Why do sales superstars outperform sales wannabees and sales hopefuls? What is it that they’ve got that you haven’t? How do you become a sales superstar? One of the most compelling answers to this question is that sales superstars have more empowering beliefs systems. These belief systems in turn support their efforts and drive them to uncommon success.
Sales superstars may have chosen these winning beliefs consciously or they may just be lucky enough to have them. No matter. Either way, it’s time that you start to focus on what you need to believe because what you believe will ultimately determine how you feel in any given situation and therefore how you behave. This in turn will be a powerful predictor of the sales results that you are going to get.
Let’s say that in scenario one you have just made a sales presentation to a potential client. You believe that your product is “too expensive” and that your client is not going to pay what you need them to pay. How do you feel? What actions are you likely to take? How will your belief about price affect your sales pitch and your negotiations?
In scenario two you know that your prospect is currently with a “premium” competitor of yours and therefore you believe that your product is going to be seen as “good value for money” by your prospect. How do you feel? What actions are you likely to take now? How will your belief affect your sales pitch and your subsequent negotiations?
It’s easy to see from these two examples just how important it is to possess the “right” beliefs when seeking to dramatically increase your sales results. When significant changes in belief occur sales professionals can literally explode their sales results over night. I see this quite regularly when sales training. This is usually because they already have most of the skills that they require to get those results but they have some limiting belief holding them back. As soon as this belief is destroyed and replaced with a sales superstar belief then they are able to catapult their sales forward.
I have spent countless hours working with, interviewing and modelling great salespeople and have found that the following beliefs tend to hold true for them.
1. Nothing has meaning other than the meaning that you give to it.
Imagine for a second that a client rejects your proposal to do business with them. As a result of this “lost sale” you get sacked. It would be common practice to say that the event was awful! But is that really true?
What if, and as a direct result of that event you walked into another client on the way home and landed a huge deal worth ten times as much as the first one, and instead of getting sacked you got a huge bonus? You’d now say that the client rejecting you was destiny!
This is interesting because the one thing that hasn’t changed in these two scenarios is the event. This is because events in of themselves do not have “meaning”, it’s you that gives them meaning.
If you consistently attribute negative meanings to different events and subsequently feel bad, you are not going to be in the right state to make lots of sales.
When I work with sales superstars I consistently notice that events that other people habitually see as negative they see as positive or at worst neutral.
2. You can’t lose something you haven’t got.
Fear of loss is debilitating. You need to get over it! I have a friend who rang me the other night to tell me how he had met the girl of his dreams on the tube. After listening to his glowing description of just how angelic this girl was, I asked when they were going out. He responded that they weren’t. When I asked him why not he said that they weren’t going out because he hadn’t asked her out for fear that she would say no!
What’s the worst that could have happened if he had asked? Ironically, exactly what he now has, nothing! On the upside, however, she may well have said yes. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Have you ever come back to the office from a meeting and uttered the words, “I didn’t want to push too hard incase I lost it”?
Next time, ask for the deal, ask for the referral, ask for the next step and remember, you can’t lose something you haven’t got!
3. Rejection is not personal.
Top sales superstars see rejection as part of the territory. It is not personal, it is just a part of their job.
When I consult with companies, helping them to win more client meetings with senior-decision makers over the phone, I see salespeople react in a variety of different ways to client rejection. This can be down to their current mood, their value and beliefs, their opinion of what it means to be making sales calls or any one of a number of other factors. What is always interesting to me is how personally the individuals who are struggling to perform take these rejections.
Sales superstars are much more stoical. They keep reminding themselves, “It’s just business”. (For more on the mindset of sales superstars when confronted by client rejections see my objection handling book Objections! Objections! Objections!).
4. You get what you focus on.
Whether they were consciously aware of it or not every sales superstar I have ever spoken to knows that you become what you think about most. If you spend most of your days thinking about what might go wrong or how you might fail then you most likely will.
Sales superstars spend their time focusing on the clients that they want, the sales that they are going to make, how they can add value to their client relationships, what they can do to improve their own techniques and what activity they need to do today to bring in the business.
5. No-one can make you feel bad without your permission.
As you are the only person in charge of your emotional state then no-one can make you feel bad without your permission. No matter what anyone says or anyone does, you choose your state. Think about it for a second, someone can be “rude” to you but it is down to you to actually allow yourself to feel bad about what they said.
Start to take more responsibility now. It may feel uncomfortable at first as you will have to break old habits but once you master this it will change your life. As a speaker, I realised that in order to facilitate lasting change my message had to be “edgy” and impactful. Problem is, some people don’t want to hear the truth and they will occasionally try to make me feel bad instead!
Same is true in selling. Some prospects and clients will deliberately try to make you feel bad. It’s up to you whether you let them or not. Guarding your emotional foundation is key to your ongoing sales success.
6. You can choose your emotions and you can change them in an instant.
Changing emotional state is instantaneous once you learn how to do it. We have all changed state instantly at some point in our lives but the problem is that most of us do not practise choosing our state, allowing ourselves, instead, to be wafted around by people, events and circumstances.
Great salespeople and business people have strategies for changing their state fast. There are many ways to change your state and reading motivational material like this is one of them. Study other ways to change your state and practise ensuring that your state always matches up to what it needs to be for you to succeed.
7. Nothing happens in business until someone makes a sale.
Sales is the most important profession in the world. Really. Where would any of the world’s great companies be if they never sold anything? Nowhere, that’s where.
I have seen some excellent coaches and speakers who have no business. Why not? Because they don’t sell any. They are sitting around waiting for the proverbial duck to fly into their mouths but it is not going to happen. Many of them moan that they are better than so and so but he is just “lucky”. No, he’s not, he has sold his services better than they have!
Nothing happens in business until someone makes a sale.
That makes you and me important beyond our wildest dreams. If you can sell, whatever the condition of your market, then you are destined to be a sales superstar.
8. Every no brings you close to a yes.
I think that this old adage was one of the first mantras that I ever heard when I started out in sales but it’s as true today as it was then.
Many salespeople either carp this like a mantra whilst not really believing it or reject is as cheesy sales nonsense.
Don’t be one of them.
Every successful sales person knows that failure comes before success. Success is a journey and along the way there are many opportunities to fall and many opportunities to learn. Embrace them all. Even better, why not work out exactly how many “No’s” bring you to a yes and factor that into your sales planning and forecasting.
9. Selling is an exciting, professional and rewarding career.
So treat it like it is. How would you act and behave if you truly believed that selling is the most exciting, professional and rewarding career in the world?
You need to start believing and behaving that way right now! I know people who sell fighter planes, multi-million pound computer systems, original artworks, mobile phones, recruitment services and pretty much everything else in between. They are all at the cutting edge of their respective industries and they are all well rewarded for it.
Top sales professionals are true professionals. They study, they plan, they prepare, they analyse, they strategise and they learn. They don’t just bodge it and wing it!
10. There are abundant opportunities out there for the professional salesperson.
The world is full of opportunity. When you stop worrying about losing sales and start focusing on the abundant nature of the world then you will realise that there is more than enough business out there for everyone.
Most salespeople and business owners hold onto the belief that opportunities and business are scarce. They share this between each other when they meet, “Isn’t business quiet at the moment!”, “No-one’s got any spare cash to invest at the moment” and they listen to it on the news, “We are / are about to be in an economic downturn!”
Not surprising that they come across as desperate to clients then is it?
Sales superstars, on the other hand, believe that there is more than enough business out there for you to blast your sales targets into oblivion. They believe in unlimited opportunity and endless possibilities. So should you.
What are you waiting for?
So that’s it. How do you match up? What can you do today to start to adopt these beliefs?