Monday, June 6, 2011

Are You 'Deceiving' Your Way To Fewer Sales?

The phrase "Debilitating Self-Deception" is one of our all-time favorite terms. You know the guy who sings (loudly) off-key at the American Idol tryout but thinks he's better than Steven Tyler? Debilitating Self-Deception. And do you know the guy who pontificates like he's the smartest businessman ever, but the reality is he's offering obvious advice to everyone in the room? Debilitating Self-Deception.
 
Debilitating Self-Deception is believing something about yourself or your situation that isn't true. The belief is based on feelings, not facts, and you'll find ways to justify your thinking. The danger of Debilitating Self-Deception in sales is that you will waste so much energy holding onto something that will never be true. For example, a sales rep is painfully long-winded, but they deceive themselves that it's not a problem. In fact, they believe people enjoy hearing their incessant stories. But in reality, prospects and customers don't make time to meet with the rep a second time to avoid his long talking. If the rep wasn't afflicted with Debilitating Self-Deception, he could work to overcome this shortcoming and make more sales.
Debilitating Self-Deception provides the rationale for why you shouldn't leave your comfort zone in spite of the rationale being false. People with Debilitating Self-Deception rarely leave their comfort zone. As a result, they rarely obtain personal growth.

How To Overcome Debilitating Self-Deception
1. Partner with your boss to have them honestly and bluntly point out to you where you can improve. If you don't have a manager, seek a partner/mentor who can counsel you. Ask them to hold up the mirror to you so you can recognize the behavior.

2. Usually, Debilitating Self-Deception can only be sustained if you live generally (vs. specifically). Debilitating Self-Deception is a result of not uncovering or choosing to ignore specific and sometimes brutal facts of a situation. Those who can dig into specifics and uncover the basic facts of a situation are appropriately armed to address a sales rep who struggles with Debilitating Self-Deception.

3. To overcome Debilitating Self-Deception, you need persistence. Overcoming your weaknesses isn't one-call business. You need to continue to face reality and push outside your comfort zone in order to to gain new skills and abilities.

If you push yourself to do the hard things that make you uncomfortable, you'll become the best sales rep you can possibly be. If you decide to never quit, you can do it! Hey, maybe this is a pick-me-up motivational sales story after all ...


The Erie Sales Club is a joint effort of four leading local businesses: Jameson Publishing, Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services, VertMarkets, and Howland Peterson Consulting.

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