No, I’m not going to get all “new wavy” and start chanting on you. There is a huge amount of literature on visualization, some of it starts getting out there, but a lot of it is rock solid. Recently, Michael Harris, commented on one of my LinkedIn Posts. In the post he brought up visualization.

In reflecting on our LinkedIn exchange, I thought about how powerful visualization is in influencing, often totally unconsciously, our behaviors and the outcomes we create.

Before I dive, in–a few examples, to start illustrating the point.

Many of you know I’m a wannabe athlete, so I take my sports seriously, training and trying to improve. When I first started training for bicycle racing, I had to learn things like how to draft off my teammates–a couple inches behind someone’s wheel at a pretty good speed, or riding in a pack, or dealing with obstacles and hazards in the roadway.

You probably can guess the outcomes of my early encounters. In drafting, riding so close to someone’s wheel, I was consumed with “not hitting his wheel.” In a pack I was consumed with “not getting knocked down.” Encountering an obstacle, I was consumed with “not hitting the obstacle.”

Yep! I hit every single one of them. I had close to 100% “success” in hitting back wheels, getting knocked down, hitting the obstacles. There was one really embarrassing time, when we were riding through a very low tunnel at a pretty good speed. We had to stay right in the center, right behind each other. Drift a foot or so either direction and your helmet would hit the severely curved ceiling of the tunnel. Yes—I was the laughing stock of the team for the rest of the ride as they pointed at my severely dinged helmet and my equally dinged pride.

Each of us has our own stories–whether it’s not missing that golf ball, tennis ball, baseball, target, or not swallowing water when we are surfing, or whatever.

The same thing happens in our professional and sales lives.

If we think too much about “not discounting,” rather than about value creation, what happens—usually we get into a pricing battle.

If we think too much about “keep the customer from hanging up on the call” rather than “what’s the most interesting thing to that customer,” — you know the answer.

Or even that desperation, “I can’t afford to lose this deal.”

Visualization is very powerful. It shapes our attitudes in everything we pursue. It shapes how we approach things and how we respond to challenges that come up on the way. It impacts whether we see the glass as half empty or half full.

Make no mistake, visualization is very different than dreaming. Visualization is purposeful, it is thought-ful, it is focused. Visualization focuses on the best possible execution to achieve the outcomes we desire.

It changes the way we approach selling.

We visualize the process of creating the greatest value for the customer and execute that, not worrying about price, because we know price and value are completely different.

We visualize helping the customer with their buying process and then become a critical resource in moving them through that process, not worrying about getting the order. We know the order is a natural outcome of the collaboration.

We visualize helping the customer see opportunities to be far more successful–to grow, improve, not about a catchy line to keep them on the phone.

Visualization, consciously or unconsciously always influences the outcomes we create. So why not leverage it to create the outcomes we want instead of unconsciously visualizing the obstacles we will face.