What is the one thing that elite athletes and great sales leaders have in common? Their mindset.
In my opinion, a positive mindset is the most critical influencer of success in sales. It’s the foundation that underpins every element of the sales process, and without it, sales targets are harder to reach. Mindset can take you from ordinary to extraordinary.
What is a great sales leader mindset?
Think about when you go into a negotiation. Think about how you feel about what you’re selling. Do you believe in it? Would you pay the price you’re asking for it? Do you understand why it’s worth what you’re asking and do you absolutely believe it’s the very best solution for the customer?
If not, you have a dilemma. You’re already in the wrong mindset.
One of the biggest issues in sales comes from the sales professional not believing in what they’re selling. This is all about mindset.
This then begins to guide the type and quality of questions asked during discovery. The salesperson who doesn’t have the right mindset is likely to make assumptions, thinking they know what the client wants. They won’t do a thorough investigation.
The good news is that sales leaders and salespeople can adopt resources and tools to develop a positive mindset. This will help in other areas of their lives, too. People with great mindsets also have positive outlooks.
It is possible to learn a fundamental framework around being aware of your mindset every day. In terms of increasing sales, there is not a single sales tip that comes close to this.
What a mindset change looks like
I regularly see salespeople shift their mindset with spectacular effect. People realise at some stage that the thing that is getting in the way is themselves. It’s their mindset. I typically see this realisation happen early on during a training program.
They may have been thinking their products or services are expensive. They may think their ROI doesn’t measure up. They may think a competitor’s offering might be better. They may think they’re not good enough. They may think they’re subservient to the client.
But the moment the salesperson realises they’re equal to the client, that they’re there to help them, that they are an authority in their field, they begin to adopt a different mindset. This leads to them engaging with the client in a different way.
When this happens, the client sees them as a subject matter expert, as an authority. Trust and respect result, and the client buys what they have to sell.
So, the first person who has to have buy-in is not the customer, it’s the sales rep. And the sales rep is only going to have a positive mindset if the sales leader does, too.
For sales leaders to shift their mindset, it begins with a few steps:
1. Become aware of internal thoughts
It doesn’t mean picking out the happy thoughts from the negative, it’s about being aware of your thoughts and how your thoughts influence what you say and how you say something. Self-awareness is the first step to a positive mindset.
2. Practice gratitude
One of the greatest skills, no matter the profession, a person can acquire is gratitude. By reframing situations in a positive light, you will naturally find difficult situations or conversations become easier to manage.
3. Change your physiology
There is a reason Tony Robbins preaches that emotion is created by motion. The way you move, your body language, it all impacts how you feel. Stand tall and proud and see how it affects your emotions.
4. Change your thinking and your language
If you have mastered the above three then you’re already shifting your mindset, which in turn changes your language into a positive force.
Consider this, a sales leader says to their team, ‘It’s a shame about these lockdowns. It’s a drag that it’s having an impact on our sales,’ and leaves it there. That is a sales leader whose mindset and language will negatively impact their team’s morale.
Now, imagine this, a sales leader who has a positive mindset and is able to realise and articulate the silver lining of a situation. That sales leader would turn to their team and say: ‘We’ll get through it. We’re lucky to be in this position as there are several things we’re in control of…’.
This turns the conversation to the positive and helps everybody feel more confident. A change in thinking and mindset begins to change the way a sales leader speaks and leads their team. This carries through to discussion around the strategy for today’s meetings, for the rest of the week and for the next six months.
If the sales leader is sold on the positives of the situation, their team will be too.
Customers deserve better
Do customers notice if a sales leader is in a good or bad mindset? Of course they do. The customer knows, the sales leader knows and the rest of the sales team knows. What difference does it make to the customer? If the salesperson is in a negative mindset, the salesperson will also be peripheral to the most important parts of the conversation. That’s because the salesperson’s filter or lens through which they see the world will be a negative one.
In this situation, it will be increasingly difficult for the customer to build trust or to sense their problem really is being solved. They’ll go elsewhere for a solution.
It’s that simple, and that’s why mindset is everything.
Read more pro sales tips from Charmaine Keegan and other sales leaders in our 21 Pro Tips for Sales Leaders e-book.