1. Motivation and promises to change and improve are never enough to make change permanent.

So many people get excited about attending a particular seminar and make a personal commitment to change (lose weight, start exercising, ask for referrals, follow up with old clients, prospect in new markets, get in earlier, stop wasting time and etc.) They mean it when they make the promise, they just lack the tools to make change permanent. The facts are:

2. Setting goals is never going to generate change.

If goal setting generated change then everyone would be a success, because everyone has set goals. The question is where are all those talented people who started in the business with you. They set goals, they were motivated, they were good looking, they were committed to succeed and they failed. What's the difference between success and failure? You guessed it, it's psychological. You will learn exactly what controls your actions and determines if you are reactive or proactive.

3. Self-Doubts and your "Internal Belief System".

One of the most common and pernicious elements in changing and breaking through plateaus is the firm belief that "it can't be helped." There is a growing consensus among professionals that many account executives' "talk themselves into underachieving and even failing" in their attempts to break through plateaus and maximize their performance.

That is, they start off with a deep-seated pessimism and the expectancy that their struggle is a futile one. This belief operates as a self-fulfilling prophecy to avoid prospecting. For example, how many times have you suggested to Tom that he should ask for referrals, or prospect in new markets only to observe Tom do the same old things the same old way and continue to perform far below his potential?

4. Perfectionism kills.

Besides encouraging the "all-or-none" views of life, perfectionism tends to make us overly sensitive to our bad days. When perfection is your goal, it only takes one mistake to turn you into a failure. That is why so many people abandon their plans and goals and all too often their careers. After their first clear "failure" they convince themselves that they have "blown it" and they begin to kill time.

5. Fear of failure guarantees failure.

A preoccupation with failure is hardly what the doctor ordered for the person who is deciding whether to begin a new prospecting campaign. If past failures seem plentiful, it is easy to talk oneself out of even trying. Unfortunately, many account executives' fail to realize that there is a big difference between "I haven't" and "I can't." Too many people believe a history of underachieving is evidence of personal inadequacy. This pessimistic outlook comes to influence their efforts and, eventually, destroys their beliefs that they have what it takes to change.

6. Psychological system.

We have a nervous system which uses pain as a signal of danger and a cue to escape or to avoid. We have all learned how to avoid fire, sharp objects, and so on. Most of us have learned how to avoid rejection, failure, and success, too. We have learned how to anticipate all sorts of dangers. We are constantly on the look out for threatening situations.

Many of us have become sensitive. We may exaggerate the dangers which lie ahead or may lose sight of the fact that they can be avoided or counter balanced by future pleasures. So we set a goal to prospect, but when it's time, we decide to clean our desks or to read some research.

We want to prospect, we know what to say, we just can't find the courage to dial the phone or we may dial, but we give up after the first or second objection. I'm suggesting that the root of every action is your psychological system. When is the last time you attended a workshop on learning how to increase your emotional strength?

7. Whose problem is it?

We are all active participants in our individual dilemmas. Performance problems, underachievement and plateaus are not "just things" that happen to us - they are complex experiences which we can learn to control. With a little psychological training we can change our lives.

8. The change process.

Personal growth is not something that is achieved without effort, patience, or a minimum of discomfort. These may not sound like welcome or encouraging revelations in a Maximum Performance brochure. They are not meant to be discouraging. I am continually impressed with people's capacity to make dramatic changes in their lives, sometimes after years of performing far below their potential. My point is simply that experiencing a quantum leap in production is seldom an easy or rapid achievement. It is, to be sure, richly gratifying, but it has it price: persistence, a willingness to try, and an openness to learning some basic skills.

If you are willing to accept the fact that making a quantum leap in your production will require some effort, time, and conscientious practice, I can promise to teach you the skills and methods that have produced dramatic changes in the lives of others and they can work in your life, too.

9. Beliefs, blind faith and positive thinking.

The approaches outlined in these workshops do not require positive thinking, wild enthusiasm, nor do they demand blind faith. But it does require your vigorous participation and active involvement. If you are convinced that you cannot improve, you are probably right. This is not to say that your beliefs are your primary source of power. Rather, I am emphasizing that your beliefs may prevent you from giving yourself a chance and they may create a type of cynicism that make it impossible for you to change. That is, you may attend the workshop, but just to prove that you cannot change, you will avoid taking notes or completing the follow through program.

10. The myth of willpower.

It has long been believed that persons who were successful were blessed with a mysterious personality trait called "willpower." Those who had it were miraculously adept at doing whatever was necessary to succeed. They were organized and effective in their attempts to manage their lives. People who lacked willpower were doomed to being mid level producers - at best.

These views have been challenged and defeated during the last decade and performance psychologists now emphasize the remarkable capacity for change which is evident in all account executives - regardless of age or number of years in the business.

The concept of willpower has now been recognized as an explanatory fiction. That is, a concept which may appear to explain something, but which may actually be logically bankrupt. The real key is "psychological skill power."

11. The follow through fairy tale.

When we decide to do something, we should just do it. If we fail to follow through, it is because we either didn't really want it, we lack willpower, or we have a deep, dark, self-defeating character flaw.

The classical plan of the underachiever and why it seldom, if ever works:

12. Why have your "solutions" been unsuccessful?

Do you see your problems as unchangeable?
Do you approach them with a goal of perfection?
Do you think you are alone in having such problems?
Do you think there is something wrong with you for performing below your potential?
Are you confused about what to do?

13. What's holding you back?

Self-defeating habits. (Procrastination, killing time, disorganization, worry, guilt, discouragement, anger, and lack of motivation.)
Negative addictions.
Fears of success, rejection, failure or looking foolish?
Fun things you would rather be doing.
Unexpected and unanticipated setbacks.
Lack of psychological skills.

Why don't we work on the real problems with real change methods?

14. Psychological Training.

Treating performance problems in a scientific manner has several benefits. It helps to demystify them, and in doing so, makes them accessible to rational, objective solutions, it does away with the vague, scary concepts of willpower, and positive thinking as the means of change, and substitutes specific steps; it encourages us to set realistic, achievable goals as opposed to perfectionistic ones.

Hemsley promises no miracles, but the approach outlined in these workshops are optimistic and they have been validated in double blind studies that they will shorten the gap between the way things are and the way you would like them to be.

Aaron Hemsley's Maximum Performance Training is the scientific application of Behavioral Psychology. It is designed to help account executives make quantum leaps in their prospecting and sales skills.

15. Psychological Problems.

Some of the most common problems that lead to underachievement are:

Fears of rejection, failure, looking foolish, and of being too successful.
Negative habits, addictions, passiveness, personal problems.

Few people understand how their emotional system controls their daily choices. These workshops teach account executives how to confront and eliminate all of their self-sabotaging habits and simultaneously learn new self-enhancing habits. Habits that will result in quantum leaps in their production.

16. Emotional Intelligence.

As far as prospecting and selling is concerned, it is more important to improve your EQ (Emotional Intelligence) than it is to increase your IQ.

Intellectually, this is a simple business.
Emotionally, this is a difficult business.

These are the qualities that mark people who excel in real life: who flourish in spite of the market, the current value of the Yen, or El Nino. These are the people who are the great winners in life. These are also the hallmarks of characters and self-discipline, of altruism and compassion - basic capacities needed if our families are going to survive.

The costs of deficits in emotional intelligence include failure, underachievement, plateauing, problems in parenting to poor physical health. New research shows that performance anxiety, stress and anger create as great a health risk as chain smoking. Perhaps the greatest toll is on our children, whose risks include depression, eating disorders and unwanted pregnancies, aggressiveness, criminal behavior, and sexual disorders.