The topic I’d like to focus on today is more fundamental than the selling process and skills you leverage to create an effective sales meeting. It is your Selling Energy — or how the energy you carry into and through a meeting impacts how successfully you close.
Evaluate Your Selling Energy
Take this quick True-or-False quiz to determine your Selling Energy:
- I need coffee to get going in the morning.
- I often zone in and out of client meetings.
- I crave carbs and snacks to keep me going through the day.
- I tend to feel sluggish mid-afternoon.
- I get headaches and don’t go anywhere without a bottle of aspirin or pain relievers.
- I feel tired but wired at the end of the day and average fewer than eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.
How many Trues did you score? Because you are a high-achieving sales professional, I may need to point out that on this quiz, the fewer Trues you counted, the better.
In a previous blog post, Presence: 80% of Success -The Role Presence Plays in “Showing Up” to an Effective Sales Meeting, I addressed the topic of how presence impacts your ability to conduct an effective sales meeting, and you will note some similar themes here. Client-facing professionals enjoy adrenaline and action and tend not to be known for heaping amounts of patience. And so it follows that we tend to be large consumers of coffee or other caffeinated energy drinks, fast food, and energy snacks high in sugar or carbs. If this is true for you some or all of the time, let’s look at how this translates into the energy level you bring into a sales meeting or client call.
Reflect on some recent client meetings. How often did your Selling Energy include some or all of the following: tired, foggy, irritable, impatient, and anxious? Consider the ways in which this may have surfaced during that meeting and how quickly and easily it was felt by the client. Consider how this detracted from your efforts at building trust, credibility, and commitment.
If we take a set of feelings opposite to those above — energetic, focused, positive, patient, and steady — can you see how this Selling Energy changes the tone and sets the stage for an effective sales meeting? With some awareness and self-reflection, you can connect your Selling Energy to what you eat, drink, or do before, during, or after an effective sales meeting.
Improve Your Selling Energy
With thanks to my nutrition coach (and wife, Sandy Dalis, www.cravenutrition.net), here are six proven ways to boost your Selling Energy:
- Sleep more: Research shows that our bodies need at least eight hours to regenerate.
- Hydrate: Americans are chronically dehydrated. Many of us respond to this feeling by reaching for a cup of coffee or some other form of caffeine which, ironically, is dehydrating. Hydration experts, including Dr. Fereydoon Batamanghelidj, suggest setting a daily goal of drinking ½ your weight in water ounces. (For example, someone weighing 150 lbs. should target 75 oz. water daily. Water-like drinks, including carbonated or flavored, don’t count.)
- Eat better: You won’t be surprised to learn that food and beverage companies spend a fortune engineering their products and advertising to appeal to your taste buds and psyche. Eating nutritionally deficient food promotes illness and provides inadequate fuel to keep you going. When we feel tired, studies show that we eat on average 25% more with particular cravings for sugar, caffeine, and carbs … all of which make it tougher to sleep the following night. Plan your meals, including and especially those where you know you will be in transit without a dependable place to eat, with a focus on real versus processed food.
- Breathe more: Especially with colder temps this time of year, how often do you find yourself going from hotel room to car to office to plane? The human body requires and thrives on oxygen intake, yet it is amazing how little non-processed air we breathe during the winter. Take time to step outside for some nice, deep breaths.
- Exercise: Squeezing exercise into your day is tough, especially with increased calling and revenue goals and making more time for sleep. When you find yourself with the time and energy, consider taking the stairs, walking to appointments, or even a light run, swim, or workout at the start or end of your day.
- Schedule better: When results lag, many overcompensate by making more calls to show effort. Increasing the number of your appointments will reduce the time you have to properly prepare for each — both the filler calls and the ones that matter. Find ways, seeking support from a manager, coach, mentor, or peer, to become a more effective and efficient salesperson by better qualifying opportunities, leveraging your selling strengths, and shoring up any weaknesses.
When you make the connection between how you live and how you feel, you are on your way to harnessing the power of your Selling Energy in conducting an effective sales meeting. So, challenge yourself to pick and commit to one or more of the things above as your Q1’2014 focus. Some of these changes will feel uncomfortable at first. Start implementing these changes during a light week, and be aware of how this is impacting 1) how you feel throughout the day, 2) how clients are reacting, and 3) the ground you are able to gain in your meetings. Small steps lead to big changes, and the outcomes at stake here — your health, happiness, relationships, and success — are significant. Please share your thoughts and experiences here about how you are boosting your Selling Energy and how this is changing your outlook, meetings, and results. Stay healthy!