The conversation with yourself

What conversation is playing in your head? Change the focus for a better life.

Last month we staged our 5th Sales Confidence live event at GoCardless HQ London. We had 100 SaaS enthusiasts watching two sales leaders, a consultant and a coach sharing their secrets. Even if you couldn’t make it, we want to share the inspiration and education with you through our articles.

Our fourth and final speaker was Martin Tucker. Martin is the first sales coach we’ve ever had at a Sales Confidence event, and definitely not the last. Martin is a coach to SaaS sales leaders and specialises in helping sales leaders when they’ve lost their confidence.

Martin Tucker

Martin shared with us some stories of people he’s helped, as well as some ways to regain your ‘sales confidence’ mindset when times are difficult. His first tip related to self-talk. The dialogue in our heads. Here’s Martin.

‘We all have voices in our heads. What we tend to have is either a positive coach on one shoulder, the angel. Or a negative critic on the other, that’s the devil. What we tend to is focus a lot more on the negative coach, particularly in times when we’re uncertain about stuff. It becomes really loud in our heads. How can you deal with that in terms of it affecting your feelings?’

Because of my experiences with mental health, this is an area I’m fascinated by. I believe that by improving your self-talk, you can enhance your life. It was great to hear Martin share tips on how to do it.

Be conscious

The first step to improving your self-talk is to acknowledge it in the first place. Don’t try to suppress it. Martin puts it this way.

‘Be conscious of what your self-talk is saying to you. What actually is going on in your mind? What is being said to you in your head?’

Only when you realise there is a problem, can you find a solution. I always advise to check in with your head on a regular basis.

Write it down

‘Write down your self-talk. What down what you are saying to yourself. The moment you write it down, it gives you an opportunity to change your self-talk. You can create something more positive in your mind.’

What great advice, and something I do myself regularly. Writing your self-talk down makes it real, not just something playing in your head. Once it’s written down, you can set about changing it.

‘Some self-talk might be. ‘I can’t sell in this market. Brexit has happened. It’s a complete disaster.’ With me, my self-talk was that I was rubbish at negotiation. What do you think happened? The moment I started a negotiation with someone, I would collapse and not get the result I wanted. I probably lost thousands of pounds in commission!’

Change the language

Once your self-talk is on the page, how do you change it? It’s all about playing with the language.

‘In terms of the negotiation thing. I started to see negotiation as something that I enjoyed. I soon started to get much better outputs.’

‘With one of my clients, I was working with their sales team around questioning. Some of the salespeople said, ‘I find these questions difficult to ask.’ So what we did is changed the language. We called them the ‘commission questions’. If you ask those questions, you’ll get your commission!’

When you change the way you approach tasks you don’t like, thinking of the positives like commission rather than the negatives like asking questions, they become more natural.

How about you?

This is a subject I certainly want to write another article about, so I can explain how I approach self-talk. Martin’s advice is excellent though. Things always look less troublesome written down than they do swirling around your head. You then have the chance to switch the focus.

Over to you now. What methods do you use to change your self-talk?

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