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Pumping up for Interviews, Sales Calls or Business Meetings

Are You Pumped?
by Linda Richmand, CPC 

Many people worry before going into important meetings. They worry that they'll be asked questions they can't or do not want to answer; they worry they will be stumped and they worry they won't make the "right" impression. Going into any meeting with all this worry can't be good.

But, worry can be helpful if we channel that energy to motivate ourselves to prepare and pump ourselves up. The remedy lies in replacing unhelpful thoughts with helpful ones. Is it really that simple? Yes, and empowering too.

First, ask yourself "What is my end game?" Make a list of everything you want the person you are meeting with to walk away knowing about you, your product or the information you need to present. Be specific, don't just write, "I want him to know I am a self-starter." Include a list of examples that prove each statement. Also, continue asking yourself, "What else do I want him/her to know?" until you can absolutely think of nothing else. Read the list (with examples) over. How does it make you feel? What is this list telling you about your readiness? It is particularly empowering to read this list to someone you trust. It gives you practice saying these true things and making it your new reality.

Next, prepare for the worst. List any obstacles you foresee arising at this meeting. Think about how you can use the information in the first list to address those issues.

Last, read your "end game" list over and over again before your meeting. This list represents is the real truth about you. Your worry thoughts are fears and assumptions. Know with certainty that you are replacing your worry thoughts with the truth and allow yourself to be empowered by that thought.

The following example is a morph of several actual client situations: Tim has extensive experience as a sales person at IBM selling computers. He wants to do something new, and is interviewing for a position to sell financial securities. He worries the interviewer will focus on his lack of experience in financial sales and will not see the big picture of what Tim has to offer.

Together, Tim and I prepared an "end game" list. Included on this list were these facts: He graduated from a prestigious business school; majored in finance and never lost interest in the field; stayed abreast of the financial world through constant reading of newspapers and journals; is a fast learner and; is a proven self starter. Also, he wanted the interviewer to know that he has an excellent sales record, won many awards and will take these skills to wherever he goes.

Prior to the interview Tim read over his "end game" notes. He left his worries behind and brought only these helpful thoughts into the interview.  He got the job, of course!

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