Your Incorrect Beliefs Are What Are Keeping You From Your Sales Goals
You can be handed the keys to the kingdom, but if you don't feel worthy of the keys you'll misplace them, you'll give them to someone you trust that turns out to not be a true friend after all, or you'll enter the kingdom and walk through the halls with muddy feet and just drive it into the ground.
You can only act in alignment with how you see yourself. Period.
Games, as defined by Webster, are activities engaged in for diversion or amusement. If you’ve ever shot H-O-R-S-E with a friend or bellied up to a Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament, you know that winning any game comes down to what’s in your head.
Since life is a game—and sales is part of life—then selling is just one big head game, and games should be fun.
Sadly, though, this is not the case for the majority of salespeople, or the majority of humans who "live lives of quiet desperation."
It doesn't have to be that way.
But right now, as you read this, there are literally millions of salespeople behind on their numbers.
According to CSO Insights, only 53% of salespeople hit their numbers in 2018.
They (you) are losing sleep.
They (you) are worried.
Their (your) sales pipelines are bloated, unrealistic, and over-promised
Many (you?) will find themselves (yourself) looking for another job at the end of the quarter, if not the end of this week.
The sad thing is it doesn’t have to be this way.
My dad is 71 years old as I write this.
He spent his entire career in commercial insulation.
He ran job sites with upwards of 700 workers under his supervision until he was 67-68 years old.
With that many workers, turnover was always an issue. So is bullshit, like workers showing up late, others making outrageous claims about their abilities and demanding more pay because of their supposed excellent skills.
But with nearly 50 years of experience my dad had two simple tests to separate the sheep from the goats.
“Show me your tools.”
Rookies not only have few tools, the few tools they do have are cheap.
Let me ask you something. If you were arrested for being in sales, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
“Show me your work.”
In under 15 minutes he could tell if that worker was an apprentice or a journeyman with whatever tools they may possess.
Once you, the salesperson, stop bullshitting yourself, embrace selling as a profession, and understand that the difference between a professional and an amateur is the tools you own and your commitment to mastering the best tools money can buy, you’ll never worry about hitting a sales quota ever again.
To make room for the great tools, you have to first get rid of the cheap ones. In the same way a football bat is a worthless tool to both a football player and a baseball player, limiting beliefs are worthless to you if you want to grow in the profession of sales.
As both a salesperson and a human being, you can only grow to the edge of your beliefs. Which is why, at the heart of every sales training I conduct, every keynote speech I deliver, every blog post I publish, every video I upload, and every book I write, my goal is to strengthen your sales psyche. To shore up, solidify, and expand your belief in yourself and what you can achieve.
The fact that you may be down on yourself does not make you weak. It makes you human. We all have our weak moments, moments of doubt, and get down on ourselves. None of us are impervious to having deals go bad, clients get crazy, prospects lie to us, etc. It's like a "bad beat" in poker or getting literally thrown off a horse.
Which is why you have to immediately “get back on the horse.”
In my book, "The Sales Whisperer® Way" I expound upon the concept of “Do. Become. Have.”, which essentially means just start doing what the pros do and eventually you'll become a pro in your own right and you can then have what the pros have.
It’s a slight twist on the late, great Zig Ziglar’s concept of “Be. Do. Have.” (and it’s one of the only times you'll hear me contradict Zig.) However, Zig was right on the money when he said positive thinking was like bathing. It doesn't last, which is why you should do it daily.
While I’m not a big dreamer or vision board kinda guy, I do know the damage self-doubt and negative thinking can do to an athlete and a salesperson.
So at a minimum, let’s get rid of the limiting beliefs and negative thoughts.
If I can just get you to neutral in your thinking to make room for the new ideas and concepts that follow, we’ll chalk it up as a win.
So let's take a look at a few of the limiting beliefs that sneak into our psyche from time to time, and how to put them behind us so we can accelerate towards our true potential.
LIMITING BELIEF #1:
I’m just a salesperson…I’m nobody…I need to call at the bottom and work my way up so as not to irritate the top level people."
REALITY: While at times it may make only be possible to work your way into a key account via a technician or middle manager, don’t fool yourself into thinking you are “just” a salesperson who is “intruding” on the top executives there.
You need to understand that decision makers at companies appreciate strong, competent people, including salespeople.
When they brush you off or ignore you, it's not because you're in sales, it's because you're weak. Your tone, your delivery, your tonality, your language is weak.
So be strong. Be confident.
If you provide a valuable product or service that solves troubling issues that are impacting the effectiveness, the efficiencies, and the profitability of your prospects, the top people at every company will want to hear from you.
You just need to be creative and persistent to get their attention and stand out. You can be nice, polite, and respectful, and still be firm and strong.
LIMITING BELIEF #2:
If I approach a prospect either in person or on the phone, he'll ignore me or brush me off or worse, be rude or insulting or mean and humiliate me publicly."
REALITY: Only jerks that you do not want as clients will try to embarrass you.
Besides, I have found the exact opposite to be true in that when the prospect can tell you are really struggling to approach them, they are actually kinder in how they decline your offer.
People really are raised to be kind and polite, unless they're being attacked, which you are not doing with your respectful approach.
Sure, a senior executive of a major corporation with lots of people vying for her attention may come off as curt or short with you, but it’s usually because your approach is wrong and/or you just caught them at a bad time, which has happened to all of us.
We are all raised to be polite and courteous, including big wig executives.
Playing all of these negative scenarios in your head only serves to hurt your sales psyche, which limits your growth and earning potential.
Ask yourself why you are so afraid of rejection.
See Related Articles:
Why are you so afraid of hearing “no” or “not right now” from a prospect regarding your product or service?
If you find yourself justifying your lack of prospecting and calling high into an organization because you read somewhere on Twitter that the prospect was really a jerk and hates cats, pause for a moment and consider if the problem is with the prospect or with you.
Then put a smile on your face, walk right up to that key prospect and simply say,
Hello, Ms. Executive, I've been looking forward to meeting you for quite sometime."
And see how it goes from there. You'll be glad you did.
LIMITING BELIEF #3:
People will laugh at me or ridicule me for even trying to approach these top prospects."
REALITY: Few people know you and/or your relationship—or lack thereof—with that big wig prospect so walk up to them like you are longtime friends and don't worry about what anyone else is thinking.
The deeper reality is that the people you think would ridicule you are wishing they had the guts to call or approach that top prospect and are asking themselves
"How in the hell is that guy from my competitor in so tight with the Big Wig?"
And if you're in a bullpen at an office smiling and dialing, tell anyone listening and judging you three things:
- Go pound sand.
- Go make your own calls.
- I charge for this type of training.
- If you keep worrying about me instead of doing your own work you'll soon be worrying about how to find another job.
(I know I said three but I like to over-deliver.)
Once you do this a few times and get some wins under your belt you not only won't care who's watching, you'll welcome the attention.
Hear how sales training legend, Tom Hopkins, recommends you grow your sales on The Sales Podcast.
LIMITING BELIEF #4:
Big Wigs don't like salespeople."
REALITY: According to a 2009 study by Steven Kaplan, Mark Klebanov and Morten Sorenson entitled "Which C.E.O. Characteristics and Abilities Matter?", CEOs like attention-to-detail, persistence, efficiency, analytic thoroughness and the ability to work long hours.
So by doing your homework on a Big Wig, calling early in the morning, late in the evening and/or tracking them down on weekends or at trade shows and conferences is endearing to them!
Providing no-fluff ROI examples, cutting to the chase and crossing your T's and dotting your I's will turn curt, aloof, distant Big Wigs into friendly, open Big Wins asking how you can help them every time.
As I mentioned above, decision makers appreciate people who are also decisive and can help them do their jobs. What they don't like are weak, timid, wishy-washy people.
So be strong.
See how big-deal-making-turned professional sales trainer, Oren Klaff, takes control of every sales situation on The Sales Podcast.
LIMITING BELIEF #5:
I'm too new at my job/I don't have enough experience to call on those bigger accounts so I need to start small and work my way up."
There are two things that favor you when you're new at your sales job.
- Beginner's luck
- You're not weighed down by the curse of knowledge.
Beginner's luck is a real thing. It's a combination of excitement + optimism + faith + hope + trust that makes you like a puppy in a hospital waiting room.
You brighten up an otherwise sullen room and people appreciate your can-do attitude as they nostalgically recall how long it's been since they, too, were happy and vivacious.
It's contagious and disarming and can help you early in your career because it's the exact opposite of what hinders most "old dogs," which is the curse of knowledge.
According to Jane Kennedy as quoted in Wikipedia, the curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias that occurs when you, as an experienced, knowledgeable sales professional assume that your prospects have the background to understand what you are saying.
Just because you're meeting with high-powered professionals such as Jeff Bezos about the alarm system you're selling or Elon Musk about the ergonomic chair you're selling, don't assume they are experts in your field.
In fact, "Assumption Malfunction," is one of the 7 Deadly Sins of Selling that I've warned about for decades.
When you follow The New ABCs of Selling you'll
- ask better questions,
- become a better conversationalist,
- build trust faster, and
- you'll master what it means to make every sale.
With the proper training, the best sales training tools like "The Sales Whisperer Way" and the Sales Training Flash Cards, and a desire to serve your prospects, you can reach out, connect with, and close business with the most senior executives at your dream accounts within a week of beginning any new sales job.
LIMITING BELIEF #6:
If only I can get through to this one key contact at this one key account—BAM—that'll make my entire number for the year!"
One is the loneliest number in business and in sales.
If you only have one means of generating leads, one good salesperson, one good computer, printer, delivery truck, etc. you will soon find yourself between a rock and wishing you had taken that job at the Post Office your brother-in-law recommended 10 years ago.
Ditto if you call yourself a sales professional and think it's wise to have just one key account or target account and that there is only one way into that account.
While it is great and even recommended to have a dream account, it's better and wiser to have a dream 100, which I discuss with Ted Miller, III on The Sales Podcast.
And you need to approach those dream accounts with a multi-step, multi-media, sequential process that is monitored, measured, and adjusted to ensure your success.
If you are sitting around telling the world how great things are going to be when you land "the one," you're one of a few things:
- foolish, and
- soon to be out of work.
The best way to stop being afraid to pick up the phone and connect with your dream 100 prospects is to pick up the phone!
You don't wait until you feel good and happy and positive and optimistic to start your prospecting.
You start prospecting and suddenly you'll feel good and happy and positive and optimistic.
Your actions bring about the feelings.
I call it "Do. Become. Have."
It's a slight tweak to Zig Ziglar's "Be. Do. Have."
I think that in order to have what professional sales people have you must first become a professional salesperson. And in order to become a professional salesperson you must do what professional salespeople do, namely, prospect, build relationships, and make every sale.
LIMITING BELIEF #7:
Great salespeople are born, not made. I'm just not cut out for this career."
If you think you're not cut out for a career as a professional salesperson, you're probably right.
But if the reason you think that is because you think great salespeople are born, not made, then you're dead wrong.
Check out the professional sales training here and register for the next live webinar where I share
- the four simple steps you must apply to make every sale,
- the 7 key points of establishing a sales agenda to stay in control of every meeting,
- as well as the 7 deadly sins of selling and how to turn them around to become a sales superstar.
So join us in the this Sales Growth Program and watch your limiting beliefs shrink while your sales income grows.