By Jim Augustus Armstrong
(Second of two parts)
In Part 1 of this column I covered the idea that we all have an internal thermostat that regulates how successful we’ll be. I’ve coached a lot of dealers and helped them adjust their thermo- stat so they can experience the success that has eluded them. Here are some exercises to help you do the same.
College students took part in a study where they were divided into three groups. Each group did basketball free throws to measure their percentage of successful shots. The first group is then assigned to spend 15 minutes per day for a week practicing free throws. The second group is assigned to spend 15 minutes a day for a week visualizing practicing free throws: no physical practice at all, just mental rehearsal. The third group did not practice physically or mentally. At the end of the week their free throws were remeasured and the results tallied. The group that did not practice showed no improvement.
Here’s the crazy part: The group that mentally rehearsed making successful free throws improved as much as the group who physically practiced. This study has been repeated many times with similar results. Both of these groups improved equally because our minds can’t tell the difference between a real and an imagined event.
Here’s how you can put mental rehearsal to work right away in your business. Let’s say you want to increase your margins from 35% to 45%. Mentally rehearse giving a quote of 45% to a customer and having her accept it without dickering on price.
Visualize yourself confidently presenting the quote without nervousness or hesitation. Visualize the customer smiling, accepting the quote and giving you a deposit right then. Run this scene over and over again in your mind for five minutes every day before work. If you have a salesperson who is struggling with their self-confidence, teach them this technique. This method can be used for any area of your business you want to improve.
Theater of the mind
“Psycho-Cybernetics” was writ- ten by Dr. Maxwell Maltz and published in 1960. Virtually every self-help book penned since then has borrowed from Maltz’s techniques. Its entire focus is on repairing and strengthening your self-image.
One self-image- building technique taught in the book is Theater of the Mind, where you are vividly picturing your life as you would like it to be. For example, let’s say you want to increase your revenue from $1.5 million to $4 million. Sit or lie down in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed; close your eyes and visualize what your life would look like with $4 million in revenue. What would your show- room look like? How many employees would you have? What kind of car would you drive? You want to make this picture as vivid and real as if you were watching it on a movie screen. Do this every day for 10 minutes.
Theater of the Mind can be used for weight loss, relationship building or any other area of your life you want to improve.