Practice makes perfect

I got a call from a client.

“I’ve got an appointment tomorrow to talk to a prospect about the biggest deal I’ve ever closed!”

“Congratulations!” What are you thinking about as you go into that call?”

“I’m terrified that they are going to say no. I really think they will cut the price, and I’m going to have to say yes, and then I’ll over-deliver and won’t make any money!”

I understand getting nervous before a big call; it’s normal. When things are important to you, when you care about the outcome, our bodies react with sweating palms, rapid heartbeat, or cotton mouth. Those are normal bodily responses.

But your brain doesn’t have to follow your body!

When we feel fear, our brain’s natural response is to worry, to go over every possible response to the situation. Because the potentially bad outcomes are painful, we tend to spend more time rehearsing those outcomes than the potentially good outcomes.

Practicing Failure

But what happens when we rehearse those bad outcomes over, and over, and over again? We are practicing for failure. We’re planning for it!

So when we’re in the conversation, our awareness is heightened for any hint that they will say no; we are primed for that request to drop the price.

Does that priming cause us to misinterpret what our client is saying? Does it cause us to jump the gun and drop our price too early? Does our rehearsal of the negative outcomes even prime us to create them?

What if we practiced success?

If, instead of rehearsing the bad outcomes over and over, we instead rehearsed positive outcomes, what would change?

How would you respond if they said, “When can we get started?” Would your jaw drop to the floor, and stumble through your next sentence?

How would you respond to their price objection differently if you rehearsed a positive outcome?

Next time you have an important conversation coming up, instead of letting your lizard brain try to protect you from all the potentially embarrassing or disappointing outcomes, try taking charge of your brain and rehearsing the positive outcomes. I’d love to hear how things are different!

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