- Anesthesia, General

Sales Peak Performance: Creating the Emotional Resiliency of a Champion

Eight decades ago, Dr. Evan O’Neill Kane of New York’s Kane Summit Hospital felt doctors were losing too many Customers in appendectomy surgery, many because of the effects of general anesthesia. He felt that local anesthesia would be better for the Customer but, not surprisingly, no volunteers came forward to test his hypothesis. Until, that is, February 15, 1921. That’s when he finally performed an appendectomy with local anesthesia — on himself! In the process, he changed accepted medical practice. To be your best you can be in sales, you often need to change too; sometimes that change means operating on yourself! Begin analyzing your own situation by simply counting the how many times the letter f appears.


How many did you get? 3? 4? 5? 6? 7? There are a total of seven! Most people get four or five. If you missed some, why? Why would anyone miss an f or two or three? It has to do with our mental model or the way we perceive things and act on them. This little exercise points out that what you are missing in terms of sales performance improvement is most likely right in front of you. Sometimes the solutions to your challenges are there, but you just don’t see them. Why? Because of entrenched habits, perceptions and beliefs. When you try to improve, it seems as futile as trying to lose weight with fad diets.

So what’s the key? How do you breakthrough? Dr. Charles Garfield of the Peak Performance Institute has discovered exercises that help individuals tap their personal best performances. Garfield experienced these techniques himself as a world- class weigh-lifter and researcher. Garfield explains, ” In the process, the researchers discovered that mental training techniques not only combated negative reactions, but also threw open the doors to hidden reserves of energy and endurance.” Dr. Denis Waitley identified similar peak performance strategies in his work with Olympic athletes and business people. To begin remember these important principles to achieving sales peak performance:

  • Self-development is self-management. There is no self-improvement only increasing in the ability to be all that you already are. You can’t change others but you can change yourself.
  • To manage yourself better to sell more effectively you must be willing to change some habits to increase productivity.
  • A foundation to self-management is to respond to all events based on your goals and priorities rather than reacting to spot urgencies, problems or needs.

Mind and body are intricately intertwined; to control what you do, better control what you think. Just like a champion athlete systematically physically and mentally prepares to win the gold, champion salespeople do likewise. Know your product, learn selling techniques to be customer centered and prepare mentally too. It will help you handle the setbacks, the no’s and rejection that go with the job and think creatively. We call it Emotional Resiliency.

The Best of the Best Exercise

Think of a time in your sales career when you did your best work ever. Choose a situation that exemplifies your highest performance. Get a clear mental picture of the event. Replay it in your mind as if it were a movie. Think of the details –people, problems, sounds, feelings, and surroundings. Review in your mind what happened, how you behaved, what you felt and achieved. Capture your thoughts with the questions below:

  • What was the situation?
  • What was your motivation to succeed or act?
  • How did you feel?
  • What key behaviors or strategies did you use?
  • What lessons can you learn or relearn about your Peak Performance?

By learning to replicate that experience and improving the result as well, you’ll become a sales leader. To be the best you can be, make a commitment to personal development and excellence. If you want to be exceptional, do exceptional things. The difference between sales winners and losers is that the winners do what losers won’t do at all or won’t do enough. Never forget that success is not accidental. Achieve peak sales performance by continuing to learn from your experiences and others.