When you study successful people, what will you find? You'll find patterns to ther behavior that leads to their success and a healthy sales pipeline. You'll find their 'winning mindset.' Jeb Blount, in his article, "7 Mindsets of Top Earning Salespeople" Blount writes,
Developing and maintaining a winning mindset is the ultimate key to success in sales. This mindset keeps you focused, persistent, and driven to open doors in the face of inevitable set-backs, challenges, and rejection. When you adopt a winning mindset, you'll grow in the face of adversity rather than shrink before it.
I think the above quote is genius, and it makes a lot of sense. When we study those in our same profession that we look up to, we'll see the pattern of a winning mindset. If we apply it to our own lives, we'll find we are more motivated to continue and work hard in what we're doing.
Blount then offers seven mindsets that he has studied and found in top earning sales pros. Check them out:
1. Optimistic & Enthusiastic: "They know that negative, bitter people with victim mindsets do not succeed in sales." So get up and greet the day with a smile, knowing that attacking the day any other way will not do you a favor. I know that in my life it's true that if my attitude is positive, whatever happens doesn't affect me as negatively. And when you have a optimistic attitude, co-workers and clients will appreciate it, I'm sure.
2. Competitive: "Top earners view the world through the eyes of a fierce competitor. They are hard wired to be number one..." Don't shy from your competitive nature, you need it to help motivate you to keep improving and keep moving forward! Although the trash talking you do when competing in sports, is not encouraged.
3. Confident: "...expect to win and believe [you're] going to win." You are an amazing human being, and you can achieve all your wildest sales dreams! Cue all the self-esteem pinterest quotes, and yes I am talking about YOU. But in all seriousness, continually cultivate confident in yourself and your abilities. As long as you're improving and trying your best, who are you not to be confident that you'll find some success?
4. Relentless: "Top earners have a high need for achievement. They do whatever it takes to reach their goal. They believe, at the core, that persistence always wins and use rejection as motivational fuel to get up and keep going." Remember all those many times in your life that you've been rejected? Well, lift your head now and smile because you can use those many times to stay motivated! Be relentless, persistence really does always win.
5. Thirst for Knowledge: "Top earners welcome feedback and coaching. They seek out every opportunity to learn and inveset in themselves..." I believe that taking time for yourself is of great importance and you needn't take your personal well-being lightly. Investing in yourself and your knowledge sounds like the greatest job to me! Seek out mentors to help you in your career journey, and don't forget about family and personal life. And even though your institutional education may be in the past, learning is something we do everyday. Continue learning and growing.
6. Systematic & Efficient: "[be]...skilled at [your] craft like a pro athlete." Protect your craft, excel in it, and learn everything about it. Be productive, working not faster but smarter. Schedule your time and stick to your schedule. There can be a system to everything, even those "sick days" that you strategically call in. Remember that one time in high school where I finished a week of math homework in one class period?(I was proud of myself) Apply that same principle to your craft. What can you eliminate or improve to become more efficient?
7. Adaptive & Flexible: Top earners are "constantly trying new things and flexing with the world around them-whatever it takes to keep their pipeline full." Being able to adapt quickly to change is one of the qualities that I prize most in people. Be flexible too, and try your hardest to be understanding. Life in the workplace is great, but there is a life outside of the office too and both can be demanding. Hold people to their word, but allow a few human mistakes every once in a while.
Scott Edinger in this article argues that "...the further you go up the chain from managers, to directors, to VPs, the more sales leaders ask for help from their direct reports to do their own jobs, rather than investing time in improving the performance of their people."
Do you agree with his statement?
Edinger backs up his argument with a few points and personal experiences. One being a rating of a coach done by a student, contrasted with how well the sales coach thought he did.
Edinger then goes on, giving ideas of how we can improve the capability of our sales organization. He writes,
...coaching is the most powerful lever you have. And, creating a culture of coaching is your best bet.
Edinger's tips on how to do this include:
- Establish uniform expectations
- Highlight the exemplars and use them to spread your best practices
- Provide rewards to those who engage in coaching and consequences for those who opt out
In talking about establishing uniform expectations, Edinger writes that, "Everyone, from the executive vice president of sales down to the frontline sales manager, needs to share the same definition of what good coaching is." Good coaching includes many things, specifically constructive criticism with solutions on how to fix what can be improved.
On highlighting the exemplars, "In any sales organization, everyone knows who the beset sellers are...use them as role models."
And when it comes to providing rewards, "Coaching should not be viewed as extra credit or something to do if you have time on your hands." If sales training is being offered, it should be a priority for everyone on your team. Surely they all can improve.
So what do you think of Edinger's claim that "...the further you go up the chain...the more sales leaders ask for help from their direct reports to do their own jobs, rather than investing time in improving the performance of their people"? What has been your experience in sales training? I don't know if I would say I fully agree with the claim being made, but I do agree Edinger offers some valuable points on how to improve any sales training experience.
Find Scott: Twitter
"The best sales people have an unbelievable ability to climb into the skin of others. They have an uncanny ability to feel what others are feeling" writes Keenan, the self proclaimed "A Sales Guy." In this article, Keenan writes that a key skill for selling is empathy and that empathy makes a good salesperson. This isn't just a sales skill of course, but a life skill.
Keenan then transitions to talk about change a little bit. He writes,
Selling is about change
Change is something that happens in our individual lives all the time, and it often causes us to be emotional. "Therefore, the salespeople who can empathize with their clients, those who can truly feel and embrace the challenge, severity, difficulty, risk, complexity, and impact fo the change to their buyers are far better to respond to it than those who aren't." Keenan makes a great point that while sales is our job, we are all human and need to respond to our clients remembering to be empathetic.
In this video by AsapScience, the guys on this channel answer the following question:
How can we use science to unlock the potential of our minds?
They say that willpower is not enough, but instead of just 'trying harder' the first step is GETTING STARTED. The best musicians don't practice more, but practice intensely with breaks in between. So give yourself a break sometime! Deadlines are important too, they help us get the work done in a good time and to stop mindless work (email for the hundreth time). These guys make great points about productivity, and they had me thinking on how to increase my potential.
In John White's article, White explores nine selling tips that may seem 'old school' but they definitely work.
Modern social selling is a tremendous way to get your foot in the door with a new client and start a business relationship.
White's nine tips include:
- Take your client out for coffee
- Attend a networking event
- Book a public speaking appearance
- Meet your client for a business lunch
- Play golf with clients
- Take your client to a professional sporting event
- Go out for cocktails
- Invite your client to a seminar or conference
- Take your client our for a nice dinner
It might seem funny that right now we are basically being asked to take our clients out for every meal, but that's not the point. The point with the meal ideas is that often your client will open up a bit more and you'll be able to cultivate a good business relationship. The point with all of these really, is that you're giving yourself time to get to know your client and have opportunities to talk business and close deals. Friendships can be made, and sales can be sold.
Find John: LinkedIn