The Inner Game of Selling holds the key to a sales person’s real success. What the sales person is thinking about positions as a winner or a loser – depending upon the dominate thoughts. Since your thoughts control the inner game, they set the stage for your ultimate performance – good, bad or indifferent.
So how do beliefs enter into this discussion?
Beliefs are the thoughts that get placed into the subconscious mind. This is important because the experts in human performance have found that the subconscious mind actually controls most of what we do, say (particularly how we say things), word choices and decisions. And, the most alarming thing is – the subconscious mind just follows the orders of your thoughts – without judgment. Therefore, good and bad thoughts are embedded into our subconscious mind. Then words and actions are pushed out as commands with both good and bad results!
The cumulative effect of our beliefs create our mindset about everything – including our abilities as a sales person. I have heard more than once, people in sales state – “I hate sales or I hate selling.” What a mistake. The “I” makes this statement a direct command to the subconscious mind therefore placing real power behind the statement.
If you want to excel in sales (if you are in sales this should be a primary thought) then you must take control of your thoughts, self talk, and concentration of thinking about sales or selling. Make this a commitment to your success.
Now if you have not be paying attention to the quality of your thoughts and you feel that something inside is holding you back from superior performance, you may need some focused attention. There are three things you can do:
I’ve been reading a lot about different selling systems or processes lately and several are acting like they have invented some new super effective selling process! Well, having been around good to great sales people for the past twenty years it is not that revolutionary.
The keys to their success are the same keys the best sales people have been using for years. It’s all about being somewhat bold, aggressive or provocative AND TAKING A RISK. In today’s environment, too many people are playing everything safe and risk free.
When I was learning about finance in college, one thing was made perfectly clear. No risk equals little gain or profit. Too much risk equals major loss potential. So, the right thing is to make a calculated or balanced decision – take some risk (or chance) and get a higher return.
Again, this is elementary finance, yet, it can be applied to the world of selling and have serious meaning. In this economic downturn, no one has a normal budget to operate, in fact, some budgets have disappeared. Decisions – if made at all – are going higher in the organization and are heavily influenced by the financial “bean-counter” types.
So what does this mean for today’s sales person? It means you can not continue to play safe and keep going to your friends in the customer or prospect organizations. You can no longer afford to maintain a “normal” course of action and take little or no risk. Unless of course you are truly independently wealthy and have played the options market very effectively during the downturn in the market. But wait! Doesn’t that mean you are comfortable with taking risks and getting higher returns!
It is time to start asking difficult or hard questions of higher level decision makers. These questions can be effectively worded so it is not taken personally by the executive – yet, the questions must be bold and force thought. Thought is the key for the sales person. A thinking decision maker is not on automatic pilot with knee jerk responses – we have no budget for this, let me talk to others, we are currently satisfied with our supplier, vendor, provider.
As a sales person, it is time to think about what is happening in your customer or prospect’s business, what is costing them dollars even without a decision to change? You need to become a CSI agent for customer well-being. Find the source or cause of major pain to point out to the executive – even if they do not see it (This is difficult for some sales people to understand – customers sometimes do not see the problem unless it is pointed out to them.)
You can improve the quality and delivery of questions. It does require some practice time – winging it is NOT AN OPTION! If you can’t afford a consultant – get the financial types from your company or the local banker to practice your questions and handling of responses. If you do want some professional guidance, give me a call at 901-757-4434 and let’s talk about how to be bold and effective.
There are two 2 word phrases that cause adults who are sales people for break into a cold sweat. The first phrase is “role play.” I have seen people actually hid behind a wall rather than engage in a role play exercise. This is some serious fear and sweat!
The second two word phrase is “Cold Calls.” Again, the fear and anxiety of making cold calls is high. People just do not like to make cold calls now or in the past for that matter.
Truth is cold calls are tough and getter harder – thanks in part to technology. I remember when I started in business back in the 80’s I could pick up the phone and call a prospect and actually talk to the decision maker. Those were the best days for cold calling since you could talk to someone. In fact, in the late 80’s when I moved to a new city – Memphis – I was able to build my business from the zero to six figures in one year using cold calling techniques.
More truth, I wasn’t even good at cold calling back then. When looking back at the techniques I used, well, I could have upgraded my skills and I probably would have done much better. I won then because I never gave up and kept doing it every day and every week.
Now, what is causing all the cold sweat? There appears to be five reasons. So here are the big five reasons:
After listening to a series of questions from a salesperson recently, I wondered how many other salespeople have this disease – Asking Dumb or Stupid Questions with Customers or Prospects. And, after talking to a few at a sales meeting, it appears there are more than I thought asking these questions.
So here are three questions I hear often:
The first myth regarding selling is that “selling is easy and anyone can do it!” DUH? Someone deciding that selling is easy and can be done by anyone is usually started by someone that does not sell. Finance or operations people truly believe that anyone can sell. They also believe that there is little skill involved in selling, therefore any person can be successful.
These are the same people that tell people in sales that they only need to memorize a sales presentation, learn all about the feature and details of the product or service and go out to make as many presentations as they can in one day or week. Then, like the “Fields of Dreams” they (customers) will buy. The only thing that this attitude has produced is commodity selling. Every industry that had their sales people doing this type of selling has become a commodity or price based market.
The truth is selling has become a very complex process, requiring a high level of sophistication to coordinate all the strategies for sales success. Sales people are dealing with longer sales cycles, multiple decision makers, fierce and increased competition and more knowledgeable and demanding customers.
Successful salespeople demonstrate higher levels of skills in dealing with their customer in this environment.
The age of feature selling is gone. Today, your sales people need to be masters of communication and rapport building. Have questioning skills to guide the sales process to a value based decision. To understand the basics of ROI selling therefore having knowledge and expertise in the arena of business acumen, not to mention industry knowledge. Complex is the name of the selling game today, yet, you can simplify it by using a sales process that involves the customer, respects the customer and builds the trust customers want from people they count upon when they want to buy.
I’m writing this using an analogy of the Hawk and the Dove AND NO – this is not about the war stuff. First, let me set the stage – this past weekend I witnessed a nature activity that could be a sad thing or just one of the facts of life.
You see, we have this Dove family that has lived at our house for the past four or five years. Each year building a new nest and having more family. This little family has entertained us for years. They hang out together and have shown no interest in separating.
This past summer a young Hawk landed close to our bird feeder and we had a grand time watching it as it tried to figure out how to eat at the community bird feeder. Well, he was totally unsuccessful with the birdseed feeder – but he must have gained some intel while there.
This weekend I was at the window with my cup of Java, and I noticed the Hawk in the yard – eating something. It turned out to be one of the Dove family! I was appalled that this had happened to the nice little bird family that always seemed calm and cool even when we approached the birds.
As it turned out, that is the reason the Dove is no more! It was slow, calm and steady. A great target for a bird of prey like the Hawk! Later, I found out from the bird store owner that Hawks take out Doves on a regular basis due to their slowness to react to situations.
As I thought about the situation, I began to think about the current economic crisis, the number of mergers – hostile or not – that have taken place over the past couple of years, and how people are approaching the need for sales growth in a down economy. I realized that I had seen an analogy to the impact or effects of the Slow and Steady (change resistance) and the Fast & Quick – who make things happen when the opportunity arises.
Companies and Individuals who are slow to act or resistant to change are just like the Dove. Cute and lovable, yet soon to become the victim or totally gone when faced with the aggressive and hostile company or individual. You must adapt to the current environment and balance your actions between the fast and the slow or the Quick and the Steady. Moderation is important. Understanding the consequences of inaction can align you with actionable choices.
Think about your highest priorities – company or individual – and immediately launch a plan of action to accomplish this objective. Too often, smart people wait until it is too late to move – like the Dove – and lose their independence or their competitive edge. Take charge and become one of the Fast and Quick during these economic times – be a winner.
If you need help understanding how to set the highest priorities, monitor their results or progress, and other options you need to be successful, then call us immediately – that’s now – at 901-757-4434.
We know that Super Star Sales People possess something that is unique to them and appears to be lacking in the rest of the sales team. The Super Stars have a winner’s edge that gives them an distinct competitive advantage in the marketplace. They are able to win even when the odds of success are low. How do they do this with such regularity?
What is really happening that places the “winner’s edge” in certain people and not everyone else? It is quite simple if you study this trait – it is a Winning Mindset. Sounds like a “soft skill” issue and trust me – it is. As I stated in a previous blog post – soft skills are hard. The ability to stay positive and optimistic even when staring adversity in the face is an art. Why is it an art? Because of the mental side of the process of winning.
Winner’s have the ability to connect their beliefs, attitudes and behaviors to form a “Winning Mindset.” This connection begins with beliefs. If a sales person truly believes that they have a real solution for a customer and the customer will benefit and receive value from the purchase – then the belief works with the sales person to become successful. If there are disbeliefs regarding solutions, benefit and value – the subconsious mind will actually sabotage the process.
We have had the opportunity to work with several sales teams that have had exhaustive sales training and skills practice. Then during discussions with the sales managers we learn that statements have been made that indicate sabotaging actions by several sales people. How could this be – they had been trained to use very successful sales processes? The issue is self-limiting beliefs are hindering the successful execution of tactics and processes for sales success.
So, how does a sales person identify self-limiting beliefs? How does a sales person change the self-limiting beliefs so they can become more successful? Well, the solution is quite simple if you know the process to continuously improve your mental edge regarding the pathway to consistent sales success. In fact, once the sales person learns and practices using the process – they can positively impact their success at any point in time.
If you want to learn more about this unique solution to adding a “Winner’s Mindset” contact Robin Graham at our offices in Memphis, TN. The phone number is 901-757-4434. Take action today and insure your ability to win tomorrow.