• Megan Bloomfield, Solutions Advisor

Overcoming Head Trash

Part of our commitment to continuous improvement, learning and development at Boomer includes sales training from Sandler Training. One of the concepts they teach is learning to identify “Head Trash.” And while it’s taught from a sales perspective, we actually use this term a lot internally, and any organization can benefit from recognizing head trash and how it may affect them.

What is head trash?

Head trash is a negative belief you may have about your abilities, your products or yourself. It affects what you do and how you do it. The problem with head trash is that those negative beliefs become behaviors. The behaviors become feelings. The feelings become results – typically not the results you’re hoping for.

We see head trash play out in a number of ways. In sales, it could be a belief that your prospect or client will only buy if you have the lowest price. Or it could come from your own belief in the value of your services. For example, when quoting a fee for financial statements, if you believe that the $5,000 fee you charge is high, you may say, “Our fee is $5,000. Now, I know that’s a lot of money, but here’s why it’s worth it…”

Your head trash caused you to point out how expensive your services are and preemptively defend your fees when perhaps the client doesn’t think they’re high at all.

Another way head trash can manifest itself is when you become a bottleneck in your firm’s processes. For instance, a partner’s head trash may tell her she needs to personally respond to all client emails instead of forwarding them to the staff member responsible for handling the client request. But those emails get buried in her inbox because she doesn’t have time to respond right away. The client isn’t necessarily looking for a personalized response from the partner in charge of her account. She just needs an answer to her question and would be much happier receiving a timely response from someone else.

Your head trash may involve overthinking or overanalyzing situations. It might tell you that you can’t talk to high-level people or that you need to know all the answers before you can have a client conversation. Confidence in my knowledge of our services was a big head trash issue for me when I started my job. Thankfully, as I learned and understood our company more, it became less of a problem.

Overcoming head trash

There are three ways you can start overcoming your own head trash.

Write it down

The first step is identifying the head trash that is holding you back. Make a list of all the responsibilities you have in your role at work or in your personal life.

Which areas do you feel comfortable and in control? Those are probably not areas where you have a lot of head trash. Look for the areas that need improvement. Places where your results aren’t what you’re hoping for. It’s time to rewrite the script in those areas.

Communicate with your team

Get help from team members, friends and family. Let them know about the improvements you want to make and ask them to call you out when they see you going back to your old scripts.

Get coaching or training

You’ve probably been living with your head trash for quite a while. Sometimes those negative beliefs become so ingrained, they’re difficult to overcome on your own. Look for people in your firm that are already excelling in your problem areas. Ask them for mentorship or coaching.

If that’s not possible, you may be able to find training that can help you flip the script and feel more confident about what you’re doing. It can be sales training if that’s where your issue lies. Or you may need leadership training or just general confidence building. It just depends on why you have head trash in that area.

For most people, negative beliefs are so deeply ingrained that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. But they may actually hinder you from reaching your goals. Learn to identify and overcome the head trash. Once you stop letting it hold you back, your new, positive scripts can start influencing your behaviors, feelings and results.

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As a Solutions Advisor for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Megan works to provide the highest level of client service to existing and new clients through building and maintaining relationships. Her primary focus is on Vendor/Sponsor relationships and she is the Boomer Technolgy Circle, the Boomer Advisor Circle, and the Boomer Lean Circle sponsor program lead. Megan is passionate about helping clients excel through Boomer Consulting Services.