Tuesday, September 21, 2010


From RainToday.com:

How You're Sabotaging Your Sales Effort

Nancy Fox, Fox Coaching AssociatesBy Nancy Fox

"I don't have the money."

"I'm too busy working on my client work to take the time for business development."

How many times have you heard those statements from prospects or clients, or maybe you've even said them yourself regarding investing time or money in learning how to build a bigger, healthier practice or service business?

I have heard them so many times they all merge into a blur. And the funny thing is neither statement is actually the hard truth. They seem true to the person saying them. However, both statements are smokescreens professionals use because it allows them to feel some comfort around their disappointing results.

The problem is not money, nor is it time. It is never either of those things because if people really wanted to find the money or the time, they would do it. The problem is that their mindset and their emotions determine their actions.

For example, you can make the most logical, well-designed, and well-presented pitch and lose before you ever walk into the room. That's because your mindset is pre-programmed to lose, and you unknowingly bring it into the presentation.

Take a moment and think about your mindset about money. Do you feel it is abundant or scarce? Do you feel fear or concern around money? Do you see it as a means to expand your life or has it eluded you or disappointed you?

Your mindset about money is the foundation of what you bring to every meeting you have with prospects. It impacts how you set your fees, how comfortable you are in asking for your fees, whether you discount your fees or how much you discount your fees, how properly you bill, and how effectively you collect payments.

Prospects also bring their emotions to the table. So often, I observe people prepare elaborate pitches and hone them when what the candidates are really looking for is certainty and confidence that they are selecting wisely and won't regret the choice they make. The candidates are looking for the right "feeling" with their choice, and professionals often rely on tactics.

This is not to say that as a professional you don't have to bring the technical skill and wisdom to the table. Your technical skills are the price of entry. It is your mindset about what you have to offer your potential clients that is the real key to unlocking their decision to engage you.

I am asked all the time, "How can I get more self-esteem and confidence?" The reason it eludes them is they have it backwards: they try to increase confidence by focusing on themselves.

My experience in working with hundreds of professionals and business people is that self-confidence is not something that is developed by focusing on ourselves. It is built when we focus on providing and making a difference with other people.

Change Your Mindset

I have a client who was shy and uncertain when talking to prospective clients. He began to really listen to what they wanted and needed. He made a determined effort to take the focus off of him and get into their world and help give them confidence in what they were doing in their business.

As he learned to listen for his prospects and clients' needs and wants, he attracted more clients, bigger clients, and closed more business. His confidence rose as he improved his ability to make a difference with his prospects and clients. They understood that he cared, and they became confident that he could help them.

Another client dragged his destructive relationship with money into all of his business efforts. His relationship with money was based on a financially successful father who mistrusted people and was disappointed with him about business and money. The result: my client was always creating disappointing results when it came to money. His business was struggling financially, and he was attracting people into his firm who were stingy and petty about money as well as unproductive.

He mistrusted everyone, particularly about money, and he walked around perpetually disappointed. He thought he was trying everything to improve the situation—merged with another firm, hired new people, created a new website, etc.—but underneath the mistrust was still there. What was the payoff for him staying stuck? By staying disappointed and not transforming his relationship, he could perpetuate his history that he is a disappointment around money.

To make your mind your true friend in business, you must shift your thinking, which will allow you to shift your actions and boost your confidence.

That may sound easier said than done, but it is possible. Here are my seven tips for how you can shift your mindset around money and confidence to truly boost your business:

  1. Stop hanging around negative, fearful, "realistic" people. They will keep you stuck in an unproductive and old mindset.
  2. Picture the outcome. Every major athlete uses visioning before going into a match or sports event. They have intent and envision the outcome they want. In fact, studies have shown that visioning will increase the chances for more successful results.
  3. Watch your words. Really listen to what comes out of your mouth. If you say things that express doubt, uncertainty, or negativity (words like hopefully, I'll try, etc.), you are revealing a doubtful mindset. You can transform your language to communicate certainty and confidence even before you fully feel it.
  4. Read something positive and inspirational every day to keep out of the quagmire of doubt and uncertainly all around us. This will reinforce your being part of the solution as opposed to being a conduit for the problem.
  5. Take a look at your history and relationship with money. Do you need to change the relationship? If you look at money as elusive, scarce, or problematic, you absolutely need to transform this or you will perpetuate what you have and will drag it into every business conversation you have. What you think is what you will generate.
  6. Create a vision board. Create a vision board of photos and visual representations about what you want to create in the next year, two years, and five years. Our brains are like sponges, and they soak up desires to help us move in the directions we want. These visual messages assist our minds in the transformation process.
  7. Commit to what you really want. People tell me all the time about what they want. They want more clients, they want more money, they want more time, they want a better job, they want more time off.

    When I say that to make more money they will have to invest in themselves, they resist. When I say that to improve their company they will need to fire that problematic employee, they resist. When I tell them they have to meet and talk to more people if they want more clients, they resist.

    A mentor of mine once said something very powerful: if you are interested in achieving something, you will do what is convenient. If you are committed to achieving something, you'll do whatever it takes.

It takes a mindset shift to make your mind your best friend in building the business you desire.

Nancy Fox is President of The Business Fox, specializing in coaching and advising lawyers, accountants, coaches, and entrepreneurs in attracting ideal high-paying clients. She has worked with hundreds of high-level people in building thriving client relationships and playing their top game in business. Receive her complimentary newsletter, The Business Fox Bulletin, for business and client-building tips, and her free two-part Special Report, Network Like A Fox: 7 Surefire Ways to Attract Ideal Prospects, Win Ideal High-Paying Clients by visiting her website or writing to her at nancy@thebusinessfox.com.

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