There's probably been a point where you thought a deal was a sure thing. You came back to the office, and when someone asked you how your meeting went, you told them you had a sure winner. Then you found out later they went in a different direction.
How can you keep that from happening?
In Sandler, we say that you had "happy ears." You were irrationally optimistic about the outcome. Here are five ways you can combat happy ears.
1. Remember behavior drives attitude
This is counter to what a lot of people think. It's crazy how many people believe you can just magically transform your attitude! I can't help but chuckle when people promote motivational speakers, because motivation wears off. You can't send someone to a motivational speaker for 90 minutes and expect it to change their life. Changing your behaviors is what changes your life.
2. Seek an outside voice of reason
Even if you're a solo entrepreneur, or in sales but work by yourself, it's essential to have another person to talk to. It needs to be someone who will ask us questions and challenge us. Of course, it has to be a good outside voice of reason. Remember, not everyone has your best interests in mind.
Daily business journaling is powerful. It's fantastic for reflecting on your behaviors, decisions, and interactions. It helps you figure out what's working and what's not, and notice patterns in your life.
4. Pre-brief and debrief
We can pre-brief and debrief just about any communication situation! And we can do it with someone else, or by ourselves. Ahead of time, discuss (or write) what you want to accomplish, and how you plan to do that. Then afterward, do the same for what worked, and what didn't work.
5. Ask more questions
I have three guidelines to success: Be suspicious. Be curious. Don't be emotionally attached to the outcome. If you keep those three in mind, the simplest way to combat happy ears comes naturally. Ask more questions.
Remember, happy ears is contagious. Armed with these techniques, you can combat it and prevent unrealistic sales projections, as well as frustration.