Attending a networking event recently (don’t groan – sometimes they can be really useful to attend!). I met someone who had just started working as a salesperson. Kate absolutely believed in the product, the only trouble was, she didn’t believe in herself – her ability to clinch the deal… Admittedly, the role was a change in career direction for her but Kate explained she wanted a change, had come across this product and believed in it so wanted to play a role in making it a success – sounds all very Victor Kiam (“I liked it so much I bought the company!”). I admired her bravery in embarking on a new career, seeing something and going for it.
Kate explained how she would send her prospects detailed information about the product but when it was time to make the follow-up call, she dreaded it – in her head, she had concocted a scenario of being turned down with all manner of excuses – this was all before she’d even dialled their number.
Kate said the high achievers amongst the salesforce had mentioned mindset is key but confessed to me she didn’t know what the magic formula was. You can probably imagine the deep breath I took before doing a mini-Winning Edge…
So, what is it that sets the great sales individuals apart from the average ones? What really makes the difference between those peak performers who can consistently exceed their targets and the average salespeople who never really manage to break through that perceived glass ceiling? I explained to Kate that the answer is they think differently from most other people.
Firstly, high performers have a positive self-image – it doesn’t necessarily mean being arrogant but can mean they are quietly self-assured and believe they can effectively do their job and do it well and their sense of self-worth means they don’t take the odd knock-back personally. Secondly, great sales people understand the vital link between their thinking and emotional skills and sales effectiveness; they understand glass ceilings only exist when self-imposed. In order to break through that glass ceiling, it’s important to understand traditional selling skills and product knowledge do not play the most important role – at least 80% is the result of thinking and attitude and only 20% about such factors as knowledge of the product, skills, ability and born-with gifts and talent. It’s crucial to think about the role effective thinking plays in success.
Selling can be as natural as getting dressed – a successful salesperson doesn’t think about ‘the sell’ on a conscious level – they already know they’re an effective salesperson, so why wouldn’t their prospect want to buy from them?! If you want to see an impressive salesperson in action, look at an eight-year-old child who wants an ice-cream – they are natural-born persuaders and don’t give up! This is how great salespeople operate too – self-belief, tenacity and knowing their prospect well so knowing how to press the right buttons.
This new way of thinking can lead Kate to huge potential for sales as well as for her own growth and development, thus bringing benefits far beyond just helping to hit and exceed sales targets.
It doesn’t matter what level of skill or experience Kate has because as I explained to her, what we think about isn’t nearly as important as the way we think about what we think about – this approach is what works for sales professionals at all levels who are serious about increasing results and creating sustainable change.
I left the networking event confident Kate had had a lightbulb moment and was a willing Winning Edge convert.
“The difference between success and mediocrity is all in the way you think.” Dean Francis
By Kirsty Perrin
About the Author: Having been immersed in the Winning Edge principles from an early age, Kirsty’s philosophy is to be the best you can be and to enjoy what you do in life.
Kirsty knows that personal development is a continuous journey and therefore has a genuine desire and enthusiasm to help people realise their full potential, to be a success in their life-whatever that may mean to them.
Kirsty’s thought-provoking blogs, prompt readers to think consciously about how their thinking has a huge impact on their life, it informs their emotions and therefore their behaviour. Living life consciously is the cornerstone to the themes of Kirsty’s blogs. You can contact Kirsty directly here