Friday, February 17, 2012

On The Topic of Mental Pressure

Recently, I acquired a brand new sales book from a company that I work with on the side.  The CEO, Ben Stewart, wrote and published it, and illustrated a lot of his observations about the winners and 'average joes' that the company sees.

One observation was on the topic of mental pressure. Ben highlights that one of the key differences between a 'big biller' and an 'average joe' is what happens once they've made their first sale, and gotten 'off zero' in the morning.  (The sales cycle for this company was per diem.)

Before their first sale, both the 'big biller' and the 'average joe' have adequate amounts of mental pressure to make a sale.  Both of them want to get 'off zero' as fast as they can.

However, once that first sale is achieved, the 'average joe' releases his mental pressure, satisfied that he will be able to go home tonight saying that he at least did not get zero.  At least he made some money.

The 'big biller' never releases his mental pressure, almost as if that person always feels that they are at zero - regardless of how well they've done over the course of the day.

The key difference is in how much effort both individuals will put into their work in earnest.  The 'big biller' is always hungry - and never allows himself to feel like he's had enough, or anything, throughout the day.  The 'average joe' fills up on his fill, and is satisfied - and therefore, mentally, 'hunting for food' becomes less of a priority.

How many of you, upon discovering the difference, are the 'big billers'? How many of you are the 'average joes'? Is it evident?

This mental habit went undetected by myself, and I would guess goes undetected by many - in all types of sales positions.  How can we relate this problem to headhunting and account management? Easily.

In Account Management, it would be easy to release your mental pressure if you've acquired a client during the day.  The earlier in the day you do this, the worse the rest of your day will be, prospectively.  Sometimes I've caught myself wanting to release the mental pressure simply because I've had a good conversation.

If I've already got a client base of four or five good, well-managed clients, I might show up to the office with no mental pressure at all to gain new work.  This, I believe, could easily be responsible for the 'flux' that many recruiters feel - where one month is great, and the next bad, and so on.

The same holds true for candidates and headhunters.

Ultimately, paying attention to those tiny mental habits in your mind - every moment you're at work - and learning to 'unlearn' them and work on improving your mental pressure - is sure to see a boost in your profits.

"Stay hungry. Stay foolish." - Steve Jobs