Your brain will answer any question you ask of it, which is why your mindset is critical to your success. When you ask your mind to provide you with a list of reasons you can’t do something, very much like a computer, it will generate an answer. The way you ask the question will provide you with a list you can use to absolve yourself of whatever outcome you are struggling to produce—or whatever work it is you hope to avoid.
If you look for reasons you can’t do something, you will no doubt find them—and in more than adequate numbers.
How to Fail Before You Even Try
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why can’t I book meetings with my dream clients?” If you have asked yourself this question, without giving it any thought or taking any time, your brain responded with a long list of reasons. Here are a few that your mind will provide within seconds:
> No one answers their phone anymore (This, when no one is ever more than 12 inches from their phone).
> Millennials are different and don’t have phones (Not so different that they sit and stare at a ringing telephone without answering).
> Cold calling no longer works (Your cold calling may not work, but mine works perfectly).
> Buyers are buying the things they need without salespeople now (Maybe you aren’t paying attention to what’s going on all around you).
> The only thing that works is inbound marketing (Why isn’t your phone ringing, and why is there not an angry mob outside your door demanding you sell them something).
> Marketing should be generating leads and interest (there are many ways to grow old without reaching your potential, and this is undoubtedly one of them).
The fact that none of these things are true doesn’t matter. The preponderance of the evidence is that millions of salespeople call and schedule meetings with their dream clients, many of them finding it easier now that so many of their peers and competitors have asked the very same question in this hypothetical and were returned a list very much like the one above.
The very nature of the question you ask reveals your intentions. When you ask why you cannot do something, you intend to absolve yourself of responsibility. Your brain’s confirmation bias will allow it to seek information that confirms what you already believe. Had your intentions been different, you would have asked the question another way.
Asking How Can I?
Your brain is just as willing to answer the question as to how you might do something as it is the question as to why you can’t. It will seek answers that are more empowering when you ask how, making it a better question by the widest of wide margins.
> You might just easily ask the question, “How can I book more meeting with my dream clients?”
> You can increase the value you trade for your dream client’s time by creating value outside of your product or solution—even if they don’t ever buy from you. (If you want more meetings, you need to sell the meeting)
> You can improve the language you use when you call your dream clients (Some language choices are more powerful and more effective, and it never hurts to study the masters).
> You can increase the time you spend making calls and increase the number of calls you make (Sometimes the reason you struggle to produce a specific result is that you are not paying the price to have it).
> You can use a prospecting sequence that improves your dream client’s awareness of who you are and allows you to persist professionally. (One single call each quarter does not effective prospecting make).
> You could use additional methods, like asking for a referral or an introduction (It’s never a good idea not to try different ways of getting a meeting, as they all work).
If something is possible for others, it is also possible for you. It can sometimes be challenging to overcome learned helplessness, a sense of powerless, and a lack of agency.
One way to empower yourself is to ask yourself how you can do something instead of asking why you can’t. In either case, you will get an answer that will be true for you—even if it isn’t true for those who believe differently.