Archive for sales psychology

Mind Over Matter

Posted in dustin hillis, Leadership Coaching, Sales Coaching, the art of not thinking with tags , , , , on May 10, 2012 by Dustin Hillis
Mind Over Matter

Mind Over Matter

Soldiers in war can go days with no food and little water.  In Seal Team Six, Howard E. Wasdin describes Navy Seals in combat who have been shot multiple times, missing limbs and still keep moving and fighting.  The human mind and body are two of the most extraordinarily resilient things on earth. Yet the body will only endure what the mind can conceive is possible.

Seal Team Six

Mind Over Matter

How do you condition your mind to conceive that anything is possible?

Step 1: Create an Unlimited Belief Environment

It is mind-boggling how naturally humans limit themselves!  At what point do we start thinking “that’s not possible”?  Social scientists say that between the ages of 12-15 children form their sense of “belonging”.  I personally think that society conditions kids to stop believing that their wildest dreams are possible so that they can be “normal”.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… normal is boring.  As I write this, my baby daughter Haven is 9 months old. One of my prayers for her is that she is abnormal. I want her to be special, think outside of the box, have humongous dreams and be passionately persistent in pursuing them.  I want her to make a difference in the world.  I want other people to look at her and say “something’s different about that one. She just thinks anything is possible.”  One of the only rules I’m going to have for Haven is that she cannot spend time with other kids who make fun of her, tell her that her dreams are silly, or in any way are negative.

Negativity breeds negativity.  Sadly, most people don’t want other people to succeed beyond what they have succeeded.  People are innately programmed to be socially competitive.  People want you to believe that being “normal” and mediocre is better than being “abnormal” and successful.   If you want to break loose of this crazy conundrum of society… make a decision to stop spending time with people who are negative, make fun of you, hold you back and don’t want to see you succeed.  You will be as successful as your five best friends. You must surround yourself with people who have unlimited belief, people who only lift you up and encourage you, and people who have your best interest in mind and want to see you succeed.  You have to create an “Unlimited Belief Environment” in order for you to begin to shift the way that you think.

Step 2: Have Faith in a Confidence Anchor

Once you’ve created the proper environment for conditioning yourself to believe anything is possible, next you must find something bigger than yourself in which to anchor your confidenceFaith is the number one confidence anchor in the world.  I’m personally a Christian and believe that through belief in Jesus Christ anything is possible.  Steve Jobs was a Buddhist who believed he was on a mission to change the world, the Hindu leader Mahatma Gandhi believed he had to be the change he wanted to see in the world, and George Washington had faith in the ideal that America had to be a free Nation.  Some people build their faith in a mission, an ideal, a leader, Buddha, the universe, a tree, etc.  Whatever your beliefs are you need to have faith in something bigger than yourself, in order to accomplish things that are greater than you.

I personally believe that God has given us all certain gifts and talents that are special.  And that our true calling in life is to use the gifts that God has given us to the fullest extent every day to make a difference in the world around us. 

Step 3: Stop Thinking About Yourself

It’s hard to be nervous when your mind is on service.  The reason people are so limited in what they think is possible is simply that they don’t want to look bad.  People are so self consumed it’s crazy.  We are all so concerned about how we look, what other people think about us, being perceived as smart/not looking dumb that we are willing to forgo any kind of success that we might have experienced due to our self consumed need to look cool.

Cool Card

Joe Cool

I’ll never forget my first day in “sales school” at The Southwestern Company where everyone in my group gathered around in a circle and did an exercise where we “tore up our cool cards”.  This might have been one of the most valuable life lessons that Southwestern taught me.  College students are a magnified version of what the rest of society is truly thinking. The exercise was so powerful because it exposed how their need to look cool drives most of their decisions.  Selling books door-to-door for the summer is by most college students’ definition “not cool”.  However, the experience of pretending to literally tear up a “cool card” which symbolizes your freedom to be a dork, be excited about life, have big dreams, or in other words be yourself is one of the most liberating experiences ever!

Now it’s your turn. Take out your “cool card” and say out aloud “I will no longer make decisions based on what other people think.  I do not care how I look, how I sound, or if people think I’m cool.  All I care about doing is setting high goals that make a difference in the world, always doing the right thing and having fun while doing it.”  And then tear up your cool card!
Once you have mastered these 3 steps:  Creating the Unlimited Belief Environment, Have Faith in a Confidence Anchor, and Stop Thinking About Yourself, you will start seeing your paradigms shift.  Your old limiting thoughts will start to melt away.  Your new empowering beliefs will start to fill your head.

Then one day without realizing it someone will ask you, “how do you stay so positive and motivated all year long?” and you will have transcended the world of limiting belief to the brave new arena of operating with your mind over matter.


Posted in Motivational, Selling Techniques, southwestern company with tags , , on May 16, 2009 by Dustin Hillis
Selling the Way People Like to Buy

Selling the Way People Like to Buy


My first sales experience came while I was studying psychology at the University of Tennessee. I had to work my way through school, and I knew the best way was to work hard all summer so that I could focus on my classes the rest of the year. That meant I needed a job that would pay well for three months of hard work. That is when I found The Southwestern Company ( They train college students to sell books door-to- door on straight commission. I had very little selling experience, and up until then, playing football was all that I knew. Because I have a competitive nature and a passion for learning new things, I ended up selling books door-to-door for four summers. It was an extraordinary experience. I was working more than eighty hours a week and must have knocked on some twenty-five hundred doors per summer. The training at Southwestern is unmatched. After one week of intensive training they took me, an inexperienced college football player, and turned me into a selling machine! After my first summer, I finished number one out of twenty-five hundred other first-year dealers. At the end of my second summer, I earned a commission check for $46,000—not a bad summer’s earnings for a sophomore in college. On one of the last days of that second summer, an experienced dealer shadowed me. He told me, “If you ever figure out what you are doing, you will break the company record.” That comment dumbfounded me. I was already a top producer for the company, and I’m essentially being told that I don’t know what I am doing!

That was also the first time the thought entered my mind that maybe I could break Southwestern’s 154-year-old sales record. So the following year I studied the psychology of sales: unconditional confidence, social pressure, neurolinguistic programming, and the four different buying behavior styles. I was so intrigued by all of the topics that I started to convert the principles we were being taught at the University of Tennessee and funneling them through a sales-minded filter.

My first mission was to figure out my own behavior style. I took DISC, Myers-Briggs, and all the other personality profile tests I could find. They were all awesome tests that taught me a lot about myself and my personality, but something was still missing. In order to sell to other personalities, I needed to be able to make the transition from “who I was” to “how I was” selling.

Then in the spring of 2004, I attended a class in Nashville, Tennessee, at Southwestern’s headquarters, called Selling Like a Chameleon, (a class offered by Southwestern that taught the importance of adapting to different personalities to maximize sales) and my sales career was changed forever. The program not only identified different buying behavior styles, but it taught me how to adapt my selling style to best match the customer’s buying behavior style.

The next year I went out with the goal of breaking the company record. That meant more than doubling my production from the prior year. The way to reach my goal was by following the principles learned in the Selling Like a Chameleon class and the principles found in this book. My slight edge for that summer was in my initial contact, the way I approached the buyer. Unlike the previous summers, during my third summer at Southwestern, I tailored my selling style to best match the buyer’s behavior styles. During the previous two summers my sales approach had appealed only to people who were like me, so I was connecting with only one-quarter of my prospects. My first two summers, I treated everyone I approached as if he or she were an extroverted entertainer, which is my selling behavior style. I was successful those first two summers in large part because “birds of a feather flock together.” The prospects who let me in were extroverts; and they referred me to their friends, who were extroverts; and they referred me to their friends, who were extroverts. You get the picture. However, there are only so many of one type of behavior style in a city. I frequently would run into someone of a different behavior style, and, in those instances, my standard selling M.O. (modus operandi) would not work.

When I ran into people with aggressive behavior styles and used the same words I was using with the extroverted people, they were slamming the door in my face! At first I thought it was a problem with them, but after studying the psychology of behavior styles and going through the Selling Like a Chameleon course, I came to realize it was a problem with me. After adopting the Selling Like a Chameleon approach, my production doubled! As a junior in college, I earned more than $100,000 in fourteen weeks!

In my new book, you will learn the method and application of the Navigate system, how it has affected other people’s personal production, and how it has made a huge difference in the way they communicate and ask for business. There are four basic buying behavior styles that you need to know in order to be more effective at closing the deal. This book outlines those four buying behavior styles and shows you how to identify the buying styles in you, others, and how to adapt your selling style to best fit the buying style of your customer. Being aware of the different buying behavior styles and knowing how to identify and adapt to the different kinds of decision-makers is key to getting a person to like you and trust you. Whether you are attempting to set up an appointment, close a deal, or just want someone to hear what you have to say, the Navigate system will help you communicate better and connect with people for the rest of your life!


Selling the Way People Like to Buy

Selling the Way People Like to Buy

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