Hypothetical situation…

You’re a real estate agent. You knock on the door of a house with a sign that says “For Sale By The Owner.”

A lady answers the door.

You begin to speak, but after a few seconds she cuts you off…

“Just a minute. Let me ask you a question. Do you sell real estate? Just answer “yes” or “no.”

“Yes,” you say rather sheepishly.

She continues…

“I’m just not interested. I’m going to tell you the same thing I told the last two people who came by here selling real estate. I’m going to sell this house myself. I planted every bush, every shrub, every tree in this yard and I’m not going to give you thousands of dollars for selling my house when I know a lot more about the house than you will ever know. Furthermore, I don’t want to hear any more about it.”

She slams the door in your face.

Dejected you say to yourself…

“Poor little me. Nobody likes me!”

Instead of making more calls you decide to go to a coffee shop and mull things over. After two coffees, you go back to the office and do some administration work. It’s Wednesday after all, you can start selling again on Monday when you’re more organized.

In other words, you procrastinate.

The above example is from the late Zig Ziglar’s book “Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale.”

When it comes to procrastination, Ziglar mincing no words says that “ninety-eight percent of the people who procrastinate have image problems.”

Ziglar’s example really hits home with me, because back many moons ago when I was selling steak and seafood door to door, one nasty scowl from a receptionist could immobilize me for the rest of the day.

I had a “less-than-perfect” self-image. I considered being a steak and seafood salesman somewhere between an inchworm and a three-toed sloth on the evolution scale.

Instead of telling myself, I was there to provide them with some wonderful food that will make their evenings with loved ones more special, I saw myself as someone who was infringing on their space.

Have you ever felt that way when looking for new prospects for your business?

Ziglar says that in his real estate example, someone with a good self-image would have said, “It’s not me who has the problem, it’s the lady who has the problem” and then continued on with their journey to find their next prospect.

Successful people control their reactions, they don’t let their reactions control them.

So how do you give your self-image a boost?

Ziglar suggests taking a good public speaking course and becoming an expert in your chosen profession. And always be constantly evaluating where you are, where you want to be, and what you need to be learning to get there.

Plus he says to never use a down economy as an excuse. You will be more successful at selling your services if you keep the following two sentences in mind:

Your business is never really good or bad out there. Your business is either good or bad right between your own two ears.