If you hear people talking about the benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness is your first reaction ‘I just don’t get it’? Then let me tell you what I discovered when I met an experienced Yoga teacher in my home town. I learned that Yoga is a union of mind, body and soul, and that it has a lot of value for salespeople.
Sales is hard work. It requires meticulous preparation, understanding customer needs and concerns, thoroughness and focus on the real issues.
Mindfulness is the first tip that Yoga gives us. Yoga is about focus. It’s about learning to block out distraction. The untrained mind doesn’t focus on any one thing for more than a few seconds - checking emails, mobile phones and app alerts have made this even worse.
The trained mind does one thing at a time. Not multi-tasking – of course I hear half my readers saying phew and half saying boo! Find your focus and be mindful of what you’re doing at this moment in time. Live in the present is an important principle which Yoga teaches us.
Distraction is why we are such bad listeners
A distracted mind won’t allow us to do our job properly. Think of a sales conversation. All too often we are bad listeners, because while the customer is talking, we’re distracted by thinking about the next question, or what we want to say, instead of trying to listen and understand what’s being said.
Yoga is a discipline. It’s much more than a set of exercises you do on a mat. It’s something you can bring with you into your workplace - to prepare yourself mentally and get ready. When you start a Yoga session - or a sales meeting - you gain control with breathing to get your mind focused on what you want to achieve.
Sales Training alone doesn’t work
How often do we get our teams to go on a sales training course? Then the folder goes on the shelf and we quickly forget. A new technique only becomes a habit through continuous practice in daily life.
Yoga teaches us to make practice a habit. Yes you can go to a Yoga lesson, leave feeling a temporary release from stress but then throw yourself back into the office with all thoughts of calm forgotten until your next session. But through continued discipline and practice you change your behaviour. The same applies for a new sales skill or technique.
Contentment is good for sales people
The holistic part of Yoga teaches us to have contentment, self-discipline, to be the best we can and to be truthful, open-minded and honest.
But where are you? Sitting in front of your prospect. In your head your boss is shouting ‘I need sales’, you need to close, you want the commission. You’re thinking ‘I wonder if that other customer has emailed me the signed contract’.
Being healthy, happy and content helps block these distractions. It helps you listen. Be in the zone. To have discipline and be honest when dealing with and communicating with people.
If you listen and are considerate, you’ll find out what your customer really needs and when it’s the right time for the sale.
Yoga is not about being super-flexible
Yoga helps us release body tensions and stress, be still and more focused. It helps you keep your mind and body flexible. But you don’t have to be super-flexible.
In Sales you need to be flexible too. But you need to stick to your sales process, be thorough in understanding customer needs and requirements before you submit a proposal. Be flexible but not super-flexible. Have a process, plan well and don’t cut corners. In Yoga doing an exercise technically well gives you the full benefit while doing it badly can cause problems. The same in Sales, do everything in the process properly and you will reap the full benefit.
Challenge the way you work
Do you prepare fully for a call or a negotiation like a Yoga student warms up?
Do you fully concentrate on what a customers says when you ask a question?
Is good sales practice a matter of habit for you?
Let me know if you want the number of my Yoga teacher. It’s working for me.
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