Subscribe to the Podcast now on Apple Podcasts!
Become a member of the elite Institute for Excellence in Sales and attend the February 7 “Build Your Story Playbook: The Catalyst to Explosive Sales Growth” program with storytelling expert Matthew Pollard.
EPISODE 202: Sales Mindset Development Expert Umar Hameed Says Change is Possible if Sales Professionals Apply These Simple Techniques
UMAR’S FINAL TIP TO EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “I want to share with people and I hope they get it in their hearts is that change is possible, change happens very quickly, you can make that change permanently. With technologies from applied neuroscience, neurolinguistic programming and others we have a deep understanding of how to create that change quickly and make that change permanent.”
Umar Hameed is the developer of the NeuroBoosterz, a tool to help sales professionals optimize their performance by improving their mindset.
He is an expert on changing human behaviors and he’s worked with sales teams around the globe to help them improve their performance.
He’s an expert on Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and its applications in business and sales.
Find Umar on LinkedIn!
Umar Hameed: Fred, thanks so much for having me on the show, I’m a big fan. My reason for being is helping people get the tools they need to take charge of their mindset so they can get better performance not only in sales, in leadership but in life.
Fred Diamond: Let’s start from the beginning, what does mindset mean? We hear about improving your mindset, as a matter of fact, at the Institute for Excellence in Sales mindset comes up all the time and actually on the Sales Game Changers podcast it comes up all the time as well. What do we mean by mindset, before we talk about ways to enhance and improve it?
Umar Hameed: I’ll tell it to you in this way: have you ever heard of affirmations?
Fred Diamond: Absolutely.
Umar Hameed: People believe in them, right? You could have somebody out there saying, “I am the best salesperson in the world” and they could say it a hundred times but underneath that, there’s another voice saying, “Who the hell are you kidding?” That is mindset, we’ve got the conscious part – what we say, what we want – and we go to workshops, we learn tools. “This is it, this is going to be the year, 2020 is going to be my year, Fred.” How many salespeople are going to say that around the globe? Every one of them, but how many of them are really going to make this the year?
The answer is not enough because that negative voice that came up in the affirmation story I told you is what we believe and what’s really going on. We go to take the actions we want but our mindset can either enhance our actions so we get the results we want, or it can sabotage our actions. Nobody ever says, “You know what would be fun? I’m going to talk to myself negatively for the next 20 minutes before I go into a sales meeting.” “You’re ugly, you’ll never sell anything.” No one does that on purpose, but it’s coming from somewhere and where it’s coming from is our mindset, and we’ll go deeper into that as we go on this conversation.
Fred Diamond: Absolutely. The app that you’ve created, the NeuroBoosterz app actually helps people take their mindset and make it stronger. We’re going to talk about that at length but before we get to that, tell us a little more about you. Tell us what you’re specifically an expert in. Again, we’re going to be talking about the NeuroBoosterz app but your company is called No Limit Selling, you’re a speaker around the globe. Tell us a little more about your background which led you to create this app.
Umar Hameed: It all started back, it was the late 80’s, I ran a computer consulting firm and I was doing pretty well. Loved it, worked hard at it, had passion for it, then I took up squash and I sucked at it but a couple of months later I got better. Two months later I got better and better, and one day it’s like, “Wait a minute, how come I can improve these massive improvements in squash but in business I’m not doing that?” Someone said, “Go see this woman, her name is Una Elliot, she does something called neurolinguistic programming, NLP.
I go and see this woman and it was a life changing event. Whatever the block was in my business life just disappeared and it was life changing, and I made a promise back then, “Must learn this.” As I’ve been growing in my sales career and my technology career I started picking up NLP and getting a deep understanding of the human psyche, applied neuroscience and my real expertise is in NLP and applied neuroscience. I help leaders and salespeople take charge of their most valuable asset resource, that’s their mindset.
Fred Diamond: Before we go any further, define NLP. It’s come up a couple times on the Sales Game Changers podcast but what exactly is it?
Umar Hameed: NLP is understanding human behavior and how we perceive the world. My favorite definition is the one I came up with. If you have an issue, let’s say, you go to a therapist for 6 months. One Thursday afternoon the therapist says the magic words and you get this epiphany and he fear you had for public speaking disappeared. I’m not concerned about the 6 months of therapy but I’m deeply fascinated by before the therapist said that magic thing, you were stuck and a moment after they said it something changed inside.
NLP is the understanding of the human mindset so you can create that change predictably and you can do it today, not 6 months from now. NLP is mastery over the mindset and it’s been distilled down in such a way. For a second, think about Einstein when he’s trying to figure out the universe and he’s got 21 blackboards full of ugly math. When he figured it out, it went down to E=MC², any high school kid can figure that equation out but NLP is taking this complex study of the human mind and condensing it down to something simple, elegant, powerful that mere mortals like I can understand. It can empower people like you to break through barriers that have been holding you back from being ‘awesomer’.
Fred Diamond: Let’s talk a little bit about how that applies to sales. What are some of the techniques or what are some of the ideas behind it to help the Sales Game Changers listening to today’s podcast take their career to the next level?
Umar Hameed: For example, we’ve all had deals that we’ve been promising our VP’s, “This is going to come in this quarter” and it’s looking on track, and at the last second the CFO goes in a different direction and you lose that sale. For a sales rep, that could devastate them for a day, a week, the next quarter or the next year. On the NeuroBoosterz app we’ve got a track called Rebound and what that does is it takes you through an NLP process in 10 minutes. What that does is it gets you to let go of all the trauma of the loss, it gets you to learn whatever you needed to learn and then it gets you to access your most powerful sales that you’ve ever had in your lifetime so you authentically feel that in your mind, in your body. That allows you to take something that would have traumatized you or stopped you for weeks and it turns it around in 10 minutes. That’s NLP and that’s the power salespeople have now with this app, you’ve got the power to decide how you want to feel and act in the palm of your hand.
Fred Diamond: Let’s talk about the app for a little bit. Again, it’s called NeuroBoosterz and you can download it wherever you can download your apps.
Umar Hameed: Absolutely.
Fred Diamond: You talked about why you developed it, but tell us specifically how it works and how it can help sales professionals get past some of those blocks.
Umar Hameed: When I ask salespeople and I’ll ask you, Fred you’re in sales. Let’s say there’s 200 sales days in a year, how many of those days are when you are on fire, where you’re at your very best self out of the 200? What would you say the average salesperson, how many days out of the year are they?
Fred Diamond: 50% maybe.
Umar Hameed: I would think that’s aiming high because I’ve asked a lot of people and they were saying, “Maybe 20% of the days where I’m on fire, unstoppable. There’s probably 30% of the time where I’m not on par, where I feel less than. A fight with the spouse, a traffic jam, just not in the mood and the rest of the time I’m just normal and average kind of sales thing.” The question is how can we take those average days and give you tools in the app that allow you to access peak states of performance when you need it. It could be that today you’re just feeling okay but you’re going in for the most important meeting of the year, and you can listen to a track on the NeuroBoosterz called Boost Your Self-Esteem. You might go from a 6/10 to a 10/10 in 7 minutes and when you go in to do that presentation you are at the top of the world and you’re unstoppable. That level of confidence translates to confidence in your product in the prospect’s mind.
Fred Diamond: How does that work? Do I go into a dark room somewhere or…?
Umar Hameed: No, just put the earbuds in in the car and it uses NLP techniques to show you how to take charge of your mind. Not only does it take you from feeling 6/10 to 10/10 but it teaches you how to do it so you’ve got it any time you need it. The nice thing about the app, a lot of times we have these amazing tools in sales and life that we don’t use because, “How do I use it again?” When you’ve got the app, it’s like, “I don’t have to do anything.” Plug in the earbuds, hit go on the player and it gets you to access that state. It takes all the barriers that could be in the way of you accessing how you want to feel.
Fred Diamond: I want to go back to mindset as it relates to this. Is mindset just another way of saying confidence?
Umar Hameed: I think confidence is a byproduct of mindset. I was at an event yesterday and somebody was talking about the solution that they provide and they asked people, “Would you like to just test this thing out to see if I’m on the right track?” and then their voice cracked. “You could get it, too” and you could just tell there’s some belief around money that that person has and that caused their voice to crack when they asked for the sale. That’s mindset. In your research you’ve interviewed a lot of salespeople and a lot of sales leaders, what percentage of salespeople do you think do not ask for the sale? They’ll hedge around it and promote the value but not ask, what percentage do you think that is?
Fred Diamond: It’s a huge problem. We did a podcast with a guy named Steve Richard and Steve Richard’s company is called ExecVision, they’ve analyzed millions of sales calls. I asked Steve, “What is the main thing that you took away from listening to literally millions of sales calls?” and he said, “There was never any follow up, there was never the next step.” You’re talking about this final step but it was hardly ever an agreement on the next step of course which is in one case asking for the money, asking for the deal.
Umar Hameed: What’s interesting is I’d say out of all the calls that he’s listened to, let’s say 80% of all those sales reps have had sales training. I’d say probably out of 100% there’s probably 60% that have had multiple sales trainings in their career about that subject. They know what to do, they know how important it is, they know it’s going to make them money but they’re still not doing it. The question is why? It’s mindset, some belief.
When I’m talking to sales reps, you have a room full of sales reps and our beliefs dictate what we do in this world. They dictate our mindset so we get most of our beliefs by the time we’re 7 years of age. We have simple thoughts at that point so the simple sentences inside I had that go in the unconscious, one of those sentences is something like this. I go to the sales rep, maybe a hundred of them and say, “Please finish this sentence for me: salespeople are…?” And somebody will say, “Outgoing, they’re brave, they’re brilliant” and about 6 or 7 positive sentence closers, and then someone says, “They’re sleazy, they’re untrustworthy.” Guess which list is three times bigger? The negative one, because that’s the beliefs in our society around selling.
We see that as something taboo and evil, you’re taking advantage of people but there would not be any of the lifesaving drugs that exist right now if someone didn’t sell it. Those beliefs are sitting in our unconscious and that’s why we don’t follow the sales training. That’s why when our sales manager says, “I listened to your call and you weren’t doing this thing” and a month later they tell you the same thing, you could get fired but the fear of facing your wife being fired is less than overcoming a belief that you have around sales and money in your mind.
Fred Diamond: Back to that, again you listen to the NeuroBoosterz app and I know you have a whole bunch of different options that they can listen to and you can also get them customized as well, which we’ll talk about at the end. How does it change? How does your app make change happen? You just said a lot of our mindset is set when we’re below the age of 7. Maybe your mom says no to you or something and you keep thinking “no” or whatever it might be. How does the app help change the mindset? Because I’ll be honest with you, it comes up all the time. When I ask the sales leaders that we interview on the Sales Game Changers podcast, “What are your tips? What are some things you think young professionals can do?” mindset comes up. Of course, there’s the usual things like passion and preparation and listening skills.
Umar Hameed: What was that?
Fred Diamond: [Laughs] Listening skills, etc. Tell me how the app actively changes the mindset and then, does it rigidly change it? Is it a permanent change or do I keep going back to, “Maybe the guy is going to say no and I’m afraid to ask for the deal” type of thing?
Umar Hameed: Several questions packed into that. Let me ask you right now in terms of happiness, level the happiness 1 to 10 right now sitting now with me.
Fred Diamond: 10.
Umar Hameed: For real, what would it really be?
Fred Diamond: 10, I’m thrilled to be talking to you. We’ve gotten such great response to the Sales Game Changers podcast and I’m a big believer and I’ve seen your work and I’ve seen how you help sales professionals improve. I’m not going to say 5, it’s a 10. Should I say 9 to make it easier? [Laughs]
Umar Hameed: No, I’ll pick a different topic. Bear with me here, listeners – in terms of feeling loved at this moment, scale of 1 to 10.
Fred Diamond: 7.
Umar Hameed: Remind me of your daughter’s name, youngest one.
Fred Diamond: Abby.
Umar Hameed: Just for a moment, I want you to go back to the first time you held her in your arms. Go back there and see what you saw back then and hear whatever you heard back then, your voice, her cooing.
Fred Diamond: It’s great.
Umar Hameed: When you do that, it changes that level of connection and love, right?
Fred Diamond: Yes.
Umar Hameed: What I changed there was not just the thought, but in order for you to feel that feeling, I changed your brain chemistry. Doesn’t that blow your mind? In like 10 seconds we did thatThat’s the power we have to change our mindset in a moment. For the permanent change, going into the sales meeting asking for the sale is going to be really easy to do because you just listen to it before you went in, but underneath that is a belief that’s been driving the old behavior. We all know what our behaviors are because we can measure our results. “I’m not getting enough yes’s in my meetings.” What’s the behavior that’s getting in the way? It could be not asking for the sale or caving in on price, whatever it is. That’s where we stop and say, “I need to change my behavior, I’m going to go get a consultant” or, “I’m going to take a workshop” or, “I’m going to give myself a good talking to and the next time, I’m going to be different.”
The reality is the next time you’re not because underneath every single behavior that counts is a belief in your unconscious that was created a long time ago that’s like a black hole of gravity that locks that behavior in place. Nothing in the world is going to change it, and once in a blue moon we do change it but because we didn’t address the underlying belief very quickly, within a day, a week we go back to the old way of being. Talk to any sales manager. “Umar, you should see us, we had the sales trainer that came in, he was amazing, sales went up” for about a month and a half and then everyone went back to their old way of being because they got new information but they didn’t change the underlying beliefs.
Fred Diamond: That’s pretty powerful, I’m thinking about the example you just used for me and I can see how within a millisecond my mindset had shifted. Especially as I’m going into now an important meeting or something with a customer, a demonstration when I really need the deal, if you will I can see how those types of mind activities can definitely make things change. Again, we’re talking today with Umar Hameed, he’s the Developer of NeuroBoosterz, it’s an app which will help you – how would you describe it again?
Umar Hameed: There’s a better you inside you and this app is going to help you get it there now.
Fred Diamond: Umar, before we take a short break and listen to one of our sponsors, you’ve been in the sales world for a long time. You’ve led sales teams now in addition to developing the app which led to it. You speak all around the world on sales performance improvement techniques typically using NLP and other ways to change human behaviors. A lot of people like when I ask the sales VP’s about mentors they’ve had along the way. Could you maybe share a story about an impactful sales mentor and how they helped you take your career to the next level?
Umar Hameed: There’s a gentleman by the name of John Evanoff and he’s in Canada. He’s one of my mentors, he is a no BS kind of guy, and what he really taught me was that you need to be authentic and you need to have the hutzpah to do the ask. He truly lives his authentic self and that was a life changing relationship. There’s a lot of techniques out there and I think one of the reasons people have a negative set of beliefs around salespeople themselves is because we think that we need to be someone else to be in that sales mode.
The most impactful, powerful sales leaders that I’ve ever met are themselves, when they go with their friends it’s the same person showing up there that shows up in a really high pressure sales situation, that they don’t take on this, “Hi, how are you? Wouldn’t you like to buy?” They’re just authentic and when you meet someone authentic, you’ve met people like that in sales and outside, there’s just something about being in their presence that you feel comfortable. Our body language transmits so much information about what we’re thinking and often times it does not align with the words that we’re using. People that are authentic, everything lines up and consciously we don’t pick it up for most people but you get that vibe that’s like, “There’s something not quite right about that person.” Being authentic, you get the vibe right.
Fred Diamond: For the Sales Game Changers listening around the globe, this comes up not infrequently on the podcast as well. We’re talking to people typically who’ve had 20-30 years of success and they talk about more sales happening when you’re not selling. You’re telling people, “Don’t be Joe the Sales Guy who isn’t who you are, be who you are and that’ll help you engage, that’ll help you form relationships and that’ll help you be more satisfied.”
Umar Hameed: Just before we go to break, I do a podcast as well. What’s really frustrating as hell is we do the interview and I’m a good interviewer and we have a great conversation, then we turn the recording equipment off and then real magic happens. The person goes, “I should have told you this” and all these rich nuggets come out. What changed when the recorder was on? Mindset changed because all of a sudden you’re off the record and people become their authentic selves and they become more vulnerable. The biggest lessons we have are when we screwed up or when we had doubts. That’s where the real magic comes in and that’s my mission in life, how do we provide that mindset tool kit to people so they can be their best selves, their authentic selves, when they need it?
Fred Diamond: Alright, we’re back with Umar Hameed. Umar, you’ve given us a lot of great information on how Sales Game Changers listening to the podcast can change certain behaviors to take their sales career up a notch and to the next level. What’s the most important thing you want to get across to the Sales Game Changers listening around the globe to help them take their career to the next level?
Umar Hameed: The most important thing that I want to share with people and I hope they get it in their hearts is that change is possible, change happens very quickly, you can make that change permanently. A lot of times people have this notion because our society has that notion that change is hard, it’s difficult if it ever is going to happen. I’m here to tell you with technologies from applied neuroscience, neurolinguistic programming and others that now we have a deep understanding of how to create that change quickly and make that change permanent. Just imagine, people have this idea of what’s possible for them and sometimes their best friends look at them and go, “No, you’re capable of so much more, you’re incredibly awesome” and they just can’t see it because they can’t believe it. I want them to know that change is possible for them and it’s their duty to themselves and the people that they love to be the very best version of themselves that they can be. You’re the role model for so many people and if you settle, you give them permission to settle as well.
Fred Diamond: You speak around the world on these types of topics. What are some of the other topics that you speak about?
Umar Hameed: Primarily I talk about leadership, sales and life but it’s the same talk because it’s all about our mindset and how it stops us from executing. What’s interesting is when I’ve done speeches in Singapore or in Buenos Aires, the issues we struggle with here are the exact same issues they struggle with over there. It’s, “How can I give myself permission to be the best self that I can be? How can I get self-doubt to go away?”
Fred Diamond: Once again, how can Sales Game Changers listening around the globe get access to you?
Umar Hameed: You can go to the app store for Apple or Google Play for Android and you get the app there. You can go to my website at NeuroBoosterz.com and there’s also some demo tracks there you can go listen to right now and take the app out for a test drive.
Fred Diamond: We talked about self-esteem, what are some of the other categories that the app will cover?
Umar Hameed: The first category is designed for salespeople and it’s the sales mindset, there’s about 11 or 12 tracks in different areas of sales. The second one is health and wellness, third one is sleep and relaxation, a lot of people have trouble falling asleep. Then we’ve got transformation, this is changing behaviors that have been stuck for a long time. Then we have life’s ups and downs and I think that about covers it.
Fred Diamond: Give us one final thought.
Umar Hameed: The final thought I want to share with people is this: no matter who you are, there are areas in your life that are important to you, in your sales career that are important to you. “I wish I could be a better leader” or, “I wish I could ask for referrals more effectively” or, “I wish I could serve my sales team at a better level.” Whatever that thing is, as soon as you ask that question, “Why am I not performing at the level that I want, what’s getting in the way?” You know the answer. You may not know how to change it, but you know what the answer is. Just asking that question and keeping that in focus saying, “I would be more confident at this if I could…” Asking that question is the first step to creating change.
What I’ve done with the app is that when you come up with the answer, rather than waiting for a sales trainer or a sales guru to help you at some point in the future, you’ve got the app in the palm of your hand and you can create that change right then and there. The nice thing about the app is people can suggest tracks saying, “Do you have a track that would X,Y,Z?” In which case I would create it for the community and then people can also request custom NeuroBoosterz designed specifically for them.
I’ll give you one example of that before we shut down the show. There’s a gentleman by the name of Doug Miller, in terms of recruiters in the country there’s 330 thousand recruiters in the US. He’s a sales recruiter and he’s probably #48 in the country, super successful. He calls me up and says, “Umar, I wake up every morning at 4:45 on weekdays and 2 days out of the 5 I’m out of the door on a jog at 5 o’clock. 3 days I’m hitting the snooze button. The days that I do a jog I start it for the win, they’re great sales days. The days that I hit the snooze button aren’t as good. Could you help me wake up every single morning?”
We did a 15 minute phone interview and we figured out what’s something that you would not not do? Something that’s an imperative and he tells me what that thing is, we link it in with getting up in the morning in a NeuroBoosterz to just rewire his brain. This was like a month and a half ago and he tells me, “Every single morning I wake up at 4:45, I’m out the door without exception, I can’t listen to your app on weekends because I’d wake up at 4:45 on weekends.” That’s the power of NeuroBoosterz, we can create a specific one for you that’s tuned for your DNA and your situation. That gives me such joy, to be able to give people the power to create change that’s specifically designed for them.