Ever heard someone say that? How did I ever live without this? How did I ever do business without this? How did I ever make money without this? I’ve heard parents say that they never planned to have children, but now they couldn’t imagine their lives without them. I’ve heard people speak of products, of locations, of other people, of virtually everything and anything in the “how did life work without this” phrase.

So why, when we’re facing new possibilities, do we so routinely and firmly cringe from them? I just saw in my Google Buzz feed someone saying that they’re still on the fence about using a salesforce automation tool. My experiences with CRMs and SFAs has been that if you have a good implementation of one, you’ll wonder how you ever did business without one. Why do we hesitate?

We hesitate because of pain. The perceived pain of change, of doing something new, of trying something new, is usually much greater than the perceived pain of staying as is, of keeping the status quo. I’m as guilty of this as anyone else. It’s buyer’s remorse up front, when you fear regretting the change before you even have a chance to pull the trigger, or when you only dip your toe into the water half heartedly to make a show of trying it out without actually jumping in.

So how do you make the change? How do you make the jump? How do you push yourself over the line?

You sell yourself the change.

Go and learn this pile of closing techniques that powerful, effective salesmen and saleswomen have been practicing on you for decades. Learn them, become minimally proficient at them, and then figure out how to sell yourself on the change you want to make.

For example, let’s say you want to lose some weight and you’re a fairly rational person most of the time (as opposed to an emotion-driven person). Grab a sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle, and then list all of the benefits you’d get out of losing weight (healthier body, longer life, more energy, etc.) and list all of the reasons not to change (less work, less to manage). Compare the two and decide which looks more appealing, which has the stronger sell. Chances are with something like improving your health or weight loss, the self-sell will help motivate you. This, by the way, is a Ben Franklin close.

Look at how you self-sell already. The testimonial close that salesmen use to persuade you (see all of our other satisfied customers?) is one of the most powerful self-sells now in social media. You’re executing a self-sell testimonial close every time you hit a review site on a product or service, or read a blog post about someone else’s experience that you want.

You self-sell with an opportunity cost close every time you upgrade a piece of gear in World of Warcraft, justifying that the stats on an improved item, no matter how small the improvement actually is, is worth the opportunity cost of slogging through another Violet Hold in quest blue gear.

You self-sell all the time with a minor points close every time you fire up Twitter and say you’re really only going to just check really quick to see if anything interesting is happening, but only just for a minute.

We know these sales techniques work. They’re proven, they’re designed to manipulate minds and take advantage of blind spots in our human brains, in our emotional and rational makeups. Sales companies have been forcing crap into our homes and bodies since the day we were old enough to understand language…

… so why not take what we know works about manipulating other people and use the techniques to manipulate ourselves towards the outcomes in life we really want?

If you learn these sales techniques, you’ll find that you can sell yourself damn near anything. If you’re one of those folks who knows you have to make a change but you just can’t seem to ever get the momentum you need, learn the techniques and sell it to yourself. Sell it to yourself powerfully, and sell it to yourself often. It might be losing weight, going back to school to finish a degree, starting the martial arts, whatever.

Make up your mind and sell to yourself, because if you don’t, someone else will. When you’re done, you too will be saying, how did I ever live without this?


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