Practice will not improve your performance. Focused, intended and intense practice will make you better, whether as a financial representative getting introductions or as an athlete or performer. But most people don’t know HOW to practice to unlock their excellence.
First and foremost: game time is NOT practice time. When you are face to face with a client is not the time to try something new: it is time to implement something new. You should try it over and over in the bubble of your practice, a Dr. Strange-esque Mirror Dimension combined with Time Stone so you can fail over and over until you understand why, fix it, and do it right over and over again.
As the Hall of Famer Lenny Moore told my office: amateurs do things until they get them right. Professionals do it until they can’t do it wrong. Are you an amateur or a professional?
Set aside time to practice every day. The easiest and quickest way is to dedicate your commute to the office as mental prep time. Does not matter if it is eight minutes or eighty, if you dedicate the ingoing commute time to honing your skills, to sharpening your edge, to mastering your weapons you WILL accelerate your development.
So how do you maximize that time to augment your skill set?
First, sit down and write out your ideal language.
Not all of it. Even Mozart would not sit down and write an entire symphony at once. Choose a particular part of your language (the up-front contract with a client, or your transition into asking for your introductions, whatever is most glaring at moment in terms of developmental needs), and write out what you should say (instead of what you probably actually do say).
Note, we want you to write it with paper and implement, NOT type it on a computer or dictate it. WRITE it. Because of the haptic feedback, your muscle memory recognizing the words. You increase your retention by roughly 10% by writing something down (one trick you should apply with your clients by making them take notes in your meetings). Pressing buttons on a keyboard does not have the same effect.
After you write your language down, read it out loud to hear how it sounds. You will probably tweak it, adding phrases like “fair and reasonable” or directions like tapping your chest (as a psychological anchor) or what have you.
Read it out loud again and tweak.
Repeat until you are not tweaking it.
Now write it out.
Now read it.
Repetition is needed to affix the imprint into your brain. You are reading it out loud to also develop muscle memory, so your body adapts to saying these phrases and your ear hears you saying it, as your own voice is powerful for memory encoding.
Now grab your cell phone.
Open a voice memo.
Read your language.
Save this memo, and listen to it on your commute in multiple times. Speak along with it. Mimic the perfect you.
And do this on off days too, as there are no days off for champions.
Listen to it within a half hour before going to bed so that it is top of mind for memory encoding as you drift off to sleep.
Do this, every day, for a month.
You will see a dramatic improvement in performance, because you have intense, intended, and focused effort on a fundamental building block.
After a month, chose a different piece of language to focus on. But do not forget the one you were just enhancing, because a tool becomes dull if not sharpened. Still listen to that voice memo a few times a week, as the lower repetition with an established skill is ok to maintain as opposed to create anew.
Repeat with a new piece the next month.
And the next.
If you were to do this for a year, how great do you think your development would be?
What about over five years?
Champions are not made overnight. It takes years of work, of practice, of perfecting.
Practice prevents poor performance.
Perfect practice provides power.
Now get to work.