“IF-THEN: Two simple, but incredibly powerful words to incorporate into coaching conversations with your sales reps.

In psychology this is referred to as “implementation Intention”—which is basically a plan you make beforehand about when, where, and how you plan to act when faced with an obstacle if/when a certain situation arises.

Hundreds of studies have shown that implementation intentions can significantly improve the odds of success with goal-achievement, behavioral modification, and habit formation.

How does it work?

Here’s a simple framework:

“If situation x arises, then I will perform response y.”

For example…

◆ IF (some distraction) comes up that might prevent me from doing my pipeline generation activities for the week, THEN I will _____.

◆ IF I can’t get to power in this account, THEN I will ____.

◆ IF the prospect brings up (this) objection, THEN I will respond by saying ____ and I will also plant ____ trap for the competition.

How can something so simple have such a powerful effect on shaping behavior and improving performance?

1. PREPARATION: You are thinking through, preparing, and setting specific goals for the desired outcome you wish to achieve ahead of time—before taking action.

2. PRIMING: You are priming your mind by expecting/anticipating that obstacles will come up that will attempt to derail you, preventing you from achieving that desired result.

3. PLANNING: You are creating a contingency plan ahead of time how you will remove those obstacles, thus significantly increasing the odds you will succeed.

Whether you/your reps are planning our your week, your day, or an important sales call—start with the end in mind.

Set a specific goal or outcome you’re trying to achieve and write it down.

Think through and prepare in advance how you plan to execute in order to achieve it.

Anticipate obstacles/roadblocks that might come up that could derail you from achieving your goal.

Have a contingency plan for how you will overcome those obstacles.

When in doubt, don’t try and go it alone.

Ask your “coach” for help.



Learn How to Systematically Ensure Your Frontline Sales Team is Consistently Executing at a High-Level—and Continuously Improving (Without Any Resistance or Any Extra Time)

Your Host: Brian Souza

CEO, Founder of ProductivityDrivers and author of The New York Times Bestseller, The Weekly Coaching Conversation