EPISODE 517: How Hypnotherapy Can Help You Get Past Your Sales Blocks with Jim Zboran

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the Sales Game Changers virtual learning session sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales on February 22, 2022, featuring hypnotherapist Jim Zboran.  Learn more about him here.]

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JIM’S TIP: “Really get clear on where you want to go to the next level. You’ve heard it said probably, write down your goal and then picture it. Well, the keys to making that work is repetition and emotional impact. Put yourself into it, picture it. A lot of sports players will mentally rehearse to become better. Do that yourself and do that in where you want to go next. Not solving where you came from, not changing today, but where you want to go next because that’s where you’re going to.”


Fred Diamond: It’s good to see you, Jim Zboran. It’s a really interesting time right now, we’re doing today’s show in February of 2022, and on yesterday’s show I said, “We’re entering our second year of the pandemic.” My guest quickly corrected me and said, “We’re finishing our second year, we’re entering our third.” The topic today, Taming the Inner Dragons that Torch Your Selling Efforts, and Toast Your Sales.

It’s interesting that we’re doing this on the mindset show, because that’s always the thing with sales. It’s getting unstuck, getting past the blocks and we talk about that all the time, but you have a unique background. We’re going to get a little bit deeper than we do in some of the other shows. It’s great to see you.  Why don’t you give us a little bit of your background, and we’ll get straight into the topic?

Jim Zboran: Hi, Fred, thank you for having me. I’ve been a serial entrepreneur since about the age of 12, but I didn’t succeed at pretty much any of them for many years. The issue really was Fred that I had a drive to be my own boss, drive to be in business, but I had so many hang-ups, such a low self-esteem. So many things going on that I never could get out and sell myself, sell my product, sell anything really.

I had a need to be able to influence my own income. Eventually, that took the turn of well, okay, maybe I can just learn sales by becoming a salesman. I became a stockbroker in downtown Chicago, eventually moved up to more consultative selling and went on to work with a major insurance company as a Series 7 stockbroker and insurance sales for financial planning. On the way along, Fred, it was really difficult for me to put myself in front of people. It really was a matter of willpower. When I was cold calling as a stockbroker, I’d do up to 300 calls a day. It was tough. I forced myself to do it, but I found that I could not sustain that kind of thing for too long.

Eventually, I moved on from that took a step back from sales, step back from my own business and did some other things. About 13 years ago, I became a coach for people who were seeking to become entrepreneurs, and in coaching them with tactics for online sales, online business, I started realizing that these people were sharp, but they couldn’t do many things I was helping them to do, I was showing them the strategies to do. I started realizing, “Well, wait a minute, that’s really who I am.”

I started studying the subconscious. Getting deeper than just the conscious mind which was only one layer but it wasn’t enough. From there, I became a hypnotist. I started studying hypnosis to influence the subconscious and from there I went on to College of Hypnotherapy and graduated from there and got all kinds of certification. Since then, I became a full-time hypnotherapist then from there.

Fred Diamond: Full disclosure, I have actually been hypnotized of couple of times in my life. I was hypnotized in college. It was a fun night at the fraternity and I remembered very, very clearly and some of the guys in my fraternity mention it every once in a while. I also was hypnotized a couple of times in the last couple of years to get past some of these, what you call action avoidance strategies. One of the reasons why I wanted to have you on the show is that I believe in what you do, and I saw the results from it. It’s interesting, one time I went to a particular person, I’m based here in Northern Virginia. He helped me one time. We had a session, it was probably two hours I think all together, and boom, it was there.

FYI, for our listeners, it’s a strategy that I definitely believe in. You need to want to be hypnotized. It’s not like Gilligan’s Island or something where you just hold up a watch and you fall into a trance. You have to want to be. It’s a methodology that I believe in, so I’m excited to talk. Let’s get right into it. Let’s talk about some of the common hindrances. What are the common hindrances, Jim, that are caused by subconscious action avoidance strategies?

Jim Zboran: Everything actually is an avoidance strategy when our conscious mind decides to do something, and we get trained to do it or we even just start doing it and then we can’t do it. For some reason, we start to sabotage. It’s always about avoiding action and those actions are the things we need to do to get the sale or whatever it is we’re trying to do. Some of the common things that are blocking people that they’re not even aware of usually is a need for approval, a fear of rejection, call anxiety on the telephone or in person. It could be as simple as a low money set point. They only see themselves as earning so much, so as much as they constantly want to make more, they can’t do it. Low self-esteem, lack of ambition, lack of charisma, negativity, critical self-talk, nervous chatter, interrupting, not listening. Basically, anything that’s getting in the way of a sales that you consciously decide to do differently, but somehow you can’t, it’s a subconscious issue.

Fred Diamond: Let’s get around to some of the cures then. How does hypnotism or hypnotherapy – and tell us which one is which – how does that play? I understand very clear, we talk a lot about the ability to earn money a lot. That’s one of the critical things that are in all the assessments. Do you have that abundance type of mentality? If you don’t, it’s something that’s going to cause you to struggle to reach a certain level where you may need to be to be successful. Talk about how hypnotism or hypnotherapy, tell me which one it is, will help you get past that. What are some of the things that you try to do?

Jim Zboran: Hypnotism and hypnotherapy are one of the same, it’s interchangeable. Hypnotherapy will offset it a little bit from stage hypnotism, which is a fantastic thing. It really helps people to become aware of hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is more using hypnosis as a tool to create some kind of a positive change, rather than an entertainment type of a scenario. Hypnosis is a very natural state that we go into naturally. Children live in hypnosis basically up to about the age of six. That’s how they’re absorbing tons of information, they look at something, or they’ll watch a cartoon or a story and you’ll see their eyes glaze over, their mouth drop, and they’ll be staring, they’re just absorbing. They’re listening, they’re paying attention to the storyline, they’re being entertained by the story, but relationships, objects, everything’s being stored in the subconscious.

What’s happening is they’re mapping out reality. We are not born with a set of understanding about reality, we have to observe it, we have to hear it, we have to take it into our senses and we have to live it. The subconscious is wide open up to about the age of six, so that we can just absorb everything without even thinking about it. Then about the age of six or seven, we start developing what’s called a critical factor.

It’s a filter that we really, absolutely need as we start to venture out into the world. It kicks out ideas, it doesn’t accept ideas, we start rejecting ideas automatically. Then they’ll hang around in our head for about a day. Some of them will absorb into our subconscious and accept them, others will just reject out of hand and they’ll just go away. That’s why it’s easy for children to learn. It’s a little more difficult for adults to learn because we are rejecting ideas all the time now as adults. Hypnosis elicits that state of natural, subconscious dominance and that’s the dominant form of thinking and now it’s moved past the critical factor to a large enough extent so that when ideas are put there, they go right to the subconscious where they’re more easily accepted.

Fred Diamond: Just a quick question there. When you engage with someone, a sales professional who sees that there’s blocks, or the manager, or the companies. I’m curious how companies engage you, we’ll talk about that in a second, but is it always what they say is the problem? When you work with them do you find things that were under the surface that maybe they didn’t even know, or they knew but repressed, like you talked about?

Jim Zboran: They almost never know what the problem is in itself. They know the symptom of it, they know what’s happening. Really what’s going on is in the course of mapping out the reality, their subconscious is building a log of objects and more importantly, our emotional attachment to those. Is it not positive? Is it a negative? It makes all kinds of associations, and it’s developed this landscape of the world. When we get out and start interacting with the world, we’re making our decisions based on this subconscious map of how we think things are.

Oftentimes, that map has been mapped out when we were a child. and it’s really not accurate.

It’s certainly not resourceful. Typically, what I’m looking for is not what they’re saying is a problem, but I’m looking for what they’re doing that’s creating the symptom. Then I look for how has that been pictured in their subconscious map of reality. Once I know that, the change is instant. We just go in there we remap it, boom. The old way just doesn’t make sense anymore, because now they see a new thing.

A lot of it, Fred, is where our focus goes, because that’s really where our energy then goes and that’s what grows. A lot of times people come in, what they’re saying is they’re focused on the problem. They’re focused on the problem, they’re just getting more and more of that problem, because they’re so focused on it. What I’ll do for people is I’ll expand their awareness of all the things, of solutions, problems, everything around what they’re trying to do. Then I’ll help them focus in on the solution. Now once they start focusing on that solution, they’ll just naturally start to resolve it. That’s what the subconscious does for us, but it’s going to go where we focus and too many people are focused on what they think is the problem.

It gets a little deeper now. One of the dragons is a conscious-unconscious conflict and those dragons are tricky. They don’t want to be discovered. They want you to be thinking it’s something else, because the dragon is there to protect you. If you’re thinking it’s this, it’s because it’s trying to protect something else. There’s different layers of complexity, but it could be just as simple as it’s mapped out in a way where the person can’t see the solution, although it’s right there in front of them. Once they open up, they can see what the solution is.

Fred Diamond: We have a question here from Clark. Clark says, “How does Jim work with teams?” That’s a great question, let’s talk about that for a second. A lot of the listeners, Jim, of the Sales Game Changers podcasts are sales leaders. Typically, they’ll be managing 5-10 people, a lot of times inside sales or the SDRs. As we mentioned, we’re doing today’s interview in February of 2022. There’s a lot of distractions beyond just the typical distractions, obviously. We don’t need to get into that, we get into that every single day. How could a team work to get past some of these things? Conversely, per Clark’s question, what should sales leaders be conscious of to help their people get coached along to the other side?

Jim Zboran: Thank you, Clark, for that question. A leader should be aware of when a person seems to want to do it consciously, but somehow, they’re not able to do it. They get afraid, they hide. There’s a fight or flight or freeze, some people get angry and belligerent, and then start blaming everything. What you want to look for as a sales leader is a salesperson who has the capacity to do something. It’s not really rocket science. They seem to want to but somehow, they’re always making excuses, procrastinating, losing things, whatever. There’s something of a deeper meaning to this person for doing this. Then we’re going to change those dragons.

Those dragons actually define our comfort zone, it’s usually going to be an avoidance because of a comfort zone. We just use a way to expand the person’s comfort zone. Sometimes it’s just a fear of the unknown and so some mental rehearsal or some role playing is all that it takes. If it’s something that has a deeper meaning to somebody that’s causing them to be afraid, we really have to become aware of what that is and then help the person to become more comfortable with that by practice, or it could go to using some kind of hypnosis.

Hypnosis works beautifully because it’s so fast and that’s a personal thing. When I work with teams, I’ll typically do a hybrid program, I’ll do some group stuff, then I’ll work with individuals within that package so that I can really get the big picture of where the team leader wants it all to go for everybody. Then I’ll go in and work with individuals all on Zoom or GoToWebinar, or online if they’re not local.

Fred Diamond: We’ve another question here that comes in. Jerry says, “What if the problems aren’t with sales, but personal?”  Thanks, Jerry, for the bravery and ask for the question. Let’s talk about that. Prior to the show, you and I talked about the word trauma, which is a word that we see appearing all over the place these days, as people are suffering with a lot of things, anxiety and depression and stress because of the pandemic. But the reason we do a Sales Game Changers virtual learning session every day, is because we still have to bring in revenue for our companies. We’re at the point where sales is going to help every company make it through. Let’s go back to Jerry’s question. Let’s say you notice that there’s something there besides just fear of success or money issues, whatever it might be. Talk a little bit about how those might come in and what we should do about it.

Jim Zboran: Thank you, Jerry, great question. My approach for anybody, corporate or not, is what’s holding them back personally. All entrepreneurial success, sales success, really, to me comes down to personal growth issues. That’s why I work with the individual, I work with the entire mind. In the entire mind, we’ve got a conscious part. Then into the spectrum, we go subconscious and then we go to unconscious, which is more of what the body knows. We tense up sometimes, and we don’t really know why consciously, but our body somehow knows something. We can explore that, but I’m always working with the person.

Every issue is really personal for a person and so sometimes it’s personal within the corporate culture, that’s one level. But often the person is bringing something, and often from when they were a child, and it could be traumas, it could be anything, but they’re bringing themselves to the job. To grow in the job, they need to grow. The issue really is the job is requiring them to be a certain somebody with a mindset, with attitudes, with capacities, but they need somehow to transform to be that person. They’re not there yet, otherwise they would be doing it. That’s often a personal thing.

Fred Diamond: We have another question here. This question comes in from Lou. Lou says, “I want to get promoted, but I’m not getting promoted. Can Jim offer me some advice on why, or if I may be sabotaging myself?” Thanks, Lou, for that question. That’s an interesting question here. A lot of salespeople are successful, and not everybody wants to move into management, but some do and even people who are managers want to move to the next level. A lot of times it’s out of your control. Even some of this stuff, Jim, it’s not totally in your control. The industry, the pandemic or macro levels, and even micro things may be affecting your industry. Talk about Lou’s specific issue where he wants to get to the next level, but maybe he’s gone as far as he could, or maybe he’s just doing some things that are avoiding getting to the next level.

Jim Zboran: Thank you, Lou. Our subconscious has been likened to a goal-seeking machine. We’re literally designed to achieve our goals. In Lou’s question, it’s to advance, to move on. The reason why it doesn’t often work the way we want it to is because we haven’t aimed it right. It’s like a self-guided missile. Once you’ve locked a target on, it’s going to constantly adjust.

No matter where the target goes, it’s going to be tracking back and forth and trying to keep locked on it. Our subconscious does this as well as it gets a clear target, it will begin to notice in the environment the things that will move us towards that goal and the things that will move us away from it, and so we can start doing things that will bring us what we want. In a question like Lou’s, I would suggest giving a crystal-clear picture of who you want to be as that successful next level, and start to really make an impression at a subconscious, a very deep level.

That’s how you program your subconscious to aim towards a goal. Then you’ll start noticing and you’ll start becoming the person who can do the things that you need to do at the next level. Is the next level, does that promotion require you to do a lot of public speaking? Well, a lot of people are afraid of public speaking. Maybe they need to transform to more of a public speaker to do something, as one example of what might be holding the person back from a promotion. Or it may be like Fred said, there may be not room for promotion, or it might not be the right time in that company. If you’re aiming your subconscious the right way, and the way to really get an aimed is repetition and emotional impact.

When you get a crystal-clear picture of where you want to go, every day, every night. Think about that picture, and get an emotional attachment, see yourself in it, see yourself enjoying it, see what it smells like, tastes like, looks like, feels like and then do it often. Repetition. Then that’s where it gets it into the subconscious. Now, hypnosis, will put it right to the subconscious and it goes a lot faster, but without hypnosis, we naturally change that way.

Fred Diamond: We have a question here from Wilson, and this is an interesting question. He basically said, “I’ve been doing sales for 30 years, and I’m not sure I want to keep doing it. What is Jim’s advice and an I use his technology to stay motivated?” It’s an interesting question because we all know, Jim, we’re going through The Great Resignation, we’re going through all of these things, and especially sales. Sales has always been very difficult to find great people for your company.

The mission of the Institute for Excellence in Sales is to help sales leaders attract, retain, motivate, and elevate top tier sales talent for that reason, because it is so hard to do. We’re trying to give them an edge and help them out. Back to Wilson’s question here. If somebody, let’s just say they’ve reached the peak, or they’ve been doing it for so long, can your techniques help them get past? What would you say to Wilson? Would you say, “You know what? resign.” Do you see that as a hypnotherapist when you’re working with them? Do you see like, “Nothing I can help you with is going to get you to the next level or unstuck, maybe it’s time to move on”?

Jim Zboran: I’m all about the next level, it’s a great question, Wilson. 30 years is a great amount of time to put into a career. If you didn’t want to expand to something different, you probably wouldn’t feel like this. My advice, just in general, because obviously, I don’t know your situation, we’d have to talk to do that. Generally, our subconscious is leading the way for us. If we start to have a desire to do other things, we may be setting ourselves up to start looking to that. One great way to go in The Great Resignation is on your own.

I primarily work with entrepreneurs who are not entrepreneurs, but they’ve got some great talents or some great service that they want to offer to people. Then I help them get past those blocks to get to the next level. We all have next levels, everybody. Some people are in a very high level, but even they have a next level. Everybody has that next level, they just have to become the person to do the things that are at the next level. Then they will naturally become the next level. Hypnotherapy can help people discover what that is. I can work with people on creativity with exploring ideas. There are different approaches, it depends on if it’s a hold back, then we work at the hold back and get you unblocked. If it’s you don’t know where to go, then we work on going forward and where you want to be.

Fred Diamond: Jim, we’ve got time for one or two more questions and then we’ll ask you for your final action step. As everybody likes to say, “Everybody’s a genius when times are good.” A lot of people who have been in sales for 20 years, they experienced the end of the 90s when everybody was making a lot of money and various other times and people are still making a lot of money in sales, but it’s gotten harder for a lot of the reasons that we’re familiar with here. A question here comes in from Reg. Reg says, “How frequently will I need to be hypnotized?” Let’s talk about that.

One thing we talk about and that’s why people are listening to the Sales Game Changers podcast where we get 1000s of downloads, we do a show every single day because we view sales skills as an art and a science. It’s a muscle you’ve got and like any athlete, you have to keep working on your profession with what you do with hypnotherapy and hypnotism and everything. Back to Reggie’s question, is it something you need to do every week? Or is it a one time? Let’s talk about how what you do, how that plays into coaching. One thing, for example, we talk a lot about is what sales coaches need to do, and you touched on this before. They need to keep going back to their people and keep doing the things like role plays. Traditional sales practice techniques to keep staying fresh and getting better. Back to Reg’s question, do you have to hypnotize every week? Do you have to constantly monitor this? What are your thoughts on coaching?

Jim Zboran: I love that question Reg, thank you. If it’s a hypnotherapy type of thing where you’re trying to get past something, once you get past it, it’s over. The issue though is a lot of times there are layers of things that are all supporting each other. Typically, what I’ll do is in my programs, I’ll work out four or five of those things at one time. It not just one thing and then have other things in place, we dissolve the whole thing. I usually work in a three-month period and about six things at once. This way, I get synergy and so we get a lot of purpose out of limited sessions. Once it’s changed, you never have to really be hypnotized on that again.

Now, there are times where you might want to do often hypnosis, but you would get tapes for that. Those are not customized. It’s not like sitting with somebody and really getting down to it, but if it’s a general type of confidence, or not interrupting, or charisma, things like that, if you find one that you really connect with, you can listen to that as often as you like. You just reinforce that message. Your subconscious is going to be working on these things continuously, once you get it started. You might want some reinforcement but if you’re getting away from something, once you’re away from it, your mind doesn’t want to go back to it.

Fred Diamond: I want to thank Jim Zboran for the great insights today. We got deep on some topics and for all the people listening, we’ve said this before, everybody is challenged with things right now. Everybody’s going through things. Jim, one of the things that has become apparent as we were doing these Sales Game Changers virtual learning sessions every day is that things just aren’t happening with you, they’re happening with your customer. And not just your customer, but your customer’s customer.

We did a show yesterday with the great Nancy Bohannan from Red Hat. She mainly helps Red Hat selling into state and local. We talked about the fact that state and local is about service to the citizen. We know what everybody in the country is going through, so imagine you have to be conscious of how you’re helping your customer with things like that. It’s a constant thing. I applaud everybody who’s watching today or listening to the podcasts for being committed to your career and listening to experts like the great Jim Zboran on how you can get past some of these performance things that are slowing you down. Jim, I want to thank you again, it was great seeing you. As we like to do on every Sales Game Changers podcast, we like to end with an action step. You’ve given us 30 great ideas, give us one specific thing people must do right now to take their sales career to the next level.

Jim Zboran: Absolutely. Thank you, Fred. Really get clear on where you want to go to the next level. You’ve heard it said probably, write down your goal and then picture it. Well, the keys to making that work is repetition and emotional impact. Put yourself into it, picture it. A lot of sports players will mentally rehearse to become better. Do that yourself and do that in where you want to go next. Not solving where you came from, not changing today, but where you want to go next because that’s where you’re going to.

Fred Diamond: Once again, I want to thank Jim Zboran, thank you so much for being with us today. Everybody who’s listening to this as a Sales Game Changers podcast, thank you as well.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

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