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“Choking” Happens                                    ©                                                 We are on the eve o...
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Choking Happens

  1. 1. “Choking” Happens © We are on the eve of Super Bowl, so I thought what better time to discuss the phenomenon of ‘choking’ especially as it relates to sales. Why do athletic teams practice? Why do even the most advanced athletes practice the basics over and over? Why do they review game flims/videos before, during and after an athletic contest? The answer to the above questions is simple. They do so because they want responses to situations to be essentially automatic. If you can remove the ‘what should I do?’ thought and instead allow the best and brightest to simply react using their God given abilities you have the chance to see real success in athletics. It’s not complicated, you don’t practice and the probability you will ‘choke’ in an unfamiliar situation is VERY HIGH. It is the same in sales. You have to practice your craft to become the best and also so you can recognize situations and know immediately what the solution to them is. If you can eliminate the ‘I wasn’t expecting that’ commentary, which is another way of saying ‘I choked,’ I promise you will see sales increase. Now I know some sales people will say ‘I get enough practice in front of my customers’. But think about it for a moment, is that where you really want to practice? What happens if what you try doesn’t work? Whoops, you just lost the sale; and that is the minimum that could go wrong.The repetition of successful performance results in the “Video Game Effect.” We all know the basic conceptof video games. Each level of the game has a ‘boss’ you have to defeat. After learning the needed skills anddefeating him you move on to the next level, and so on and so on. Through practice and repetition you improveand have more success in the game. The better you get the more you enjoy the game. The world of sales is nodifferent except that the better we get not only do we enjoy our work more but we make MORE MONEY!There is science to this as well. When confronted with a scenario you have prepared for, the body will producea neuro-transmitter called Serotonin. Its main job is to induce a calming effect allowing higher level criticalthinking to happen at a much quicker pace. The result is better decisions and actions that dictate performance.Once you start to succeed at the task, the body produces Endorphins which creates the euphoric feelingcoming after you have performed at a high level or won a contest. Thus, you become conditioned to want thesame feeling over and over which propagates continued performance improvement. You might call it“Addiction to Success.”Sales managers I strongly urge you to start a regimen of sales simulations with your team. You should haveeach member of the team submit a situation where they either lost the sale or didn’t move the process forwardon a monthly basis. Also, build up your “Catalog” through your experience in the field riding with your team.Turn those actual events into simulations and before you know you will have a docket of potential sellingscenarios that you can use to help develop your team and reduce the “Choking Happens Syndrome.”Last thing; always do a post mortem, an evaluation on both live events and the simulations. Make sure yourteam knows what they did right, what they could do better and what they better not do EVER again. Eliminatethe ‘what if’ from you and your team’s vocabulary and watch the sales numbers soar.This article is the copyrighted property of Matrix Impact. Any reproduction of this article requires permission from Matrix Impact.

Learn why sales people "choke" in tough situations and how to eliminate this from happening.

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