Self Image and Sales Performance


By Roger N. Daviston

We generally perform about the same way as we see ourselves performing. And it is a two edged sword. We don’t do much better, and we don’t do much worse. Let’s look at an example.

When I was seventeen years old I was a competitive golfer. I played in a golf tournament in Auburn, Alabama. There were college golf coaches riding around in golf carts scouting players to give scholarships to. After two holes I was two under par. After five holes, I was still two under par. Then I began to hear some self talk that sounded like this; “Hey, Rog… you’re pretty good but you’re not this good”. My game began to fall apart and I did not do well from that point on.

Later in life when I was thirty-five years old, it happened to me again. I don’t play golf but about once a year and was invited on a trip to Florida with eight other people. I played terrible and was even ridiculed by my friends about how all washed up I was. Then I began to hear some self talk. This is what it sounded like; ” Hey, Rog… you’re pretty bad, but you’re not this bad. My game then began to improve and I shot two under on the front nine of a course I had never played on before. I managed to end the day with a 74 and that’s pretty good for a once a year golfer.

So how do we grow and get better? Do we learn all the sales techniques that we can? Do we go to the next seminar? What other magic pill are we missing? Jim Rohn said “work harder on your self than you do on your job”. What does this mean? How do you work on your self?

Guard your mind and feed your mind healthy food. We are bombarded with thoughts. Be careful which thoughts you allow to hang around. Be careful what you feed your mind. Have you ever heard the expression “food for thought”? Feed your mind the food that will help it grow. Whatever challenge you are going through right now, chances are someone has already been through it and even written a book about it. Ask yourself this question. What book am I reading this week? When you reach for the remote, ask yourself if the program is really going to be healthy food for thought.

Reframe all negative thoughts. I once had a client who had committed to spend about $25,000 over a one year period. After the sales force evaluation had time to sink in, the client and I talked. He was very frustrated and almost angry because I had told him things were so bad. I had these thoughts; “He is so upset he is going to cancel the training. He is so upset he is going to cancel the training. STOP IT! CANCEL THAT!”

This is how I reframed it. I actually wrote it down and spoke this out loud for several days. “He is so… lost. The overview is going to anchor the sale and I’ll get more training once I build rapport and credibility. He is reacting just like the test said he would. This confirms the accuracy of the test and he needs me more than ever.”

And, how I spoke it and thought about it, is exactly how the future played out! I believe if I had allowed the other thoughts to set up house in my mind, the future would have played out differently. We are going to be accountable for everything we say one day. Think and speak out loud what you want the future to look like. If I had known this principle and practiced it when I was seventeen years old, I would have gotten that scholarship.