“IF-THEN: Two simple, but incredibly powerful words to incorporate into coaching conversations with your sales reps.
In psychology this is referred to as “implementation Intention”—which is basically a plan you make beforehand about when, where, and how you plan to act when faced with an obstacle if/when a certain situation arises.
Hundreds of studies have shown that implementation intentions can significantly improve the odds of success with goal-achievement, behavioral modification, and habit formation.
How does it work?
Here’s a simple framework:
“If situation x arises, then I will perform response y.”
◆ IF (some distraction) comes up that might prevent me from doing my pipeline generation activities for the week, THEN I will _____.
◆ IF I can’t get to power in this account, THEN I will ____.
◆ IF the prospect brings up (this) objection, THEN I will respond by saying ____ and I will also plant ____ trap for the competition.
How can something so simple have such a powerful effect on shaping behavior and improving performance?
1. PREPARATION: You are thinking through, preparing, and setting specific goals for the desired outcome you wish to achieve ahead of time—before taking action.
2. PRIMING: You are priming your mind by expecting/anticipating that obstacles will come up that will attempt to derail you, preventing you from achieving that desired result.
3. PLANNING: You are creating a contingency plan ahead of time how you will remove those obstacles, thus significantly increasing the odds you will succeed.
Whether you/your reps are planning our your week, your day, or an important sales call—start with the end in mind.
Set a specific goal or outcome you’re trying to achieve and write it down.
Think through and prepare in advance how you plan to execute in order to achieve it.
Anticipate obstacles/roadblocks that might come up that could derail you from achieving your goal.
Have a contingency plan for how you will overcome those obstacles.
When in doubt, don’t try and go it alone.
Ask your “coach” for help.