We often look for things we can do differently, or new things we can start doing, in order to change our results. As a sales coach and trainer, I often get asked for tips or lists of things to do in order to cause an increase in sales. While there is no doubt that at the end of the day, actions are what yield results, it is also true that to govern actions, you have to govern thinking. Mind control, not in the sense of hypnotizing someone else to do your bidding, but in the sense of controlling our own minds.

The human brain is a miracle tool. Like any computer, the programs are at the mercy of the programmer, and many of us don’t do a great job as a programmer. Zeroing in on sales, how do we step up on controlling our minds, versus bouncing around like a pinball powered by the stimulus/response paradigm. I believe it comes down to 3 things.

1 – FREE your mind. Most computers have sub files filled with scripts based on past needs, obsolete code, and conflicting directives. The human brain is exactly the same. Some of this we accidentally programmed ourselves, and some of it other people programmed into us when we were not paying attention. Sometimes, the scripts were useful for a period of time, but we forget to purge out expired stuff, like that yogurt in the back of the fridge, hiding itself behind the condiments, that is a year out of date. Identify the negative or obsolete scripts in your brain, and purge them. If on some subconscious level, you believe that calling on someone unannounced is “bothering” them, it is going to be pretty challenging to complete your prospecting activity. If deep down you think you deliver no value as a sales person, defending price is going to be near impossible. What outdated software is living in your brain? Find it, delete it.

2 – FILL your mind. If you followed step one, you just created some space in your brain. Your brain will fill that space with something. The question is what? The even better question is WHO gets to choose what goes in? Replacement theory states that if you do not replace a belief or behavior pattern with something else, you will revert back to it. What’s the point in kicking out a bad roommate if you just let them move back in? Podcasts, books, ebooks, social media groups, linkedin, online courses, and more are available to you with an ease of access that is unprecedented in human history. Never before has so much information been available so easily. There is simply no excuse not to fill your mind with good information, good beliefs and good action plans. Fill that space, or someone else will.

3 – FOCUS your mind. Scientists have measured the amount of data that enters the brain and found that an average person living today processes as much as 74 Gigabytes in information a day. That’s basically 70,000 thoughts per day. The thing is, we are exposed to 100 times that amount of information in a day. Our brains are constantly editing information, deleting and triaging inputs. Our brains do this on auto pilot, but that does not mean we can’t use the manual controls once in a while. There are things you control and/or influence, and there are things you don’t. Focus your full attention on the things you can control or influence. In sales for example, you do not control results. The ultimate decision to buy or not to buy is in the client’s hands. You do control activity. The number and quality of outreaches and client meetings you hold. Focus on the activity, and the results will follow. The weather, the economy, the elections are not in your circle of control. Don’t waste precious focus on them.