Mindfulness, Meditation, and the Ever “Present” Sales Rep
I attended Dreamforce 2016 a few weeks ago. I was out there to meet up with customers, partners and hit the expo floor to see if there were tools I could utilize for our sales team.
As I was walking the floor, I would look at the messaging of the booth, and if it struck a chord with me, I would engage a sales rep in conversation. More than half the time the rep would start pitching immediately not having asked me one question. They would also have this robotic way of explaining, and I could see in their eyes that their mind was somewhere else.
Now I’ve done my fair share of trade shows. I’ve done the late night client entertaining into the early morning trade show marathon, feet aching, tired, sick of saying the same thing over and over. Still, no excuse to not be present while trying to represent and sell your product or service. But this goes beyond the trade show floor. I had conversations elsewhere at Dreamforce, while out in the field, and even internal meetings where I can see a person’s mind and attention drifting before my eyes.
It made me think that this may have been happening all the time, but it’s noticeable now because of my mindfulness meditation practice.
1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition.”
2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
I’m a true believer in mindfulness and using meditation as a way to get there. I’ve seen it work wonders in my life, and friends and family.
Can it help in sales? Yes.
The biggest mistakes I see new sales reps make is not listening to the person they are talking to because they are trying to think of the next thing to say. They may only be a few seconds in the future, but they might as well be thinking of what to have for dinner, or where they want to live when they retire.
The biggest mistake I see experienced sales reps make is tuning out because they’ve heard the problem being described many times before, so they don’t listen close enough and take a short cut in the sales process. Shortcuts kill sales. The buyer has a journey to travel, and you’re the guide. You can’t summit Everest without first getting to the base camp.
Staying present in the Now will help your listening skills, and you will come across as more likable.
Here are three ways you can get started:
1. Limit distractions. If you have an important call or meeting, put your phone in your desk drawer, or your pocket. Or better yet put it in airplane mode, so it can’t push notifications. That buzzing of a phone contains strong Pavlovian stimulus. Get rid of it.
2. Read “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. It’s a solid introduction to mindfulness and should provide a foundation from which you can proceed further.
3. Start a meditation practice. I recommend guided meditations. There are several available for free in the app store or on iTunes. If you don’t mind spending some money, I highly recommend Headspace. Since starting “The Headspace Journey,” I have found the app to be a huge help reducing stress and helping me focus.
The only thing that truly exists is the present moment. And so it goes in sales, the only thing that truly exists is the sales call you are on right Now. Stay present my friends.