shebang 2013 with names Want to get Sales Healthy? Get Up and Go Outside... (of Your Head)

As those of you who read my last blog post know, I was vacationing in breath-taking Estes Park, Colorado last week. There’s nothing more rejuvenating then getting up and going outside. Hearing rocks crunch under my feet on the mountain trails, feeling cool air brushing my cheeks on the aerial tram, and inhaling  nature’s perfect blend of  pine and rain during the early evening thunder-storms was just what the doctor ordered.

I didn’t realize that my outside journey would continue when I left Colorado to attend the Sales SheBang event in Minneapolis as no outside activities were on the agenda. It’s when I reflected on the experience of those 2 days that I remembered that brains can get just as cooped up as bodies and so it’s important to go outside of our own heads.

What SheBang gave me is a renewed appreciation for helping others and for letting others help us with coaching, and fresh ideas.

What is Sales SheBang?

Sales Shebang is a community of female B2B sales experts, keynote speakers, sales trainers, sales coaches, facilitators, and sales consultants in North America and Australia. Each year, we get together for two days of discussion, networking, and idea exchange. Every year, we all have a chance to get outside of our own heads and get feedback from some of the best B2B Sales minds in the industry.

Why it’s important to get outside of your head

It’s not easy to spend all day inside your head, but we all do it. If you’re in sales, you’re constantly analyzing your sales approach (in general and for each opportunity), re-evaluating your priorities, questioning your skills and whether you’re good enough, and talking yourself into doing or thinking something. Your head is where a talk-track of emotions and stresses plays on an endless loop. It’s a warehouse where we store worry and doubt.

It’s important to get outside of your head so you can get beyond your talk-track. Talk-tracks prevent breakthrough thinking. When you get outside of your head, you’re talking to others. and talking is just ‘thinking out loud’. The difference is that when you speak deep-seated thoughts out loud they often sound totally different (less sensible perhaps?) than when they’re spoken as a talk-track in your head. Putting your thoughts into spoken words isn’t nearly as easy as letting the words simply float around in your head. The process of putting them into sentences that can be spoken aloud is what allows you to see where your illogic resides.

Besides sharing your thoughts out loud, you can also get outside of your head by helping others with their thinking. Isn’t it curious and odd how you learn so much from your own advice when it’s given to others in need of fresh ideas and a new perspective?

We all learn more about ourselves whenever we’re together at SheBang. But we also had a few guest speakers at the event and I’d like to thank them for helping me get outside of my head in the following ways:

Jon Ferrara of Nimble: On the importance of being authentic and paying it forward

Jill Rowley of Oracle: On the importance of clarity of purpose and passion

Lisa Hufford: On the importance of getting out of your bubble and having real conversations with customers

How to get Sales Healthy by getting out of your own head

  • Share your thoughts aloud with people you trust like your manager, colleagues, or friends
  • Hire a coach (SheBang has a large number of talented sales coaches. Email me if you’d like some referrals).
  • Speak your thoughts out loud. The process of putting thoughts into sentences, along with hearing how they come out can help you see both the wisdom and the error in your thoughts and give you fresh insight.
  • Be a sounding board for others. Ever hear the quote “Take my advice. I’m not using it.”? Interesting how you’ll benefit from hearing your own advice in the process of giving it to others.

I’m refreshed on all fronts now, body and mind, and ready for the months ahead. We’ll be promoting our free short-courses on Sales Productivity University, and producing an ebook of the Top Questions to ask When Building Your Vendor Short-Lists for sales software. So stay tuned. And get tuned, by getting outside of your own head.

Nancy Nardin is the foremost expert increasing sales productivity through the use of tools. As President of Smart Selling Tools, she consults with many of the top sales productivity software vendors as well as end-user organizations looking to select the right tools. Click to get Nancy’s What & When weekly digest with invitations to complimentary webinars and informative publications. Follow Nancy on Twitter @sellingtools or subscribe to her Sales Productivity blog. Nancy can be reached at 916-596-3035. To schedule a free 30 minute consultation click here.