Intuition: Your Secret Weapon for Sales SuccessBy: Lynn Robinson, M.Ed.
Mark sits at his desk with his eyes closed, pen in hand, apparently deep in thought. Or is he dozing? Actually, he's about to take a crucial first step in winning a new account.
Holly is on her way to see a potential client when a flash of insight radically changes her strategy for the meeting. An hour later she has a contract for a six-figure account plus a substantial signing bonus.
Mark ponders and Holly has an ah-hah moment. Yet they're both doing the same thing - they're checking in with their intuition before making a sales call. Why? They've discovered that the insights and promptings they get from their "inner voices" can help them score more sales more easily than when they go it alone.
Make Intuition Your Ally - Intuition is the secret weapon of many successful sales leaders. Ask them about it, though, and they're likely to describe it as "gut instinct." Sound familiar? Of course it does, because whether you admit it or not, you're highly likely to have experienced it yourself, and just as likely to have ignored its messages.
The fact is, everyone receives intuitive information. It's both a gift and a skill, and the more you practice it the better you get at it. How does your intuition speak to you? Do you receive information in words, feelings, a flash of insight, a gut reaction? Do you simply just know? Roy Rowan, author of a study on intuition, said, "This feeling, this little whisper from deep inside your brain, may contain far more information - both facts and impressions - than you're likely to obtain from hours of analyzing data."
Ask Your Intuition Questions - My friend Mark, who you met at the beginning of this article, is a national sales leader in his industry. When I asked him how he explains his success he told me that before he meets with a client he asks his intuition a series of questions such as, "What do I need to know about this company?" "What is the best way to approach the decision maker?" "What should I know about who I'm competing against for this sale?" "What can I do to win this account?" He sits with pen in hand and quiets his thoughts. The answers come to him as he writes. Mark's competition scratches their heads.
Keep Your "Inner Sales Person" Positive - Pay attention to what you tell yourself about your sales prospects and your life. If your "self-talk" is positive and optimistic your personal and business life will reflect that. Try a simple experiment. Close your eyes and say the following to yourself for about 30 seconds: "I'll never get ahead. I'm not good at sales. I won't make my quota this month." How do you feel? Depressed? Demoralized? Hopeless?
Now do the same experiment and focus on these statements: "Things have a way of working out." "I'm learning some new skills and things are beginning to change for me." "Today I'll take steps that will open up opportunities for more income." Now how do you feel? Hopeful? Optimistic? More confident? When you're in this state it's much easier for you to be open to intuitive messages pointing you to avenues of increased prosperity.
Know Your Gut, Know Your Client - Successfully making the sale requires that you process hundreds of pieces of information subconsciously. You must develop and trust your ability to use your intuition to read between the lines. Do you press a client for the sale, or do you back off and wait? Are they motivated by the lowest price you can offer or is the quality of your product or service the prime impetus for buying from you? Many times, logic and analysis will provide that information. On other occasions, your gut feelings or instincts - your intuition - will provide the answers.
Use the Power of Silence - As any good salesperson will tell you, "Sometimes the best thing to do is 'shut up.'" But there are times when you also need to silence your mind to receive valuable intuitive insight. When you need help making a decision - pause - take a deep breath, reflect on the question and allow the intuitive impressions to come to you. Intuition is often described as "still and quiet." It doesn't usually answer in a big, booming voice. It is much subtler. Pay attention to any images you receive, words you hear, physical sensations you experience or emotions you feel. These are all ways that intuition will communicate with you. Write down any impressions you receive. Some people find that intuitive insights will pop into their mind immediately. For others, it may come later in the day when they least expect it.
Make Your Enthusiasm Work for You - Intuition often communicates its message through passion and excitement. The root of the word enthusiasm comes from the Greek, entheos. It literally means, "God within." If a sales strategy or decision leaves you feeling drained or bored, that's a clear message from your "inner guidance" saying, "Don't go there." Conversely, if you feel energized and enthusiastic, your intuition is giving you the green light to continue with your plan of action.
Envision Your Success - Spend time each day imagining your ideal life. Envision the details of that life. Imagine you are living it now. What are you wearing? What are you feeling? Who are the people around you? We are often quite clear about what we don't want. The path to success comes from spending time thinking about what you do want. What does an ideal day, month or year look like to you? Being clear about what you want is often the first step in being able to create it. Successful people visualize their goals and dreams. Your intuition can help you achieve success when you know what you want to achieve.
Write it Down - Many people have great success receiving intuitive information through writing. This technique is similar to brainstorming. Write a series of questions about your choices. Suppose you have to make a decision to fill a position in your company. You might write, "If I hire Mary will the company's sales increase?" "If I hire her will this be a positive choice? "What are her strengths?" "What are her weaknesses?" When you've completed your questions, write the answers quickly just as they come to you. Repeat your intuitive Q&A about each potential employee and then assess the results.
Take the time, make the sale - Be sure to set aside time to routinely check in with your intuition. It won't be long before you'll be experiencing faster, stronger and more accurate insights. Though intuition can be described as a secret weapon, there's no big secret about how to use it. Follow the suggestions I've outlined above, and begin now to enjoy the rewards of this powerful competitive advantage.
© 2003 Lynn Robinson, M.Ed. All rights reserved in all media.
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