We're going to talk about how you can build an alter ego and make it a part of your sales persona when you're showing up on calls. And how that will, in turn, protect you from slumps, amplify your results dramatically, and allow you to show up and do things that you yourself aren't even capable of doing.
Causes Of Inconsistent Sales Performance
Inconsistency is the biggest problem salespeople go through. You're hot, then you go cold, then you're hot, then you're cold. And that is what frustrates people who know how to sell, to the point their mind starts to trick them out of performing consistently.
And it's not always their fault. There are so many variables at play.
Cause #1 – The Market Is Dynamic
Your business doesn't exist in a vacuum. New competitors are coming in. Current competitors will be making competing offers.
People will be undercutting you. People will try to rip you off. I've already seen 2 competitors straight-up copy our ads.
People will fake interest and get on the phone with us to try to reverse-engineer our offer. I had this happen recently. So I gave them a bunch of disinformation. They'll go try it out and it'll probably blow up in their face. (This is one reason why we only present offers on the phone – to protect it and increase its longevity in the market.)
It's just the nature of the beast.
You come out with 6-minute abs. The next guy comes out with 5-minute abs. And then someone comes out with 60-second abs. Competitors will make bigger, hype-y-er offers, or try to compete on price, or try to hack your offer. And you have to deal with all of this.
So, the market is dynamic and that's going to affect your results.
Cause #2 – Advertising Platforms Are Dynamic
Any advertising platform that works on an algorithm, whether it's Facebook's or Google's or whatever, will have some variance in the quality of traffic it sends your way. The algorithm's going to do the best it can, but that's all it can do.
Good leads are never guaranteed. Ad platforms can't magically give you ideal prospects all the time.
Sometimes you'll have a pocket where you'll get a week of leads that are bulls-eye, dream-fits. Easy, lay-down deals the entire week. You start to think you're the best salesperson on earth.
Then the next week you're talking to a bunch of Herbalife consultants and/or people on welfare living in trailer parks in Alabama. Now, you want to uproot your whole system and you think the marketing is broken.
We had one of these weeks, recently. It was more like a week and a half, where all the leads just sucked. The team's looking at me, “what are you going to do?” And I'm like, “just wait.” That's all you can do.
I've been doing this long enough to know my systems works and how these machines operate.
Cause #3 – Life Is Dynamic
You might get divorced, your wife might cheat on you, you might find out your parents are dying, or that a friend died suddenly. You might get in a car accident, and I'm not wishing this on anyone, but it happens.
This is life. S***'s going to happen and when it does, it will hit you hard.
We had one sales rep a while ago who was crushing it out of the gate. Totally dominating. Then, next thing you know, he can't give it away.
So, we're trying to figure out what's wrong. And we're doing the usual, diagnosing his calls and his situation. I happened to ask him if he had been working out.
He told me he hadn't worked out in a year. He's at the heaviest weight he's ever been. Being fit was part of his identity and because he was no longer fit, it started to unravel at his sales identity as well. He went from being the super confident dude to:
“Here I am, I'm fat, therefore I'm like a lazy and not good at sales.”
So I told him:
“I don't care if you even go to the gym, just do five pushups every day. Get a small win, let's start stacking some momentum.”
He started doing those pushups consistently. Then he started working out, he started lifting weights, he started getting that momentum. But as soon as he started doing those pushups, his confidence came back.
Another time, there was a sales rep on an offer for a client we're helping. He was rocking it for 6 months, amazing performance, and then he got in a motorcycle accident.
He was never the same after that, in terms of his performance. The business owner actually had to let him go. It's a shame because we weren't working with this client at the time, and we could have helped that sales rep protect his identity.
How Lack Of Experience Affects Your Reactions
What if you're not like me and you haven't been doing this for over a decade? Well, you're not used to the swings, for one.
So, they just create this manic lifestyle where one month you think you're balling and everything's going to go according to plan and that you're going to be a bazillionaire. And the next month, suddenly, you're desperate. You're looking at other jobs, you're thinking you need to pivot your offer or you need to change your business.
This manic state doesn't serve you or your team. It also doesn't serve your prospects or your clients.
The ultimate thing I've learned is that
“I am human, therefore I am fallible.”
We're not perfect. So, how do we create a version of ourselves that IS perfect? How do we isolate our performance from all these externalities, so that we're at peak performance on every sales call?
The key is to compartmentalize our “sales identity” and keep it separate from our “normal identity.” And we do this by creating an alter ego, who we then embody when we're called on to perform.
What Is An Alter Ego?
What is an alter ego? It's a person's secondary or alternative personality. Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Method actors do a great job at this to improve their performances. Heath Ledger's Joker, for example.
But who I like to study for their success with alter egos are rappers. Rappers have to perform on stage consistently – they have to be their rap persona regardless of what's happening in their lives.
- Eminem – his real name is Marshall Mathers. Then he's got his stage name, Eminem, which is one alter ego. And he's got another alter ego, Slim Shady, which is his dark side. When Slim Shady comes out, he can be as reckless as he wants, say whatever whatever comes to mind, no holds barred. And he doesn't care what people think about him. And so, in creating this alter ego, he was able to bypass a normal human thing, which is to be concerned as to what other people think of you.
- Notorious B.I.G. – real name, Christopher Wallace. He's a shy fat kid who just happened to be good at rapping. And he created the alter ego Big Poppa. And Big Poppa is that big jolly guy who's in control of everything got it all figured out.
- 2Pac – Tupac Amaru Shakur, born Lesane Parish Crooks. He created the Makaveli alter ego after going to jail and reading Machiavelli's “The Prince.” And Makaveli is like this mysterious mastermind who's pulling the big Don in charge behind the scenes.
How To Create Your Alter Ego
I don't take any credit for coming up with these ideas. Todd Herman's done a lot of great work on it. Ian Stanley's got this training called “Second Self” which is also excellent. I just study what works and find ways to apply it to what we do.
And what I and a lot of other smart people have noticed is that top performers have all done this work of creating an alter ego.
To create your alter ego, you need to ask yourself the questions:
“Who can I access?” OR “What traits does this person need to have?”
What sort of person do you need to embody to be better at sales? This could be a real-life person, either alive or dead. OR it could be a fictional character you conjure up in your imagination. Once you've figured who your alter ego needs to be, there are a number of ways to embody him/her.
- Journaling in the mind and voice of your alter ego
- Using a totem or a talisman to bring out the alter ego – Todd Herman's alter ego comes out when he puts on his glasses (which are not prescription, btw.)
- Using tactile cues, so like touching something in a certain way or using a particular hand gesture
- You can have a special song you listen to before getting on calls
So there are many ways to access your alter ego when it's time to perform.
The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind
When I was in college, they had a hypnotist come in and he called people on stage. So, he does his thing where he gets his subjects into a hypnotic trance and he made this one guy dance like Michael Jackson.
This was like an awkward white dude who can't dance. But when we watched him dance, it was like Michael Jackson was dancing. It was the most mind-blowing thing I had ever seen. The kid BECAME Michael Jackson.
And what that showed me was the power of our subconscious mind. If we can get our ego out of the way and then allow our subconscious mind to take over, what can we do?
Because it's ultimately our ego and our sense of trying to be in control or trying to be consistent with a specific self-identity that creates the majority of our problems. And this prevents us from being as consistent as you want when it comes to our actions.
So if we can bypass that or carve out a niche inside of our heads, reserving it for specific moments, then we can become that person.
The Power Of Aliases
Pickup artists all use these nicknames like Mystery and Style. And that's because they're creating this new identity that's irresistible to women.
When cults want to brainwash someone, they rename them. That's like the first thing they. Once someone starts responding to the new name, it's a sign their identity is changing.
You too, can use these techniques to brainwash yourself and become a master salesman who never loses a sale.
How I Created My Alter Ego
So, let's take a practical example of how I apply this concept to sales calls.
Buyers always want to feel like they're in control. A buyer thinks they're the ones who get to select whether they work with you or not. Sort of the foundation of sales, right?
When you're really good at sales, you flip the script. YOU choose who you LET buy from you.
As long as you're trying to get the buyers to choose, then you're going to fail. The moment you start saying:
“No, I choose who I let buy from me.
…is when you start to succeed. That's a role reversal.
And no one does this better than pimps.
Pimping Ain't Easy, But Somebody Has To Do it
If you study biology and sexual selection, you learn that the female is the one who chooses who to mate with. And women are choosy because they only have so many eggs throughout their lifetime, and they bear more risk when it comes to gestation and childbirth. A man has significantly less risk and less opportunity cost. This being the case, men aren't choosy.
That's why there's the saying that men are dogs, right? It's because the men are not choosy and women are choosy.
What pimps did was they flip that script. They make a woman qualify herself and prove to them why they should choose them over other women. They've basically taken thousands of years of evolutionary biology and flipped it on its head. Which is kind of amazing, when you think about it.
Pickup artists also took from this playbook and figured out how to do it as well.
There's this one pimp who's the embodiment of pimps and pimping. His name is Bishop Don Magic Juan. He's one of the most famous pimps of all time.
When I started selling, I would embody that trait of I'm going to choose you, you're not going to choose me. How I did that was I created this identity – people had already started calling me Magic Mike. And so I became Bishop Don Magic Mike.
On sales calls, I would be Bishop Don Magic Mike in my head. I'd be playing this role that allowed me to unlock my peak performance every time.
Picture Me Rolling
Here's another way I use alter egos to perform better on sales calls.
Something that motivates me is my desire to prove everyone wrong. If someone tells me I can't do something, my mind is immediately like:
“You're going to wish you never said that.”
I'm a fan of 2Pac. After coming out of jail he recorded this 2-disc album called “All Eyes On Me.” And in it, he's got a song called “Picture Me Rolling:”
“Picture me rolling in my 500 Benz,
I've got no love for these n_,
There's no need to be friends…
It's a song about him getting back at everyone who wronged him and proving everybody wrong. He's going to get what's his and put all the haters and doubters back in their place.
And for me, I use that song as a trigger to play that role and to stoke that fire inside of me. So that when it's game time, I'm there, I'm in the zone.
Summary And Conclusion
So, to summarize, creating an alter ego is a matter of asking yourself the following questions:
- What traits do I want to embody while on the call?
- Who do I know that really represents these traits at their maximum?
- How do I become that person?
- How do I create some sort of an anchor I can use to access that state at-will?
And then you wear that person's identity for a brief period of time, as needed. You'll shape-shift, put it on and off, move in and out of the alter ego, and you don't lose yourself. You keep yourself intact, but the alter ego comes out when you need it in specific contexts (like sales calls.)
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Gr e a t p o st…
Thanks, Gavin. Glad you enjoyed it!