Managing the Maps in our Minds

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The maps in our minds are our, very own, perceptions of realities. They are our points of view and since each one of us is totally unique then, obviously, every perspective we own is unique.

That is all fine and dandy but we get into murky waters when we begin to assess other people’s intentions and begin to believe that our assessments are true and that there is no space for doubt. Thus our perceptions become assumptions of truth and we get into murkier waters when we begin to react to these assumptions. These are maps yes, but many a times, negative ones.

Managing the Maps in our Minds

For example in a selling scenario we assume that our client is just playing along to get information and learn from us but intends not to buy. That is a negative map in our mind. Or, we assume that our client regards our product to be really pricy. Or, we assume that our client has a strong, unbreakable, ongoing relationship with our competition. Or, just that the client is really a tough nut to crack. These are all assumptions. They are all negative maps in our minds. How true any one of them is is open to question and verification and the way to manage these assumptions is just exactly that…verify and question the maps in your mind.

Thus the ways to manage these maps in our mind and get closer to reality is by:

  1. Recognize and accept the fact that these are maps in your head. Accepting the fact that your mind is constructing something is already a step towards self-management and correction of our relationships.
  2.  Hold back from reacting and strategizing based on these assumptions. While you gather data through inquiry and questioning your mind will take in facts and let go of non-facts. During this process it is also possible that you may assess the situation in a different light.
  3. Approach the client and in tactful ways find out what their opinion is about the sales process. You might be at a stage of assessing needs, gathering options, making proposals etc., It is all fine. Clients know what is going on in the minds of sellers. Be frank and open about your thinking without getting into a blaming, problem-creating mode. Selling is relationship based and the process requires openness and trust going both ways.

Veteran and successful salespeople know these things intuitively. They are unafraid of rejection and failure. Open mindedness is the key to letting go or correcting the negative maps in our minds and bringing them closer to reality. It’s though openness and in reality that you can add value to your customers’ businesses.

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