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Olympic Training Techniques That Win Clients
July 14, 2015
by Dan Richards
Over the past 50 years, advances in training techniques have transformed what it takes for high level athletes to compete. But the application of some of these breakthroughs isn’t just limited to sports. Here’s how a former college athlete who works as a financial advisor used mental training techniques to grow her network and prospect effectively.
How mental training has transformed sports
Susan is an advisor in her early 30s who works for a wirehouse in the northeast. Our exchange began when she sent me an email with a question. In a follow-up phone call Susan described how mental training has helped in her business:
I’ve played tennis all my life and was good enough to get an athletic scholarship to a top-ranked university. But I quickly found myself struggling, especially in close matches. If I was going to compete effectively I had to take my game to a higher level. That’s when I sat down with the team psychologist who taught me techniques around visualization. I began spending 30 minutes a day visualizing how I would serve out big matches and attack the net, something that had become issues for me. The results were remarkable – within a few weeks, I began winning matches that I would have lost before.
After university Susan got a sales job for a large consumer products firm and after five years made the move to become a financial advisor.
Before becoming a broker, I had never had to sell myself. I had a reasonable network from the tennis club I belonged to – the club has lots of wealthy members, in fact it waived my initiation and annual fees because it needed to raise the quality of the team that competed against other clubs in the area. But even though I had come to know some of these people well, I really struggled to talk to them about my work as a financial advisor. And when I did have the chance to sit down with someone, I found myself tensing up, just as I had early in my tennis career in university.
That’s when I began applying some of the same mental training techniques I’d learned to raise my tennis game. I began spending 15 minutes each morning mentally rehearsing the conversations I’d be having. By visualizing successful conversations in advance, when talking to people I was more relaxed and found myself having much more comfortable and productive conversations.
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