You're in the car and on the way to an appointment. What do you do to pump yourself up?
“Different people have different personality styles. Extroverts may motivate themselves in one way, introverts in another,” says Steve Johns, a speaker, trainer, and consultant for the replacement contracting industry who's based in Moore, Okla. “Whatever works is good. It has to make you feel good about yourself, your company, what you do, and how you do it.”
Motivate, Inspire For their listening and learning pleasure, Statewide in Mukilteo, Wash., gives salespeople a seven-CD set that includes its sales presentation. Some reps play these en route, says general manager Tim Brown, while some listen to motivational speakers or classical or religious radio stations. Others look at photos of their children before getting out of the car.
Visualization can be a powerful tool as well. Several salespeople at Urbandale, Iowa–based American Siding and Windows Systems tell sales manager/sales trainer Pat Pagano that before an appointment, they sit in the car, close their eyes, and visualize how successful they'll be. Physical activity also works. “Some guys get out of the car and jump up and down to get momentum going,” Pagano says. Others review index cards on which they've written objections they're most used to hearing. That way, they feel prepared for rebuttal.
Power of Recall Jake Jacobson recommends remembering your last successful appointment. “Think about, ‘This is how I hit the ball last time,'” says the vice president of sales at Premier Window & Building in Owings Mills, Md.
Maybe, however, being by yourself before the sale isn't the best tactic. Statewide often runs appointments with two reps. And all salespeople have a mentor, who typically calls while they're heading to the appointment.
“It can get lonely,” Brown explains, “so we try to have a connection with them all the time.”
The way Michael Sullivan sees it, sales calls are the best part of the job. “I'm in my element,” says Sullivan, a salesperson for Lifetime Aluminum Storm in East Hanover, N.J. “It's like a ballplayer walking onto the ball field, doing what he's meant to do. You want to get up to the plate more often, get more at-bats, have the chance to hit more home runs.”