While preparing for a presentation I will be giving next month, I had to review some material that was filed in my filing cabinet.
I got distracted when I was flipping through the folders by one I haven’t looked since I filed it a couple years ago. It held information about a very interesting project for a client. My curiosity (or maybe it was my wish to procrastinate a little) got the best of me, so I picked up the phone and called to find out how the project – a new way of presenting and demonstrating benefits to his customers – turned out in the real world.
The last time we spoke, he had started using this sales program and the early results made us both confident that, with a little modification, it would be successful. In fact, he had told me the first few times he used it, he got such good results that he was making plans to buy new equipment as he rolled out the program.
I dialed with bated breath and, after a little preliminary social talk, found the project had transformed his company and accelerated growth and profitability. But the key issue was his next statement: “I knew we now had real advantages I could demonstrate and that my customers could see and understand, so getting them to say yes was really a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Yes, the program did have real advantages for his customers. But more importantly, the success of the project came from the fact he really knew his customers would truly benefit and that allowed him to present it with such genuine confidence.
Self-fulfilling prophecies work in both ways – when you are sure something will work, it is easy to present it positively. But when you are unsure, then your body language, voice and lack of confidence shows. That translates into becoming a self-limiting belief which results in a negative reaction from the customer.
It is so much easier to move forward with confidence when you know you are right that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy instead of a self-limiting belief.