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IMGCA Article - The Mental Game of Selling


Psych-Up Strategies for Sales Professionals

Get Ready to Win

Bill Cole, MS, MA

People don't plan to fail...they just fail to plan. Powerful performances must provide perceptive pre-performance procedures so poor performance is precluded! Here are some pre-performance sales strategies from some of the world's top selling professionals and others who have achieved preeminence on the platform of life's stage. Before your next sales event, consider preparing your mind in these special ways:

1. At the minimum, practice your sales performance the morning of the "show". Not the whole thing, but bits and pieces. This is your warm-up and will help you begin to focus on the performance.

2. Have some sort of pre-event routine that will prepare you mentally, emotionally and physically. Even NOT having a traditional routine is fine (goofing off, not paying attention to the upcoming event) as long as you realize that this works for you.

3. Custom planning is the key. You need a routine that will work specifically for you, not one that you saw another sales pro do. Experiment to find the one that meets your needs.

4. What are your needs? You want a routine that focuses you, helps you contain anxiety, energizes you with positive energy, psyches you up mentally so you expect to do well and helps you make a gradual transition into your performance state.

5. The performance state is a special consciousness that is different from our normal day-to-day existence. We need to enter that state well before the show goes on. Just arriving at the performance and then rushing on will not do it. A gradual leaving behind of our normal day and a slow immersion into our "game head" is required.

6. Your pre-show routine is very much a ritual. You need to have a series of steps in the routine that you do each time before a performance. Over time, this ritual begins to feel comfortable, normal and will work for you. It's a security blanket for your confidence.

7. It's important to maintain the same ritual in the same order each time you prepare. It's this sameness that kicks off your psych-up energy and automatically helps you focus, relax and energize.

8. The ritual you design should be no shorter than 10 minutes, but no longer than 30 minutes or so. Any shorter and the effect is not as powerful, and any longer and you may not be able to find the time or space to execute it. The best rituals are done quickly and require no special equipment or place.

9. Check any sales tools you will be using. Make sure your clothing is in order. Do a final check of the performance area. Make sure all physical things are under control as much as possible. This frees your mind of worry.

10. Visualize your sales performance. Imagine it the way you would love to perform. Imagine your success and how you will feel when it is over. This builds your will to win, to succeed despite all cost and obstacles.

This will start you on the journey to the perfect pre-performance sales routine. I wish you the best of luck in your march to selling peak performance.

To learn more about how sales coaching can help you become a better, more confident sales professional, visit Bill Cole, MS, MA, the Mental Game Coach™ at

Copyright © Bill Cole, MS, MA 2005, 2008 All rights reserved.

This article covers only one small part of the mental game. A complete mental training program includes motivation and goal-setting, pre-event mental preparation, post-event review and analysis, mental strengthening, self-regulation training, breath control training, mental rehearsal, concentration training, pressure-proofing, communication training, confidence-building, breaking through mental barriers, slump prevention, mental toughness training, flow training, relaxation training, psych-out proofing and media training.

For a comprehensive overview of your mental abilities you need an assessment instrument that identifies your complete mental strengths and weaknesses. For a free, easy-to-take 66-item sales skills assessment tool you can score right on the spot, visit This assessment gives you a quick snapshot of your strengths and weaknesses in your mental game. You can use this as a guide in creating your own mental training program, or as the basis for a program you undertake with Bill Cole, MS, MA to improve your mental game. This assessment would be an excellent first step to help you get the big picture about your mental game of selling.

Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and President of the International Mental Game Coaching Association, Bill is also founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps organizations and professionals achieve more success in business, life and sports. He is a multiple Hall of Fame honoree, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments visit him at

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