Mindful Selling

July 28, 2020

What is the first thought that comes to your mind when I say Mindfulness? Was it Yoga? A monk sitting cross-legged near a peaceful river bank with only the sound of a bird chirping and cascading water?

I can almost guarantee that no one said prospecting or sales demos came to mind when you considered mindfulness.

Forget about the toga and yoga, let’s talk about practical ways mindfulness matters in sales.

Mindfulness in Sales

When was the last time you called a company (large cable companies are particularly rough) and got on the phone with a salesperson who was running you mindlessly through a script “ohhhh yes, I sure do understand how frustrating that may be for you. I bet you’ll love _____ about our product.”

As a buyer, how did that make you feel? Like they cared? Like they understood your concerns? Like they wanted to learn more about you?

This is called autopilot. We’re all guilty of it at times, and it is dangerous.

Autopilot is a perilous place to allow your mind to be. It means you’re focusing entirely on the past or future and are not living in the present.

Your body only lives in the present and when you spend all of your time dwelling on these thoughts of the past or future, you set yourself up on the path of anxiety and depression.

The 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Method

When you find your mind wandering and it’s time to come down to earth, give this a try. [A good time to try this is before a call blitz or a big demo you’re about to run.]

First, take a few deep breaths and intentionally focus on the inhale and exhale as separate pieces of the breath and then follow these steps:

  • Find 5 things that you can see: Notice the scrapes and blemishes on your leather computer bag. Observe the leaves on the plant moving from the air conditioner’s breeze. Maybe it’s the detail in the photo of the background of your computer. Take the time to really examine what you see, and appreciate the good in it.
  • Find 4 things that you can touch: The way the roller on your computer mouse moves and then clicks. The cotton from your sock against your ankles. Maybe even just notice the way gravity itself feels. Spend a moment literally touching these things.
  • Acknowledge 3 things you can hear: Do nothing but listen. Maybe it’s your coworker’s heavy breathing. Birds chirping. Air conditioner humming. Prospects talking. Don’t judge, just increase your awareness of the sounds all around you.
  • Notice 2 things you can smell: It may even just be the fragrance of the room, the flowers on the desk, or your own skin. Breath deeply and invite your senses to participate.
  • Become aware of 1 thing you can taste: The lingering taste of the tea you had at lunch or the coffee you had after breakfast. The gum you are chewing to keep you alert or calm your nerves.

Repeat as many times as necessary, but notice how you feel afterwards. Your mind may wander, but this exercise will help bring you into the present moment.

At a minimum, try this before starting your day and after lunch. I have started doing this, even quickly, before calls with clients and am absolutely amazed at how much more effective I am with a clear mind.

Jason Gant led a fantastic presentation last week for my Patreon group. I want to share a few key takeaways:

  • Mindfulness is present moment awareness, accessed through intentional breathing.
  • Only 2% of the population actively attempts to enhance productivity through mindfulness.
  • Regulating emotion helps us zone in and increase our tolerance to stress (when your mind is wandering and you’re building up that anxiety, your stress tolerance is very low and this is where impulsive breakdowns as a reaction to stress happen).
  • We live in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world, but we get to choose our response to it and in our response lies our growth and freedom.

I hope you’ll consider trying mindfulness. No one is going to laugh at you for improving your mental state and using that advantage to grow. If they do, take a couple breaths and then close another deal and see who is laughing.

Some good resources for you this week: