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Selling Mindfully

  • June 1, 2017
  • Written by Meridian Admin

The benefits of mindfulness have increasingly come to the attention of those in healthcare, especially when dealing with stress, depression, pain management, and end of life. But an ability to be more mindful, more aware, more in the moment is being recognized as a huge advantage in business too.

It’s been said that we have 60,000 thoughts a day and that 95 percent of them are the same ones we had yesterday. We tend, for the most part, to live our lives on auto-pilot. We shower, brush our teeth, eat breakfast, drive to work all without really thinking. Have you ever driven somewhere and wondered how the heck you got there? It happens to us all – mundane, repetitive tasks are handled by the brain almost autonomously and if we are not careful our automatic pilot can start managing things that should demand all our attention.

Mindfulness is living in the moment and being aware – the past no longer exists, the future is yet to exist, the only reality is the present moment. When we hold each moment in awareness we have a greater ability to focus, to be present, to really experience what is going on. Next time you witness a sunset with friends or loved ones don’t just say how beautiful it is, take three deep breaths and then focus on your breathing and notice how your experience is magnified – it will be almost like you are seeing the sun set for the very first time.

What does all this have to do with selling? Being focused allows you to ask more intelligent questions, uncover real needs and pain points, and clearly show your prospect the value of your offering. Mindfulness promotes calmness, reduces anxiety, builds confidence and increases your attention span. It makes you a better listener and boosts positive emotions.

Learning to be mindful helps hold ‘monkey brain’ in check. Our brain throws dozens of thoughts at us every second and those thoughts can hamper our ability to focus on our buyer or prospect. Here are a few tips to help you bring a little mindfulness into your business and especially the art of selling.

Breathe – before you go into a sales meeting, or pick up the phone to make that sales call pause for a minute. Take a few deep breaths and then bring your breathing back to normal. Every time stray thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge them and bring yourself back to your breath. Doing this for a minute or so will clear your mind and help you become fully present. Now, when you start interacting with your customer you won’t be thinking about whether you locked your car door, or parked legally, or about the person who cut you off a few minutes ago.

Meditation – many people get the wrong idea about meditation; that it’s about clearing the mind, perhaps zoning out, or chanting. It’s actually exercise for the mind – it’s about being aware of one’s thoughts, feelings and emotions. The biggest reason people say they don’t meditate is they don’t have time. A Zen proverb says, “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day unless you are too busy and then you should sit for an hour.” The wonderful thing about meditating is that it actually gives you more time in your day because you are far more focused and productive.

The other thing about meditation is that it can be done at any time – including walking from your car to a client, or going up a flight of stairs. Walking meditation can help you become more focused for that next sales call. As you walk feel each step, each part of each step, be aware of your breath. If you are walking along a path breathe in for three seconds and then more slowly out for four seconds. By the time you get to your call, or the phone, you will be in a peaceful, more confident frame of mind. You will be clearer, focused, positive – in the moment.

Selling in the here and now – mindfulness, being mindful, will allow you to eliminate any concerns or limitations about what is possible coming from thoughts about the past or the future. This is the only reality – this moment, and this, and this.

Zen proverbs aside, one minute of meditation is still immensely valuable – during a busy business day try to take a few minutes here and there and meditate. Even if you can only manage 30-seconds, you will be surprised at how much difference it will make to your sales performance, your productivity and your overall well-being.