One day last week, one of the salespeople (pseudonym: John) in our office did not seem to be "clicking." When passing John in the hall that morning, he had a glassy and empty stare that will be difficult to forget. John was expressing anxiety, tension and preoccupation for no apparent reason. Here is a salesperson who is usually "tuned in" to the fine art of persuading prospects. The tendency is for you to ask a stellar performer like John, "what's wrong." We all want to help the "John's" of this world get that sparkle back in their eyes without appearing to focus on their dismay.
During lunch that same day, John and I were listening to a radio station that played popular "oldies" during the noon hour. Suddenly, John's conversation begins to perk up and his eyes show signs of life once again. What just happened to John's attitude? The only change in our routine this day was the music. John's emotions were showing dramatic improvement when his favorite music started to play. Imagine deliberately using music to alter your emotional state (and your performance). A discovery like this can improve my sales bottom line instantly.
Granted, musical taste is an "individual thing." Each of us recognize songs that uplift us, songs that head us quickly into a melancholy state and songs that we outright want to toss out the window. Music that puts one person "in the groove" may cause another person to run for the next room.
Recognizing that musical tastes are very diverse, here are three practical points to help you "sell to the music":
Begin to assemble your "musical favorites."
Whatever your musical tastes, begin to assemble your favorites on a format that you can listen to at work, in the car and at home.
For my personal music hits, I use three 90-minute cassettes that I play over and over for a month. In addition, a fresh cassette is always in a cassette recorder and radio combination at home and office. When the time is right, I tune for songs I like on the radio, then press the "record" button during that one song. You will be amazed at the variety of recording I have on some 90-minute cassettes. These custom cassettes are for my ears only. Each cassette is recorded over and over before being replaced.
John (remember John) became so enthusiastic with the discovery of altering his emotions with music that he has a more elaborate recording setup than mine including CD's and cassettes. By the way, his sales have increased since "tuning in" to the music.
Play your TOP favorites at the most IMPORTANT times.
Playing "your top hits" at the right time (just before that important meeting) will uplift your emotions to a point where other people will be attracted to you and your message. One cassette is always with me. While driving, if ads on the radio are becoming a burden, in goes a cassette of my "musical favorites." By the time I arrive at my destination, my attitude is upbeat.
At the office, the scenario is almost the same. At least one cassette is always with me. If no one is within "earshot" of my cassette player, no headphones. When people are around and I'm not on the telephone, I reach for the cassette and headphones. When someone wants my attention while my headphones are on, they will stand in front of me or tap me on the shoulder. Regardless of when someone wants my attention, my "musical favorites" keep me in a good mood to interact.
Be considerate of other people.
Be considerate of those around you who may have different musical tastes. The lyrics that give you a "natural high" may plunge someone else off a downtown bridge.
In the office, a combination cassette and radio player with quality headphones works well. In our office, the musical taste runs the spectrum:
one woman likes bagpipes (yes, she's Scottish)
one man likes classical (no, he's not over 40 years old)
another man likes 'rock-n-roll' and jazz (guess who)
one woman likes country and western
Can you imagine each of us playing our "musical favorites" without headphones at the same time. Soon, every bug exterminator in the city would be asking how we manage to keep our office bug-free. Only we and the bugs would know.
When you are in route to a meeting with other people in the car, courtesy dictates not playing music without everyone in the car agreeing to your volume and musical tastes. The safe route when people are with you in the car is to refrain from introducing musical sounds in the first place.
At home, a stereo playing your favorite music will help you prepare that proposal in good spirits if your significant other is in the other room. Often two people living in the same house have opposite tastes in their favorite music. In such a case, headphones will prove beneficial in both the short and long run.
Try the musical sales boost for one month. See what a difference your upbeat attitude from listening to your favorite music will have on your productivity. When presenting your business message and attempting to persuade prospects, selling to the music puts the fun back into your job. People at your company will soon be asking themselves how you manage to increase your sales so quietly.
For a list of sources of hit songs for different tastes you can carry with you, contact me. A source list will shortly be on its way.
By the way, I'm listening to one of my favorite songs as I'm writing this article. Can you tell?