I remember seeing a psychologist on TV talking about how he worked with people on how to change their lives for the better. He succeeded with some people and had not such big success with others.
When asked what made the real difference and what caused them, he said it really boils down to the belief system and the sales mindset of the individual.
That is, if they actually believe they can succeed, they will create reasons to do so and will see those successes as the norm. Less successful people will find reasons why they can’t succeed and they become self-fulfilling prophecies.
That’s not to say they deliberately set out to fail; it’s just that the belief system people have will dictate how much focus they put on certain elements that contribute to success or failure.
Certain beliefs that we salespeople share can make or break sales opportunities and here’s my take on just three of them that can have detrimental effects on how we fare in sales situations.
‘I believe that the prospect is only interested in price.’
This will make us focus on the actual purchase price of our products and services, the upfront outlay that the prospect has to make to gain access to our stuff. As we’ve said on many occasions, the prospect may judge the product on its price but it will judge its success on the results they achieve with it.
A friend of mine told me how he had bought a cheap mattress for him and his wife. He thought he had a good deal, but after a relatively short time he realised he wasn’t getting the quality sleep he needed to be alert and fully functioning. Persuaded by his wife, he spend a relatively high amount on a quality mattress and enjoyed better sleep than he ever had in his life.
If we believe prospects only focus on price, that is where our attention will be also, and it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, change that to a belief that prospects will pay what they believe supports their future goals and opportunities.
A ‘price-only’ belief will can only lead you to the path of discounts and will ultimately destroy many sales opportunities that existed but faded in the light of price.
‘I believe I don’t need to be up-to-date with technological advancements.’
I’ve spoken to many salespeople recently about how they keep abreast of new ideas and what they do to keep their prospects aware of new developments, and a lot of them stare back sheepishly. Technological advances as the norm today, and unless we keep up with the advancements, we will be left behind those salespeople who use what is available to advance their success with customers.
Believe that technology is your friend and you’ll find you can use it effectively to keep up-to-date with what customers want from you and your company. Search new apps that are available to help you achieve more with your time. Identify what advancements your potential future prospects are using and get acquainted with it. When you hear someone mention a specific new product or service, seek out how you could use it to become more effective.
Change is the only constant, so unless you keep on top of it, it will crush you and leave you behind on the road of broken potential.
‘I believe my career progression is up to others.’
Many salespeople think the only time they can learn new things is when their manager sends them on a sales course or has the time to give them some sales coaching. They want someone to tell them what to do and how to do it better.
This will always limit your potential. It stunts any growth you could make because you are placing your development opportunities in the hands of other people.
You need to have a planned development programme yourself, so any outside, extra training and coaching adds to what you have learned yourself. Get hold of downloads that speak specifically about improving selling skills. Adopt the attitude that you are effectively the only person interested in your career progression. Have the belief that ‘if it’s to be, it’s up to me’ and identify the many chances to increase your knowledge about you chosen profession. It can be through a book on sales techniques, a video or a podcast. I take time out to look at various inspirational sales quotes that keep me going when times get tough.
Believing you know everything you need to know and not taking improving your knowledge seriously will put you on the slippery slope where you’ll end up blaming others for your results rather than taking full responsibility for what you do and how you do it.
These three beliefs will always insidiously affect the way you perform, so be aware of what you say to yourself and how those beliefs can impact the way you approach you job and your career.
Talking of self-development, I recommend that you take a sales assessment to benchmark your current skills levels. You’ll receive a report of your strengths and areas for development. And if you’re looking to get into leadership within the future then please take a look at the ISM sales qualification that you can receive by taking our sales management training.