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In Monday’s President’s Club foundations class, we talked about the human relations model of Transactional Analysis (TA) and how it relates to success in sales.  That sales professionals must have a good understanding of people is not a new concept.  But, what does “good with people” look like in practice?

According to David Sandler, “Sales is a Broadway play, put on by a psychiatrist.”    A successful salesperson must understand what is going on in the mind of the prospect, and be able to respond appropriately, on purpose, rather than react out of a subconscious desire to get his/her own emotional needs met.  That’s a tall order!

How many times have you encountered an angry or impatient prospect, only to wimp out or become angry in return?  Do you think you must answer every question your prospect asks you in extensive detail to get the order?  Are you afraid to talk about money?  Where do these patterns of behavior come from?

According to the TA theory developed by Dr. Eric Berne in the mid-1950’s, we all carry around scripts recorded in our brains from the time we were children – one full of how to’s, do’s and don’ts, from our Parents,  and the other from the intuition, feelings and physical being of the Child we used to be.  These states of being or ego states are called Parent and Child.  At the same time, from about 10 months of age, we start to analyze and evaluate the world around us, comparing it to the things we are taught by our parents and updating the feelings stored in our Child.  This ego state is called the Adult.

These Parent, Adult and Child tapes are stored in our subconscious, and we tend to react automatically to people and circumstances from one of these three ego states.  For an easy to understand guide to TA and the Parent, Adult, Child ego states check out this website or the official website for Dr. Eric Berne.

The bad news is that our Parent and Child tapes can’t be erased.  The good news, however, is that our Adult can record new information and decide to turn on and off those tapes at will.  This freedom to choose our response in a given situation is the key to overcoming negative behavior patterns in sales.      If we can slow down and get our Adult out in front as a referee between our Parent and Child, we can consciously choose an appropriate response to the sales situation in front of us.  For more information on Transactional Analysis in Sales check out this PowerPoint Presentation at

Are you stuck in self-defeating behavior patterns?  Will you commit to building your understanding of your own life scripts, how they developed and what you can do about them?  What are you waiting for?


Copyright 2012 Sandler Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.

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