Tom Stern Shows Sales People An Amazing Way To Fear Less And Sell More
“Sales people know how to sell,” says sales authority Tom Stern. “It’s just that when fear creeps in, they can’t use their skills effectively. It’s like they’re watching the Fear Channel inside their brains. I can show them how to change the internal channel.”
Stern, author of the upcoming book, Fear Less, Sell More, always believed that a poor sales mindset can sabotage a great skill set. The challenge was to find a way to have salespeople easily develop a world-class mindset. And then…the revelation.
“It all came about during the pandemic,” Stern recounts, “when I found myself watching a lot more television. Or more accurately, flipping channels, trying to find something to settle on. It occurred to me that the human mind works very much the same way. We are constantly flipping channels in our minds trying to find something enjoyable to pay attention to.”
Stern found himself asking the question, if we can change channels on our widescreens or watch different programming on YouTube TV or Disney+, why can’t we assert the same sort of “remote control” over our own thinking?
Stern calls his concept Mindstreaming, based on the idea that the different thought patterns in our minds are essentially different channels. The ones we tune into the most are the ones that dominate the way we see the world. But just as we can change channels with a remote control, we can change the way we think, and the way we live, if we learn to identify the different channels that we’re tuning into, often without realizing.
“Your mood dictates the cinematic experience you have in your brain,” Stern says, “and the reverse is equally true. If you just let your mind wander, you could find yourself tuning into ‘channels’ that aren’t beneficial for you, your selling career, your state of mind, the direction of your life, or even those around you.
“It’s almost a liminal, to use a fancy word, experience, as we transition from mood to mood. So I’m asking, why can’t we, as sales people, change the channel, instead of being stuck on the channels seemingly chosen for us?”
Fear Less, Sell More, on the psychology of selling, is slated to launch in June, 2021. “Most of the content I create in my mind,” Stern says, “whether I’m selling, sitting with my beloved, talking with my kids, or just walking down the street or driving the car, are programming that I’ve essentially loaded into my brain. I’m creating programming all day long, and then I’m watching it, and then deleting it, or storing it in the ‘library’ called memory.
“Most of the content I create is the result of my moods, my emotions, and the situations in which I find myself. Events, whether in the current moment or in the past, are essentially the programmers. So emotion and events combine to select content from my unconscious mind or from some part of my hippocampus, and release that information into my conscious mind.
“Sales people can take control of that process — that’s what I call Mindstreaming, and end up with a much better ‘slate’ of programs to watch. You can reprogram yourself. If you can stream a movie online, you can do Mindstreaming.”
The first step in Mindstreaming, Stern says, is simply to identify all the different parts of your inner self. If you got angry, ask yourself, what really just happened? What did that person do? Why did the behavior or statement from the other person trigger you? What part of your assertiveness did it hit? And where does that come from?
“In other words, we are always accessing different parts of ourselves, but in the case of anger, it comes from an inner sense of feeling threatened. In the moment, our feelings might range from betrayal to anxiety to feeling manipulated. What if you could recognize that as simply one channel, while you choose another one?”
Stern points out that when you are able to take control of your thoughts, instead of passively experiencing whatever internal “movies” your brain sends, you can build confidence instead of tearing yourself down. Best of all, he says, the process can be fun.
“Your mind can leverage your heart and your emotions rather than being at war with them. A lot of neurosis is the mind struggling with the wants and desires of the heart.”
Stern says he developed Mindstreaming because he has always been a “super emotional guy who was very reactive.” He said that he had an enormous amount of energy that he could never channel, and it would stress him out. Watching television over COVID helped him realize that there was so much competing programming going on inside his brain.
“There’s the hope channel,” Stern says, “the catastrophe channel, the ‘I’m a loser’ channel, the ‘crawl into a ball and die’ channel, and so on. I can help people see the world in a different light by refocusing their thoughts, instead of having a broken remote that doesn’t let them get out of negative emotions.
“Is the sales world ready for Mindstreaming?” Stern asks, laughing. “I think the one thing that unites everyone in our society, regardless of race, ethnicity, financial status, age, or anything else, is one simple desire: everybody wants to change the channel. That’s why I created Mindstreaming, so that people now have a way to do just that.”