By – Mike Myers, Board Member , Aldius Consulting Group
Throughout my career I have been fortunate to meet hundreds of successful sales people. Many of them have had a wide range of talents that enabled their success such as excellent industry experience, superior product knowledge or great selling habits. All of these attributes contributed to their success but the most important factors I have seen in defining success across the board is beliefs and sales mindset.
When I first got into the sales training business, I thought the most important job I had was to teach sales techniques and tactics around prospecting, qualifying and closing. What I found was that if a salesperson did not first have the right beliefs or mindset, techniques were much less effective. If a salesperson didn’t believe a technique would work, in many cases they wouldn’t even try it – even if other sales people in their organization were using it with good results.
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sales people to set clear expectations of the possible outcomes with a prospect at the beginning of sales calls. If a salesperson believes this technique is too pushy or aggressive they avoid using it no matter how much training and support they are given. Their limiting beliefs hold them back. So how can you avoid this trap? Tap into these five critical selling beliefs that drive success.
1. You need to believe in yourself and the product or service that you sell.
This may seem obvious but I am amazed how many conversations I have had with sales people who say that they aren’t confident that their company can deliver what they are selling. If you truly believe this, you need to do one of two things: either change your belief or leave your current position. The minute the prospect pushes back or questions your organization’s ability to deliver during the sales process, you will most likely falter because you will lack the self-confidence to push through the prospect’s objections.
2. You need to separate your personal identity from your role as a salesperson.
Great salespeople are able to separate their role as a salesperson from who they are as a person. The two major reasons why salespeople fail are fear of failure and fear of rejection. You need to understand that when a prospect says “No” it is not to you personally but to the product or service you are selling. If you are unable to do this, it can cause you to stop taking risks and lead to call reluctance – you just don’t want to pick up the phone. You just don’t want to hear another “no.” You need to remember that selling is not about getting a “yes” or “no,” but getting people to make a decision.
3. You need to believe that disqualifying is as important as qualifying.
Many salespeople believe that they need to focus on qualifying prospects. I would ask you to shift that mindset and have you focus more on disqualifying prospects. Just because the company you are talking with has invested in services like yours in the past doesn’t mean they are a good prospect now. As salespeople, we all sell the same thing: our time. You need to make sure you are spending time with the right people. If you focus on disqualifying prospects, you will make more money.
4. You need to understand that behaviour drives attitude and mindset.
Sometime salespeople try to wait for “the feeling.” For example, they say to themselves, “I will start making cold calls when I feel comfortable.” If you wait to feel comfortable you will never pick up the phone. The nature of sales is that you need to be a little uncomfortable every day to be successful. One belief that will help you get there is “do the behaviour and the attitude will follow.” The only way to get comfortable doing something you are uncomfortable doing, is to do it on a consistent basis. You don’t have to love making cold calls, you just have to make them.
5. You need to believe that you and the prospect are peers.
We have a saying in the training business, “the prospect is not your mother.” Just because a prospect asks you to do something, it doesn’t mean you have to do it. You need to have the belief that you and the prospect are peers. They have money and you have a solution to their problem. It is an equal trade. Many salespeople put prospects on a pedestal where they don’t belong.
Having a sound sales methodology and a great product or service to sell will go a long way, but if you keep these beliefs in mind as well, you will be better equipped to win at the mental game of selling.