Most people who start sales in any capacity soon realize that while it’s not difficult physically, it is an emotional war where you are your own worst enemy. And of course, many new sales reps need advice on how to overcome the self-doubt that joins them on this tumultuous, emotional roller coaster. That’s why today’s article will reflect on how I’ve achieved success in sales. I’ve been a sales rep for almost 15 years now, and I would like to use this opportunity to share some of the winning mindset tips I’ve used to stay focused on my goals.
1. Accept the Paradox of Sales
Unlike other jobs where you’re guaranteed a set wage, it’s not always that straightforward in sales. Our earnings are completely dependent upon our skills as a sales rep. And, unfortunately, when we start talking to people about purchasing our products, we soon realize that most people are not interested.
This is the “paradox” I’m referring to. All the best salespeople in the world hear “NO” far more often than they hear “YES.” And obviously, this discourages a lot of new agents. Of course, hearing “NO” all the time is extremely frustrating. But you have to accept that this is how sales work. Whether you’re pitching your product face-to-face or over the phone, the vast majority of people aren’t ready to make a decision.
Over time as you gain hands-on experience and industry knowledge, you’ll start hearing “YES” more often. But those yes’s still won’t outnumber the no’s. And the sooner you accept this paradox, the sooner you can move forward and make a positive difference.
2. Understand That Rejection Is Never Personal
Building on our first winning mindset tip, you’ll receive a lot of pushback and resistance from prospects flat out telling you “NO” before you even get a chance to explain yourself. And while this may seem rude or disrespectful, the truth is that when people reject your product so quickly, it’s never a personal attack (even if it feels like one).
No one can accurately judge your character that fast. They don’t know your life story or the good things you’ve accomplished in life. Even if they manage to shout something at you that seems perfectly tailored to upset you, it’s still not about you. Instead, what they are resisting is your pitch (and perhaps your approach). But this is still NOT personal.
3. Think Long-Term, Not Short-Term
A sales job, in general, is an activity-based profession. To be successful, you need to interact with lots of people and talk about the product you’re representing. This can be tricky for some agents as day-to-day activity, when observed too closely, may not appear to result in enough sales. You may do everything right but still not secure a deal. Now, this might sound terrifying. But don’t worry. You see, a sales job is a numbers game – and it’s all about the law of large numbers.
You have to think long term and maximize your activity, sales pitches, presentations, and more to start seeing a reliable flow of deals coming through. This is why you don’t want to dwell too much on thoughts like: How many sales did I close today? None! Instead, you need to set activity goals – NOT sales goals! Try this strategy out, and results will follow.
4. Quantify Basic Prospecting and Economic Terms
This is a trick that I was taught as an insurance sales rep early on. In our business model, getting an appointment (that hopefully secures a deal) relies on prospecting either over the phone or face-to-face announced. This can be very frustrating, especially when someone hangs up on us or slams the door in our face. And of course, I don’t have to tell you that in the long-term, this can lead to self-doubt that negatively affects our mental health.
So, how do we solve this?
One winning mindset tip that I teach my agents is to assign your day-to-day actions an economic value. Let me show you what I mean.
If you notice that it takes about six door knocks to make a sale worth $600 in commission fees, then you could argue that each door knock is worth $100. Not bad, right? Focus on this when you’re out pitching your product. If you’re having a bad day and all you want to do is go home and cry, ask yourself, “Is knocking on one more door worth $100?”
Chances are you’ve never thought about it from this perspective. But hopefully, you can see how assigning an economic value to your actions could help motivate you when you’re feeling down. Plus, it helps cut out the crap in our minds – the discouragement, self-doubt, and harmful noise that a lot of people struggle with. When we tell ourselves that everything we do has meaning (even if that meaning is financial at first), it helps us focus more on what we could gain from our actions.
5. Don’t Dwell on Past Failure
Possibly one of the hardest things to overcome is believing that what happened in your last pitch won’t affect what happens in the next. We all have bad days. Perhaps you lucked out on a deal you thought was guaranteed. When this happens, it’s too easy to bring this negativity and disappointment to your next pitch. Don’t!
If you start thinking, “This client won’t care. They won’t sign a deal with me. This is a waste of time, just like the last presentation…” STOP! Remember, every single prospect is unique. Every single client prioritizes things differently. And if you judge a client before you’ve even met them, you’re more likely to ruin your chances of securing a deal.
6. Focus on Process Over Results
It’s very tempting to think, “I’ve got to make a sale today!” But this is a misguided approach. The best way to create a winning mindset and tackle sales is to understand that results come with adherence to a well-structured process. In other words, you should focus on what you can control – not what you can’t. You can’t force a client to purchase your product (though that would be useful!)
Instead, try to think about whether you hit your goals on prospecting attempts or the number of presentations. As we mentioned earlier, “sales is all about the law of large numbers.” You have to think long term. If you do, you’ll eventually be able to predict your results and have a better understanding of what to expect.
7. Truly Believe You Do Good, Honest Work
If you do not believe in what you do, you won’t last long in this business. Chances are self-doubt will take over, and you’ll talk yourself out of what could have been a successful career. I strongly believe that you need to be passionate about your product if you’re considering a sales position. If you’re not, your true feelings will affect everything you do – your persona, presentations, clients, sales, and more.
Belief is the bedrock of all conviction. And without conviction, failure is almost inevitable. If you find yourself struggling to believe you do good, honest work, then you might want to consider a different line of work.
Your job should make you feel happy (and proud). When friends and relatives ask, “So, what’s your job?” you should be excited to tell them. It’s this excitement that leads to belief in what you do. And belief is the foundation to success in every aspect of life, not just in business.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s article and consider applying my advice to your own sales career. Hopefully, these winning mindset tips will help you overcome the mental battles that await every new sales rep. Thank you for reading!