In yesterday’s post we discussed the fact that “Left Laners” in traffic, as well as the “Left Laners” in sales can be very frustrating and impede your progress.

Today we will dig a little deeper into the first of our sales “Left Laners”: Self-limiting beliefs.

Why are self-limiting beliefs so common? You cannot generalize an answer to that question because there are too many contributors.  For the purpose of today’s discussion, I am going to mention three that I think are hugely applicable in a sales career.

“Left Laner” Frustration: Associating the word “no” with negative consequences.

Most children learn quickly to associate negative consequences with the word “no”.  Our parents begin telling us no, even before we can speak.  Maybe we reach for something that is going to hurt us – or possibly something that we may break if we grab it.  When we do so, the closest adult generally says “no”.  However, it is not said as simply the opposite of “yes”.  Instead, the word “no” is said with a raised (and sometimes startling) tone of voice which scares us.  When that happens enough times – we begin to want to avoid the word “no” because of that negative association.

Right Lane Passing Solution: Decide that every time you hear the word “no” you will look at it simply as the opposite of “yes”.  If you ask someone if it is raining – and they answer “no”; you would not be bothered.  Make the same choice in your sales process.  Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz wrote a neat little book entitled, “Go For No.”  It teaches you how to get excited about the “no’s” in the sales process.

“Left Laner” Frustration: Totally incorrect self-talk.

The title of “bragger” was not something to be desired as a young man growing up in the south.  It was something to be avoided.  You were considered rude and inappropriate.  The result; we stopped telling others about our abilities and even began to downplay them.  But unfortunately we did the same in our self-talk. The instruction “not to brag” was and is incomplete.  There is nothing wrong with teaching anyone to have a humble spirit and to avoid bragging verbally.  However, that advice should be coupled with teaching an inner sense of bragging – a sense that it is perfectly acceptable and desirable to have the self-confidence to believe you can achieve anything you desire – and you absolutely should brag in your self-talk.

Right Lane Passing Solution: Watch for negative self talk, flag it like a penalty in a football game and destroy it.  If you owned a rental property with a tenant that was destroying your house, you would evict them.  Your negative self-talk is causing you to limit your beliefs and is destroying your “house” now.  Toss it out!

“Left Laner” Frustration: Incorrect perception of failure.

If you took a test in school and only got three correct answers out of ten questions – what grade would you have received?  In my school, that would have been a 30!  It would have been marked in red and the letter “F” would be right there beside it.  “F” was for “failure”.  Now, I don’t blame my teachers at all.  Most of them were outstanding.  But it was not practical for them to take the time to write, “Dear Jeff. You got three out of ten questions correct.  Although, I am very proud of you for getting those correct, you will not have passed the course until you get a minimum of seven answers correct – and as a result, you will need to repeat the class again so that you may have more time to master the content.  I look forward to spending more time with you – you are wonderful!”  (I’m sure they would have all said that to me – if time had permitted).

Right Lane Passing Solution: Ask yourself this question; what do you call a baseball player that can only hit the ball three out of ten times – and strikes out seven out of ten times?  The answer is “MILLIONAIRE”!  Do you know what you call a salesperson that can close the sale three out of ten times?  In many cases, the answer is the same.

Question: What are the right-lane passing solutions to your “Left Laner” frustrations?