Fears, excuses, uneasiness, rationalizations, intimidations all stem from negative projection. The executive is too busy. The executive doesn’t see salespeople. The executive doesn’t care who they have selected. These, plus a whole range of other statements about this executive, ...Fears, excuses, uneasiness, rationalizations, intimidations all stem from negative projection. The executive is too busy. The executive doesn’t see salespeople. The executive doesn’t care who they have selected. These, plus a whole range of other statements about this executive, are excuses - rationalizations. 99.99% of the time they are projections that you have created either by yourself or with the help of a blocker. An executive is too busy is an excuse. Too busy to listen to a sales pitch - that I can agree with. Too busy to learn how something will affect her department or job performance - I don’t think so. Think of when your family members come to you when you are in a hurry and ask you to sign something. They say, “Just sign. It’s no big thing. You don’t have to read it.” What do you do? I’ll bet you stop and take time to read it or ask lots of questions. Why? Probably because you know if you have to sign, you will be held responsible. The same applies to executives. Your services affect this executive or her people.

So too busy is an excuse based on projection. It may be based on past experiences or warnings from other people. The result is that fear sets in and you need to rescue yourself. So you rationalize. You’ve envisioned the outcome (usually negative) so now you have something to worry about. What’s worse about projection is that you tend to look for evidence to support the projection. Since this becomes a focus (conscious or unconscious), you tend to create your projection. You call and get rejected. “See I told you she was too busy.” Maybe you didn’t have anything to say that interested her, but your approach is, “Don’t let me disturb you.” Her response figuratively is, “OK, then don’t disturb me.”

The biggest problems with projection is that it hold you back because of fear and you tend to notice or look for evidence to support the projection. You will always find evidence - guaranteed. Worse though, this evidence will reinforce the fear which makes it even harder the next time.

In reality you don’t know what is going to happen. If you did you’d be preparing other steps and not worrying about what could happen. Every situation is different, and just because something happened in the past does not mean it will happen in the future. It’s good to know about the past and develop actions that are different. Even though the probability says it will happen again, it is not 100% certain. You may be hitting the low probability situation or you’ve set it up differently so the past probabilities are different.

Dealing with Projection

The simple way to overcome projection is to realize you are projecting. You do this by testing your feelings. Knowing you have to get to a key executive, ask yourself, “How do I feel about getting to Joan?” Then listen to your child. “I’m a little uncomfortable.” This means fear in a milder form. “So why am I uncomfortable? The admin is a bear to deal with. She never answers her phone.” Catch yourself when these statements come out and tell yourself you’re projecting. You don’t know what will happen. Fear is powerful in a negative way. No one ever attained greatness or lived happily by being afraid. Best case they survived, and that is not living.

Another way of dealing with projection is to positively project. Lots of books, tapes, seminars, lectures, etc. talk about this. “What’s the best that could happen?” or “This phone call is going to make a big positive impact on my relationship with this executive.” Once again, your projection will cause you to look for positive evidence and you will create your own destiny. Then it will reinforce future actions - in a positive way. Your demeanor will reflect your positive attitude and you will create a great destiny for yourself.

Dealing with Projected Problems

Lots of times we go into an account and we’ve heard something that’s a problem, issue, concern or whatever. Projection can take this to an extreme and destroy you. What you’ve heard may be real and it may be real to an individual. Does it speak for all the people involved? Maybe, maybe not. Is it a big problem? Maybe, maybe not. Your responsibility is to track this down to see what this problem is all about. Many people are afraid to do this because it might pass on bad information to someone that didn’t have a problem. Why are they afraid? Projection of what will happen. Here is a place that you cannot project. You have to get to the realities. If it is a serious problem, it will get to everyone sooner or later if not handled. Therefore, you want to get issues, etc. surfaced and handled. Otherwise they can surface later and kill you. Projection is keeping you from facing these issues. Recognize your projecting and determine a plan. The plan should be to verify the problem is real and with whom. The plan should then be correct or neutralize the issue.

As an example of projection, I’ll use my daughter’s search for a job. She recently graduated from college and needed a job. She prospected using the normal channels and got an appointment for an interview. During the interview two key executives asked her if she had a certain type of experience. Her answer was no and both were very disappointed. She felt this was critical to getting the job and so she felt really sad when she left. Later that day, she got a call saying she was hired. See had projected the worse. Fortunately it didn’t hurt her. However, if she didn’t get the job she could have beat herself up about not having a certain experience. This could have caused her to eliminate these types of prospects from her search, or if she encountered the question again she’d feel uncomfortable - which would be picked up by perceptive interviewer. In other words she would have lost confidence and as we have discussed, confidence is critical to success.

What should she have done when asked the experience question? She should have asked how important it was with the individual. Was it just information needed or was it a critical factor? If critical, she could have attempted a response. She assumed it was critical - twice. Obviously it wasn’t.

Projection leads to fear. Fear leads to shattered confidence. Shattered confidence leads to lack of credibility. Lack of credibility lead to getting nowhere. Recognize you’re doing it and start dealing with it. Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen? What will happen if it does? Can you live with it? You’ll find you can. It will never kill you so don’t project and act like it will.

Another action to deal with projection is to gather more information. The more information you have the less projection you will do. You will come to a realization. From realization you can take action with confidence. Without information, you assume which leads to projection. Since you’re not sure what to do so you become paralyzed or flee. Information is powerful. Projection is debilitating.

And now let me invite you to learn more.

Author's Bio: 

Bonus Tip: FREE E-Book “Getting Past Gatekeepers and Handling Blockers”. Just click this C-Level Relationship Selling Link Sam Manfer makes it easy for any sales person to be effective and feel comfortable connecting with and relationship selling C-Level leaders.