Visualization involves imagining yourself participating in an exercise and realizing a positive outcome. Professional athletes and successful salespeople use visualization to help them prepare for an upcoming event or meeting.
They envision the process from Step 1 through to its conclusion. Along the way they “practice” what they will say and do, thereby helping to memorize their steps and dialogue. Just as important, because they visualize a positive outcome, they become charged up and more confident.
Another advantage I’ve found is that I think of new questions or points to consider. As I prepare for my meeting, I research the firm and generate a number of comments and questions. Prior to the meeting, I use visualization to “walk” myself through the discussion. I envision saying and asking certain things, and the prospect responding in a particular manner.
Inevitably I think of new material, including:
– Questions the prospect may ask
– Additional points I should make
– Ideas I could offer
– A new angle for the discussion
It’s amazing what your brain will think of when it is allowed to roam. Give it a question or a new set of facts, and your mind will offer its own logical response. Many times it will generate ideas you had already considered. But sometimes it comes up with new material. That’s why visualization is so useful in business settings.
For visualization to be successful, you must be relaxed and in a quiet setting. Close your eyes and put all other thoughts out of your mind. I call this a legal form of daydreaming. If anyone walks in, just say, “I’m visualizing my meeting later today!”
Imagine you’re preparing for the presentation. Select a comment you were about to offer, but think of only one part of it. For example,
Mr. Prospect, this unit can really meet your needs because….
And let your mind wander. Does it come up with the information you intended to offer or something new?
Now move onto the prospect. How do you envision that person responding? Whether a question or comment, it could be something new and therefore unexpected. If so, that’s good, because you are less likely to be caught off guard.
Remember: If you think of something–even subconsciously–your prospect or client probably will as well. Practice how to handle those new questions or comments, and you will be that much better prepared for your meeting.
Use visualization before your next presentation or sales call, and you will “see” better results afterward.
Keep a recorder handy to capture your thoughts and ideas
As noted above, visualization can help you develop new ideas, questions, and concepts. But they’re easily forgotten if not recorded immediately.
I crafted and visualized most of a seminar while taking an after-dinner walk one evening. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to bring along the digital recorder, so by the time I sat down to compose my notes, I had forgotten some of the points. It took awhile to reconstruct the finer details.
Just as you keep a pad of paper near the nightstand should a great idea hit late at night, you should also have a recorder nearby to capture those thoughts that pop up during the day. Many come to mind while you’re away from the desk. Don’t assume you’ll recall them later. More likely, you’ll forget them entirely, and kick yourself for not taking a moment to write a few notes. With a recorder handy, you’ll always be able to capture those brilliant concepts with the flick of a button.
For additional reading, see Ingraining the 7 habits of highly successful people and Study and apply strong principles to become a great leader.
If you enjoyed this column, please pass it along. Have you used visualization? Has it worked for you? Feel free to comment below.