Stop This One Self-Sabotaging Sales Habit Called Forecasting!
After one of my coaching clients closed out the month of June as his best sales month EVER, he said this to me.
It was nothing more than a fluke and probably will never happen again.
My jaw hit the floor! After 6 coaching sessions on mindset, he consciously declared it would not happen again. This type of self-sabotage is called forecasting, which is nothing more than a very bad habit. And I'm often surprised how many salespeople unintentionally sabotage their success with this mental limited belief.
Stop This One Self-Sabotaging Sales Habit
Psychologist define forecasting as the mind's tendency to predict negative outcomes despite positive evidence. Even meteorologist can't accurately predict the weather, yet somehow my client felt he could predict future outcomes without a shred of proof! Forecasting without proof doesn't make it true. What it will do is make you miserable.
Here's how your minds works. It searches for unknown threats. Then forecasts a negative outcome, while it collects evidence to support it then quietly waits for the prediction, which it then declares..."see I told you".
My client minimized, then discounted even the smallest success, and totally ignored all positive evidence that contradicted his forecasted demise AND how he thought of himself as a sales professional. Even though his future success indicated he could repeat his performance at even a higher level, he suffered needlessly from his negative predictions.
How Forecasting Shows Up
Your mind will conjure up all kinds of "what ifs" scenarios which is how forecasting shows up.
What if I spend too much time on prospect A and miss other opportunities?
What if the implementation team can't make the process seamless?
What if I take my planned vacation and miss closing the big deal?
What ifs are exaggerated thoughts that endlessly evade your mind that you habitually cling too. These thoughts appear as worry, and anxiety that constantly interrupts your joy in the present moment. How many times have you imagined the worst case scenerio and played it over and over in your mind even though you know most of what you worry about never happens or happens in a way you never imagine?
The Damage Forecasting can Cause in Sales
Playing the What if game will rob you from being present in the moment and keep you stuck. This shows up when talking to a prospect. Instead of listening, you're forming an answer or the next question in your mind. Why? Because your mind will magnify concerns.
"What if I don't ask the prospect the right questions?
So instead of "listening" you stress! Congratulations! You've just magnified a problem that's not really a problem.
When you allow the "what if's" to win, you veil the truth about your capabilities to overcome obstacles as a sales professional. Futhermore, the what if's will hide all the possibilities and opportunities that could win the sale.
Here's What to Do
Tip #1 Wait
Yes...wait for an outcome as proof that you've exaggerated a forecast. Reduce your stress by putting a halt on all the "what if" scenarios until you have the correct proof.
Tip #2 Be Open
Let things unfold naturally instead of forcing outcomes, or manipulating things to suit your anxiety and worry.
Tip #3 Connect the Dots After
Wait for the hard clear evidence before connecting the dots. You'll discover the "what ifs" are not only unreliable but often times never happen. What ifs are not a source of information nor evidence! If you find yourself in an uncertain moment, get rid of all your unfounded beliefs. I see this so much in prospecting. Assumptions are made in an instance then hailed as hard evidence of information! How many times have your assumptions proved completely wrong?
How to Stop Forecasting
Become hyper aware of your thoughts. When a what if pops up before an uncertain situation, notice the thought and your feelings around the what if thought. Then ask, "Where's the evidence that this is true?" My guess is you won't find any evidence because there is none.
Do this. Think back on other negative predictions you've made about future events and write out some of the worries you had surrounding this. Beside each negative prediction, circle the worries that turned out to be legitimate. Then put a check mark on the ones that turned out the exact opposite of your negative prediction. I bet you find more check marks than circles because usually you'll find more evidence to contradict the negative prediction than supports it.
Starting today, keep a notepad of all what ifs that pop in your mind. More than likely you'll find these habitual thoughts pop up around an event or situation you're stressed about. Be aware that stress is rejecting the truth. It takes mental toughness to do this, because habit has convinced you to accept completely what you're thinking. Use proof and evidence to reverse your gloomy forecast to the light of the truth. Then ask positive what if questions:
What if I break my sales belief barrier?
What if I am the top salesperson?
What if I repeat my success each month?
Isn't this a much better forecast? And once my client learned how to stop negative forecasting, he repeat his success in July. You can too!
As your mindset coach, you'll learn new ways to think about selling. If you'd like more information about transforming your mindset, then contact me by filling out the form below and tell me specifically how I can help you. Why not take advantage of a 30-minute complimentary consultation.
If you need private, personalized help with sales, just complete the form below for your 30-minute complimentary consultation.