I love to think and I place very high value on my level of sales motivation. At times, though, my thinking and my sales motivation are on a collision course, and often it’s the sales motivation that takes a hit. I saw this first hand recently in a phone call I had with a salesperson who is normally very positive and motivated. The person called me because he was concerned about an upcoming opportunity that he saw coming and how he felt for sure it was going to wind up becoming a huge issue. In his thinking process, he began to realize that his entire sales strategy was at risk and he was going to wind up having a disastrous year.

As he was telling me this, I kept trying to interrupt him to ask him a question to challenge his logic. He wouldn’t let me get a word in. He was so sure of everything, and the more he talked, I could just feel the sales motivation being sucked from him. Finally, I asked him how much time he had been thinking about this original opportunity. He said “a little while.” When I probed him more, he shared that he had been thinking about it nearly 100% of the time for the past several days. I continued to probe more about his thought process and he came to realize how obsessed he had become with the opportunity… and how an initial negative thought he had about it had become the cornerstone of his thinking for the last several days.

In essence, he spent way too much time thinking about everything that could occur and dwelling on the negative, rather than focusing on the positive. Clearly the solution for him was to quit thinking about it and go out and do it. I asked him to keep me informed not only on this opportunity, but also the entire year. I am interested in hearing how he recovers from “over thinking.”

After hanging up with him, I began to think back on some of the issues I’ve encountered. Sure enough, I began to realize there were times where I had way over thought things and allowed them to take my level of sales motivation down. The lesson here is simple: As important as it is to think through what it is we want to do, there is also a time when thinking is no longer necessary and it’s time to go out and do it.

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