By Jeff Shore
Mental Game FilmLast week one of the guys on my hockey team placed a GoPro video camera behind the glass and filmed the entire game. I was able to watch the next day and see how things went down. I even got a great angle on the goal I scored!

I also watched in dismay at one particularly bad defensive lapse on my part. I hated watching it (over and over again) but I’m glad I did.

The Power of Game Films

Professional athletes do this all the time – they watch their performance after the fact to see what they did well and what they could improve upon.

I would contend that salespeople should do the same thing.

You may not have a video camera filming your presentation, but you have a mental game film that runs in your memory, and that will work just fine…if you access the film quickly enough.

Here’s the problem. We tend to wrap up a sales conversation and immediately go back to our last task or our next assignment. That is a huge wasted opportunity. Why not take just 30 seconds to review some game film?

Two Questions

When I was watching the tape of the hockey game I was asking myself two questions. You can ask these same questions with your mental game film.

Question 1: What went right?

The puck was shot into the corner and one of my teammates was chasing after it. I could see that he was going to win that race, but I could also see that he would need to pass the puck in a hurry. I positioned myself in front of the goalie with a defender on my back.

I knew the defender was going to try to tie up my stick, so I leaned heavy. The pass was perfect, and I lifted it over the goalie’s shoulder for the score.

I’m not gonna lie – I was proud of myself. I read the play correctly. I positioned myself ideally. And I executed the shot perfectly.

Key lesson: do more of that!

Watch the game film on your last sales conversation. What are you proud of? What skill did you demonstrate as a result of hard work and practice? What boosts your confidence? What makes you proud.

Take a victory lap, my friend. You earned it!

Question 2: What can I do better?

As if God Himself came along to keep me humble, I started watching the very next shift. I play defense so my main job is to keep the puck out of the crease – the area right in front of the goalie. And If there is an offensive player in the crease my job is to make his life miserable.

The puck moved into my zone and I skated out to try to block a shot. Problem: that player was not my guy. I was assigned to a different player…who was now standing unattended in front of my goalie.

I set up to block the shot, but the shot never came; it was a pass instead, a pass that went right to the open player in front of our goal. Score one for the other team.

I knew what had happened soon as the puck went in the net. But it wasn’t until I watched the game film that I saw my real error. I was picking up the guy who was carrying the puck, but a teammate was skating to the same guy.

Logic says that if two players are going after the same guy, someone is open. In this case, it was the guy in front of the net.

Key lesson: Do your job, and only your job. Trust your teammate to do his.

Think back on your last sales conversation. Was there one moment that you would like to do over again? Was there something you said that wasn’t fluid? Was there an objection that you struggled with? Was there an unnecessary awkward pause?

Embrace such things. Learn from them. Then write a new tape in your mind, the one where you did it perfectly.

Having a camera to observe your performance is really beneficial, but you can still learn a great deal by watching the mental game film. Just get into the habit of doing so right away.

Learn from your victories. Learn from your mistakes. Change someone’s world.