you have to do to prove that you have. Although you will want to know what other people are achieving, the important thing to remember is to constantly improve on your own performance.
Traditionally, building a reputation and a database of customers takes time. Often, when a client places an order it follows a period of selling activity over a number of weeks. Therefore, good work in one particular week will not necessarily be reflected in that week’s performance figures. This can easily lead to declining confidence and motivation. The PAS gives you the opportunity of being rewarded now for the good work that you do (by knowing that you are progressing), and recognises the ‘goodwill’ value of every contact made. Over a period of time you will accumulate statistical information such as the average number of calls per deal done. This means that every call you make has a clear value. Your task then is not only to make more calls but to make the same number of calls more effective.
The PAS scheme focuses on ten different areas of success in a sales call from which you award yourself points. It is as simple as that. Week to week you coach yourself to ever-increasing performance levels against your previous achievements. You will also find that you manage your time better. Each day there will be a simple record form to complete as you go, which can also be used to remind you of call-backs, etc. At the end of each week you study your performance and set your own achievement targets for the following week, which should be at least a 10% improvement.
Every Monday morning you can review your PAS forms to discuss results and what can be done to improve.
PAS Daily Activity Sheet
One point awarded for each of the following:
1. Your company name plugged.
2. Relevant contact name(s) established.
3. Rapport established with relevant contact.
4. Favourable impression left.
5. Information on potential business.
6. Information on the company itself.
7. Objection overcome.
8. Client visit secured.
9. An order.
10. A sale (1 point per £100).
F) If You Find Yourself Reticent to Call Strangers.
Some people have a reticence to talk to strangers about what their business offers. Whatever you do never take rejection personally, instead value it as feedback. This can lead to a fear of rejection and produce call reluctance. As an entrepreneur, unlike employees, there is no one to kick your but into action. You have to do it yourself and it is too easy to think of excuses. It is a reticence that is easily overcome. If it does not concern you skip this section.
It could be that some where in your mind you have the belief that you are offering is in question. This could lead to a feeling of manipulating someone for personal gain. If this is the case your lack of belief will hold you back. You need to find out exactly what is troubling you and address it. What are your thoughts just before making that call or contact?
If you are generally a bit nervous, you probably just need a confidence boost. If it is something you are doing for the first time, all you need to do is makes 6 calls. The first level of confidence at anything is familiarity. From then on you will be familiar with what to say and how to react to the responses. If this is not enough here are some more simple techniques.
Make telephone calls standing up.
Look down whilst you are making the call.
For these techniques to work it is not necessary to understand why. For the curious it is because before we make or receive a telephone call we make a mental picture in our mind of the person at the other end. When that picture is at a level higher than ourselves most of us find it intimidating. If it is lower we feel confident. In training seminars I get people to talk to each other once from standing on a chair and once from sitting on the floor. The recipient usually reports a dramatically different experience from each exercise. Try it with someone and you will be surprised.
In a later chapter we will be looking at specific telephone techniques, which will increase your confidence and improve the quality of each call you make.
G) Getting To and Keeping at Ten
Our productivity and success rate is mostly determined by our level of enthusiasm, energy, positive attitude and motivation. Let us say that our highest level of motivation and productivity is ten and the lowest zero. Therefore we all should want to consistently maintain a ten level irrespective of what the “world” throws at us. If we are leading a team our level will strongly influence them. It will also positively influence customers. We should therefore also help others to keep at 10.
The following pointers will help you.
Remember that success is a decision.
You need a why more than a how to get what you want.
You must have a real passion for what you want.
If you operate below 10 you are cutting profits.
Being at 10 is determined by what you focus on.
Your focus is determined by questions.
Your body language determines your level as well as shows it.
Positive words help get and keep you at 10.
Negative, moving away from, motivation is more powerful.
Write a list of your favourite positive words and keep them near you.
Use of negative words gets you down from 10.
Ban the use of negative words.
Positive tone of voice helps get you and keep you at 10.
What you picture and hear internally determines how you feel.
Help others to get and keep at 10 and they will help you.
Whatever level you are at you will draw those around you to your level.
Make the success decision to do whatever it takes to keep at a 10. Every word spoken or thought creates images and sounds in our mind. In turn, these trigger off feelings. That is why when someone asks me how I feel I usually say ‘brilliant’. Some people say, “not bad”, which has two negative words in it! Avoid that response and feel the difference in your week. Here are some example positive words, incorporate them into your daily vocabulary, whilst making a point to delete negative ones.
Accomplishment, Achievement, Better, Best, Excellent, Fantastic, Good, Impressive, Perfect, Reward, Satisfaction, Superb, Success, Winner, Yes.
Write down 25 positive words and make a decision to use them habitually.
You’re half way through your goal, but can’t quite make it to the end. What can you do? You can become a fortune teller. This is much easier than it sounds. You don’t need any special powers, only your memory and your dreams.
The first step is to see into the past. Remember when you first created your goal. Remember the desire and dedication you had. Remember the main reasons you started in the first place. If you decided to lose weight, what was the reason that sparked your goal?
Just thinking about why you started can get you going again. Repeating your first thoughts and words about your goal will serve as a boost to your confidence and motivation. As time goes on, we sometimes forget why we started something in the first place. It is very important to remember the why and not only the how. After you look into the past, it’s time to look in the opposite direction.
The next step is to see into the future. Think about the end of your goal, the time you finally accomplish your task. Think about how great you’ll feel, how happy you’ll be, and how much better off you’ll be. You have to see the picture in your mind. Close your eyes and put yourself weeks, months, or years into the future.
This can help to keep you focused on your goals. Having a clear picture of where you are going to be will keep you motivated during the time in between. Once you see into the past, and look to the future, you will find the motivation to keep going.
H) Always Make One More Call
At the end of the day when you are tired, don’t stop but set yourself a small target to achieve first. Have you noticed on a day before you go on holiday how much more you can achieve, well I suggest you work every day like that. One more call made each day is five a week, 20 per month and the marginal productivity of this can be significant when the longer timescale is looked at.
In any election one vote more than your opponent means you win everything. In athletics one nose in front of your competitor means you win everything. That one more call more can have the same effect for you. Any action you take towards your goals gets you that little bit closer to it. Might not seem like a lot of difference at the time but every distance travelled is a summation of a lot of small distances!
What metaphor are you running now? If you record the last five minutes of when you spoke, or write down a couple of paragraphs on your current thoughts, your metaphors will drop out. For most men in business I have found the two most common are sports and military. Women’s I have found have more variety, housekeeping is common (done and dusted) and also gardening (watering flowers). Anyway, the one you are running is not the most important. It is the ones you are not running that are important. These are the ones that give you access to different perspectives, that leads to new ideas, answers etc.
If your language keeps referring to gardening, this suggests that you see your business in the same way that you would see a garden. This can be advantageous in as much it will teach you that you have to have patience and persistence. Two excellent qualities for business. Results don’t come quick in a gardening, so you have to have a long-term perspective. Equally often in business we need to do things quickly against competition. Someone who talks in terms of athletics would be more in tune with where they need to be. If you needed to get the most out of a team someone who talks about rugby or another team sport might have a more appropriate metaphor, way of thinking.
Most people stick to one or two for 90% of the time. I would suggest that you deliberately have one to fit the occasion.
Complete the following list.
Metaphor Appropriate Use
1. Gardening Patience and persistence
2. Sprinting Competitiveness and urgency
3. Football Team building, leadership
When you go in McDonalds, do you tend to sit, in much the same place? Nearest available seat, upstairs, against the wall… When you go to the cinema do you sit in much the same seat? It is all about breaking habits and replacing them with more appropriate ones.
I) Public Speaking
Often entrepreneurs are called upon to make presentations to large audiences. Large for this purpose could mean anything above two figures. Most entrepreneurs who are not making presentations of this nature should be. These can be talks at the local chamber of commerce, associations, conferences, customer seminars, etc. Often not only indirectly but you may have to present to a multiple audience at a clients’. How to prepare what you are going to say, using PowerPoint and other equipment is well covered and people are confident generally in this area. I get a lot of callers though asking me to help them with their fears even phobias related to public speaking. For this reason I consider it appropriate to include it here.
There are two elements to building confidence to offer public speaking. The first is becoming familiar with basic public speaking techniques. This in itself boosts confidence whilst improving the quality and control of the presentation.
The first technique I will tell you is called the yes set. All you have to do is make three statements to which the entire audience mentally and physically nods and says yes. This established a group rapport and will have them accepting your following statements a lot more easily. People start to develop habits after three repetitions. For example:
Hello everybody, my name is Alex McMillan. (yes he is)
We are here to day to learn some new techniques on selling for entrepreneurs. (yes we are)
Despite the fact it is raining and cold outside. (yes it is)
We are going to have a warm and fun learning experience. (yes we are)
Prepare some simple opening statements in line with the above formula for your next presentation.
The second technique I call “Positive Universals”. It is a simple technique that builds on the yes set and guarantees you rapport and gains it back at any time that you feel it might be waning. All you have to do is ask the audience questions where you know the answer will be the same for everyone. This has the effect of suggesting everyone in the room led by you has something in common, however slight the level. You can make the technique more powerful and useful to you by incorporating in it positive experiences. For example:
“Can everyone here think of something that they would really love to have for Christmas?”
Not only is everyone now in rapport, you have also led their mental focus onto positive happy ground.
Think of three examples of the above technique that you could use.
My third technique is what I call “Outside In”. Most presenters use either one to one or a group focus on what they are going to say, so their focus is on the inside, which they then transmit out. The more professional and successful approach is actually gained from doing the opposite. Your focus has to be outside of your head and on the audience all the time. Watch and listen to them and react accordingly. If they look bored change your tack, if they look confused explain it again etc, etc etc. A good presentation is defined how they thought it went not how you thought it went. Have a clear structure for your talk prepared. When you start, trust me, if you know what your talking about the words will be there for you, your unconscious will sort them into order all by itself.
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