THE MARSHMALLOW TEST… in the mid-1960s there was a famous psychological test conducted by scientists at Stanford University. They were testing the long term effects of willpower. Their subjects were of a group of four-year-olds. The children were brought into a room and seated around a table. In the middle of the table was a pile of marshmallows. The children were given the following offer… "You may have one marshmallow right now or if you wait 15 minutes you can have two marshmallows". Not surprisingly, 70% of the children grabbed one marshmallow immediately and only 30% waited for 15 minutes so that they could have double the quantity.
Now it gets interesting… years later they tracked down many of the participants. The majority were in the final year of high school. The researchers studied their grades and SAT scores, their ability to maintain friendships, and their capacity to cope with important problems. Here's what they found… the children who had demonstrated the ability to "delay gratification" ended up with the best grades with SAT scores 210 points higher on average than the "one marshmallow now" group.. They were more popular and had much less involvement with drugs and alcohol. They were well on the path to living successful lives.
Here is your ACTION STEP...which group would you have been in? The good news is it doesn't matter. Here's why…the ability to Delay Gratification is a learned skill. In the Sales Business you run into the marshmallow test all the time. It is critical to delay certain things on a daily basis. Here are some examples where Superstars demonstrate this skill…
DELAYED GRATIFICATION OPPORTUNITIES IN SALES
1. Prequalify all leads using a script verbatim before you decide to go on an appointment
2. Sticking to your schedule rather than picking up every "shiny penny" that comes along
3. Not being afraid to "close one more time" instead of giving in to the fear that says, "I want to make sure they like me"
4. Forcing yourself to talk to a minimum number of prospects every day instead of starting later/going for a long lunch/socializing in the office/going to bed too late, etc.
5. Practicing your scripts and skills/role-playing as opposed to spending too much time on Social Media
The Superstars in Sales are not perfect. Sometimes they too will "grab one marshmallow immediately rather than wait for two later on". Great Salespeople generally will make the right choices most of the time. Watch how you deal with the marshmallows in your life over the next few days. Are you keeping your priorities straight? Are you saying NO most of the time? There is a lot of temptation out there… be strong, choose wisely and you will succeed. Be one of the 30% and delay gratification. NO Excuses.