Posts Tagged ‘negative conditioning’

Leverage Your Mindset to Increase Sales

If you want to increase sales, right now momentarily forget about your sales training, all the books you read on sales, your CRM, your To Do List, your sales funnel, your outstanding proposals, your appointments today, your sales leads, the calls you must make to whatever else is cluttering your brain.  Now think about your mindset, how are you going to approach all those tasks?

Far too often we allow all the clutter to keep us from seeing what is actually keeping us from our desires, our goals.  This clutter is in many instances negative as in “I gotta call so and so.”

Sales Coaching Tip:  I “gotta” is negative.  I “want” to is positive.

The Reality of Mindset

William James who is considered by many to be the father of American psychology said:

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.”

More Than Attitudes to Increase Sales

Our attitudes evolve from our belief system.  Many of our beliefs are subconscious, hidden in the far recesses of our mind. Depending upon the research and if we count our sleeping hours, the total number of daily subconscious thoughts range from 10,000 to 600,000. Here is were our deepest beliefs lie.

Attitudes reflect our beliefs both conscious and subconscious.

Negativity First

We are conditioned as children to negativity.  Parents tell us:

  • “Don’t touch the stove”
  • “Don’t talk to strangers”
  • “Don’t go to where you are not invited”

Sales Coaching Tip:  The last two bullets explain much of the fear of cold calling.

Our parents in their efforts to keep us safe from harm have started our brains on a negative path.  Unfortunately, they failed later to counter balance all that negative conditioning.

Then as we grow, we internalize these don’ts and place negative consequences on them.  Our DO NOTS have now turned into CANNOTS!

A New Mindset

If you wish to increase sales, there is a way to discover where you have gaps (clarity) and how to close those gaps (execution).

Here is the formula for a positive mindset regardless of your role:

(b) • {A+S+K} + mmG = PBC = IP ∴ IR

If you wish to learn this formula, have under 30 minutes and truly want to increase sales or improve your results, schedule a time to talk by CLICKING HERE.

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Facing a Fear Greater than Cold Calling

Mention cold calling to some salespeople and watch the fear in their eyes.  Yet there is a greater fear within not only the sales world, but the overall professional and personal worlds.  That fear is discovering and facing the truth about yourself.

cold-callingPeople think they fear the truth, but what they really fear is having their accepted truth challenged.  They are comfortable with the status quo, the known.  They believe they know themselves quite well and facing something that is contrary to those beliefs is what they really fear.

So how does one face this fear that is greater than cold calling?

Possibly the first step is to discover what you really do well.  This self=discovery may surprise you as it has surprised over 98,2% of the sales coaching and executive coaching clients I have had the opportunity to assess.

Would you be surprised to know that how you may decisions about the outside world as well as yourself can be assessed?

Did you know you have 78 key attributes or talents that can be measured and ranked?

Download this worksheet, 78-core-talents-self-eval-dl, and rank what you believe you do well. Then take advantage of the special offer.

How about confirming your temperament, your levels of optimism, pessimism or neutrality?

All of this information can bring clarity to what you do well. From this data, you can begin to leverage that information and better understand yourself beyond what you thought you knew.

No longer will the beliefs from the past, the negative conditioning, hold you back. Now you can move forward and embrace what you do well.

Yes cold calling is somewhat scary.  After all, we have been negatively conditioned not to talk to strangers and to not go where we have not been invited.  Doesn’t it make sense to turn all that negative conditioning around, leave it in the past and go forward by actually confirming your talents, what you truly do well?

Schedule a quick phone call by clicking HERE and take advantage of the special offer.  Start the New Year with EXCEPTIONAL  clarity.  Then possibly cold calling won’t be as scary as you have believed all these years.

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Dreams Are the Fodder for Your Future Goals

Dreams, we all have them from the fancy cars, high paying jobs, homes with children to doing the impossible.  Louie Armstrong said “Goals are dreams with endings.”  Yes, dreams are our future goals, where we see ourselves down the road.

future-goalsWhat is interesting is many adults have lost the ability to dream.  They have become so focused on the day to day grind, they forget those childhood dreams. Their lives are like a one way street without any rest stops, always going and going like the Energizer Bunny.

Then we have some negative conditioning about dreams.  Remember ever looking out the window and day dreaming?  Then suddenly your teacher or parent brought you back to reality with an admonishment about day dreaming and getting back to work.

When working with executive coaching clients I have them work in a dream journal.  This become the fodder for some of their future goals. The initial work in this dream journal is slow at best.  However within three months my executive coaching clients within a little ongoing encouragement  have 50 dreams. During this time, some of the negative conditioning has been replaced with positive conditioning and much more positive energy.

Yes dreams, whatever they be, are essential to our self improvement. So go out today, dare to dream big or little like Ella and Louie share in this recording.

* * * * * * * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between today’s results and tomorrow’s goals in the key areas of strategic growth, people development and process improvement. She speaks and writes specifically to high performance sales people who require a tailored solution and to small businesses under 50 employees whose challenges are more unique and resources more limited. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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The Unsuspecting Self Improvement Barrier of Ambivalence

In listening to a presentation on Motivational Interviewing the discussion centered around ambivalence that being the simultaneous and contradictory feelings toward something. I suddenly realized when it comes to self improvement, ambivalence is probably always one of the many barriers that potentially keep people from moving forward.


Credit: Gratisography

How many times do we want to do something to change the status quo and yet our behaviors are contradictory to that desire?

When we invest the time to recognize and identify the specific ambivalence that is holding us back we can then moved forward.  Of course, the shadow behind ambivalence is change and more so the fear of change.

Due to past negative conditioning, we are reluctant to change and much of that reluctance is subconscious. This is why so many self improvement initiatives fail is because all those subconscious thoughts are increasing our fear of change, our ambivalence.

What I also learned during this presentation, that making reflective statements is far more powerful (2 to 1) than asking open ended questions.  Upon my own reflection this made sense because a statement creates a stronger emotional internal, subconscious response.

As you progress through your own self improvement plan and goal setting process, consider if ambivalence is one of the barriers to your own success?


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Are You Where You Want To Be?

One of the questions I have asked for almost the last 20 years is this simple one of:

Are you where you want to be?


Credit: Gratisography

Very few people answer in the affirmative.  Most respond with a shake of the head and a litany of why they are not where they want to be.

What I now know is 98.2% of those I have worked with do not know what they do well. However, 95.7% know what they do not do well.

This knowledge about what we don’t do well may provide an answer for the lack of forward momentum. How can we move ourselves forward if we are ignoring or unaware of the talents and skills we do well?

We can thank our negative conditioning from the past for some of this reactive behavior.  All those Don’ts turned into Can’ts. Then add the red pencil conditioning and the focus on what we do not do well, no wonder people look to their limitations instead of their talents or strengths.

The first step to start this forward momentum is through an assessment that provides crystal clarity as to what people do well. By having this knowledge they can tailor their talents to specific goals.

Probably the best talent assessment is the Attribute Index.  I have delivered this assessment to hundreds of individuals from salespeople to small business owners to entrepreneurs to business professionals in a variety of industries including:

  • Accounting
  • Banking
  • Education
  • Financial
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Legal
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Radio and entertainment
  • Real estate
  • Retail
  • Transportation

Credit: Gratisography

This assessment is not a personality test and that is part of the reason for its accuracy. Instead this assessment looks to how each individual makes decisions both externally and internally, general temperament externally and internally as well as provides a ranking for 78 key talents. One recent respondent whose professional is training and development made this statement:

“I’ve taken over 50 assessments in the past 10 years, and for me, it is one of the most accurate.”

To get to where you want to be this year and in the future, begins by assessing where you are right now and what are your talents as well as those limitations. Remember winning teams win by the talents of all team members and not their weaknesses. Now is the time to get on the horse facing the correct direction. Take this talent assessment to make this year one to remember.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M.S.,  is an executive coach and talent management consultant who takes an heuristic approach to personal and professional growth. Her task is to support you in bridging the gap between today’s results and tomorrow’s goals. She can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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One Quick Tip in How to Be Emotionally Intelligent

Emotional intelligence continues to grow in acceptance within the small business and sales communities. The challenge for many is how to be emotionally intelligent.

  • how-to-be-emotionally-intelligentWhen do I speak?
  • When do I stay quiet?
  • What do I say?

First possibly a simple understanding of what emotional intelligence means may help.

Simply speaking those who have this capacity demonstrate the following:

  • Recognize the emotions of others
  • Understand the emotions of others
  • Recognize their own emotions
  • Understand their own emotions
  • Learn how to manage the emotions of others and their own emotions simultaneously

Sometimes the most difficult action in how to be emotionally intelligent is learning how to quiet our own emotions.

One of my small business coaches suggested keeping this one small sentence at the top of one’s mind:

“It’s just a little matter of inconvenience.”

For example, you are at a self service gas station and finish pumping your gas. You push the receipt button for “Yes”and then are faced with no receipt or a message “Please see attendant.” 

  • You are in a hurry.
  • You don’t have time for this.
  • Why don’t they keep these machines full of paper?
  • This is b_ll_h_t!

As you are having one or more of these thoughts, you are now even more aggravated, your blood pressure may be up and you are definitely not a happy camper. So you lock up your car (more wasted time) and stomp into the cashier with an intense look of displeasure and a whole lot of negative body language.  You angrily request your receipt and potentially make some snide remark about “doing your job.”

What has happened is some very natural reactions due to some negative conditioning. A defensive attitude has been created and thus a barrier to truly recognizing the emotions of others.

Now imagine the same scenario and instead of having all those negative thoughts you say to yourself:

“This is just a minor inconvenience.”

You walk into the cashier with a smile on your face, request a receipt and politely share the machine is out of paper.

In your quest in how to be emotionally intelligent, you have quieted your natural reactions.

Now you are not nearly upset and are more open to having the rest of the day be more positive, more proactive instead of reactive.

So the tip in how to be emotionally quiet is re-frame your experiences from negative to positive with this one sentence “This is just a minor inconvenience.” Let me know how that works for you.

If you truly want to increase sales, then scheduled a no risk 20 minute Business Growth Accelerator Session with Leanne Hoagland-Smith at 219.759.5601 CST where you will receive:

#1 – Quick assessment of your current sales process

#2 – One business growth strategy to increase results by 20% in 60 days

Consider giving her a call especially if what you have tried has not worked and you are ready to challenge and then change the current status quo.


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Am I Cut Out for Sales? – Part 4

If one understands everyone sells something to somebody, then the immediate answer to the question of “Am I Cut Out for Sales?” is yes. The past few days this question has been explored based upon further understanding these first two questions:

  1. “What are my beliefs about sales, marketing, selling and keeping?”
  2. “Where do I need to re-frame, revise or even remove those beliefs?”
  3. “How do I align my talents to my beliefs?”


Probably this third question is the most difficult because people do not truly know their talents and hence may attempt aligning the wrong talents to the re-framed or revised beliefs. This lack of knowledge can be traced back to believing how others have defined us along with negative conditioning. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  With some Sales Training, the talents have never been assessed and further muddy the waters.

As young people we allow others to partially define our talents (strengths) based upon current assessments like report cards or the past experiences of an older or younger sibling. Then through in the negative conditioning about what we do not do well, our focus has gone from one of strengths to one of weaknesses.

To align our talents to our beliefs requires knowing exactly what those talents are before we can feel comfortable about this question of “Am I cut out for sales?” This suggests the use of a performance appraisal instrument such as the Attribute Index where 78 key attributes or talents are ranked.

Being in sales is natural if we believe “sales is the transference of feelings.” (Zig Ziglar) What has happened for many is they have embraced negative beliefs about selling or have been wrongly trained because their talents were not in alignment with their beliefs or what they had been told they should do.

Speaking about beliefs, what beliefs do you have regarding how people buy? Learn the 3 sales buying rules on Thursday, March 7, 2013 from 12-12:30 CST in this free webinar along with some of the talents that support those sales buying rules.

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Is Out with the Old and In with the New Your First 2013 Lie?

Happy 2013! and May 2013 Be Your Best Year Ever?

Today and for the next few days we will hear this statement “out with the old and in with the new.”


Over the years this statement has turned into a belief and it is potentially a false belief or worse yet a lie.  The reason it is false is the statement presumes that everything old is bad because it must be swept away to make room for the new which is good if not at least better than what was old. Now many of us know that old is not necessarily a bad or a lie.

Out with the old and in with the new is a prime example of negative conditioning. We as humans are negatively conditioned from an early age. What are the first three (3) words a baby usually speaks?

  1. Mom
  2. Dad
  3. No

The repetitive no is a precursor to the all too familiar don’ts from our early childhood:

  • Don’t write on the walls
  • Don’t cross the street
  • Don’t speak to strangers

These “don’ts” later have consequences and now become internalized into the “can’ts lies” such as I can’t … (fill in the blank).

What I know to be true is people are far more aware of what they do not do well, their can’t lies. Yet, their success is because of what they do well. In many cases,what they do well is considered “old” along with with they do not do well.  Adopting a “new” behavior or action simply because it is new will not guarantee success.

Yes, some old behaviors may not be working. However, my sense is out with the old and in with the new may be very similar to throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Sales Training Coaching Tip: To change a negative behavior requires more than 30 days.

Before you consider out with the old and in with the new, invest the time to assess what is working and what is not working.  By taking this action, you are building upon your strengths, your talents and not wasting time focusing on your weaknesses.

P.S. To learn more about your strengths or talents, consider this 30 minute FREE webinar, Be True to You, where you can learn about your 7 Power Up Talents, 6 Motivational Smarts Talents and your decision making style.


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The Sales Training Coaching Reality Is Bad Sales Talents Top Good Talents

Many of the sales training coaching programs focus on bad sales talents or sales skills (what people do not do well) instead of good talents (what people do well). Part of the reason for these misdirected actions are due to the lack of using a proven performance appraisal diagnostic assessment focusing on talents, on assessing actual awareness of each salesperson. The other part is due to the inherent negative conditioning already embedded within each salesperson.

For example, what are the first three (3) words most babies speak?

  1. Mom
  2. Dad
  3. No

Then the Nos turn into the Don’ts such as:

  • Don’t write on the wall
  • Don’t speak to strangers
  • Don’t go where you are not invited or asked

As the child grows consequences are added to the Don’ts and the now young person is Can’t conditioned.  Add all the other negative conditioning actions from failed answers in school, red pencil marks to peer pressure and no wonder negative conditioning is alive and thriving in most people. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Reluctance toward cold calling or the fear of cold calling  is far more due to negative conditioning than any other reason.

Another reason for the emphasis on bad sales talents within sales training coaching programs is it is much easier to construct a curriculum around known weaknesses or bad sales talents than around the individual good talents.

If we accept the premise that winning teams win because of their strengths, their combined top good talents, then this emphasis on bad sales talent  is quite ridiculous.

What I know to be true after working with professional sales people, small business owners and even C Suite executives, is that 95% of these individuals do not know their top talents, but that same percentage know their worst talents.  Then what happens the focus is on attempting to improve what they do not do well as the expense of what they do well.  They may even abandoned their natural sales skills because of this focus on bad sales talents. Also within this process, they may actually turn non-talents into weaknesses because of all this negative conditioning.

Effective sales training coaching requires a strong foundation based upon confirmed awareness within each individual.  When individuals have the personal Ah Ha moment then they are more open to change because What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) has been activated because now all of a sudden the emphasis is on Me and not on the organization.

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What Signs Are You Missing to Increase Sales?

“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Blocking up the scenery, breaking my mind

Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”

Over 20 years ago,the Five Man Electrical Band played this song written by Les Emmerson. In today’s volatile business world, I can hear those lyrics on an almost weekly basis.

How many times do sales people rush the sale and end up being foolish because they failed to read the signs?

How often are sales lost because the company failed to notice market changes?

How frequently do crazy busy sales professionals miss the signs when engaged in fact finding?

How common is it for customer service people to ignore the signs of a unhappy “camper” or customer while engaged in their own scripts?

The missed signs are truly too numerous too mention.

Over 10 years ago I heard this statement:

We drive by more business than we will ever have.

Translated this means:

We miss the signs of how to increase sales each and every day.

A significant reason why we miss the signs of how to increase sales or miss read the signs is because we truly do not know our strengths or talents.  Due to negative conditioning we have as individuals, there is a behavioral tendency to focus on our weaknesses or even non-talents and turn them into weaknesses. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  This is how to work harder not smarter.

For the last five years I have been incorporated one of the few real time, deductive and objective assessments into my executive consulting and sales coaching practice.  Much like doctors who always begin with a diagnostic assessment to confirm what they believe is ailing their patients, this online performance appraisal tool  assesses the person’s awareness while providing a confirmation of what is happening in that person’s life. What is so consistent is the accuracy of this performance appraisal assessment. The accuracy is a sign for me and one thankfully I did not ignore.

Another sign with reference to this performance appraisal tool  is how 95% of those who have taken the assessment truly do not know their strengths.  This is ascertained by giving the respondents an alphabetical listing of the 78 talents after they have completed the assessment and asking them to list their top 5 talents and lower 5 talents.  What is also interesting approximately 95% know at least one of their top 5 weaknesses.  Again, a sign to confirm that negative conditioning is still alive and thriving for the majority of adults.

Technology also contributes to missing the signs.  Recently I updated my business card to include a QR Code (Quick Response) Code because I saw this sign as to where the flow of the business world was going.  My vendor Gosser Corporate Sales is working on incorporating this QR Code into some other promotional products.

Yes the signs are numerous. Unfortunately, too many sales people will not see or read them.  They will continue to do what they have always done or in the words of Sonny and Cher:

“The beat goes on”

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People buy results or rather people buy the feelings the results deliver.

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