How you think impacts directly on your results. That means that no amount of training, mentoring and so on will make you better at selling if deep inside you don’t really believe that you can sell. And that’s the issue currently facing so many small businesses and business owners.
If you have negative thoughts (conscious or unconscious) about selling, others, the economy or the general situation you find yourself…you’re making it seriously hard to achieve consistently great sales.
So how do you get that winning sales mindset?
You need to identify where you’re under-performing; what, deep down are the reasons; what are the barriers to you achieving much better sales results. So, grab yourself a notebook and find yourself a quiet corner where you won’t be disturbed. No phones. No texts. No interruptions. And answer these questions.
- Which areas of selling are you under-performing?
Where in your selling process are you failing? Generating new leads? Getting appointments? Getting the chance to quote as a result of those meetings? Converting your quotes? Getting sales and marketing campaigns organised? What else? These are some suggestions, you’ll clearly have your own sales process to choose from.
- What are the reasons?
Then, thinking specifically about those areas you identified where you’re not performing well, ask yourself “What stops me getting success in this area?” Write down everything you can think of on one big list and keep writing until you’ve completely emptied your mind. This can take anything from 30 minutes to several hours. And when you think you’ve got everything down and can’t think of anything else…WAIT. You haven’t finished, you’ve just hit what’s called a blank spot! Within a few seconds, maybe a minute or two, more thoughts will pour out. Sometimes the most useful insights come out at this late stage, because these are the ones that have often been buried in your mind the longest and the deepest.
Go past two blank spots before you finish. You need to be open and honest throughout. What’s REALLY stopping you? This exercise alone, done properly, will lead to a transformation in you – and your business!
The more open and honest you are about your inner barriers the greater your ability to resolve what’s holding you back. What you’ll end up with is an outpouring of thoughts. Some about you. Some about others. Some about the situation you find yourself in.
- Sorting your reasons into beliefs and excuses!
Take a highlighter to your list and highlight all the negative things you have written about yourself and maybe your own shortcomings. Then take a different colour highlighter and highlight all the negative things you have written about other people or situations.
What you will have identified are the limiting beliefs you have about yourself around selling – and the reasons and excuses you use to rationalise your lack of great sales.
The things you wrote about yourself (limiting beliefs) might be along the lines of “I can’t cold call”, “I freeze when doing presentations” “I don’t want to be too ‘salesy’” and so on.
Typical examples of reasons and excuses are…”People aren’t spending”, “it’s all down to the economy” and “too many timewasters”, “It’s the government” i.e. it’s something else or somebody else that is the problem!
Limiting beliefs will seriously get in the way of great sales. If you believe you’re rubbish at something, it’s no surprise that you avoid doing it or you certainly don’t give it your all. To make it even worse, you won’t be consciously aware of all your limiting beliefs as many of them are deep inside. By responding to the question ‘What stops you….’ you’ll increase your awareness of the beliefs that get in your way. Sometimes that’s all you need to resolve them. Other times you’ll need coaching – maybe self-coaching – to eliminate them.
Working to eliminate a limiting belief
A quick and easy fix is to come up with 3 examples where you have exhibited the opposite behaviour to that negative belief i.e. when you have successfully done what you have stated you now struggle with. Humans are very good at deleting successful examples that contradict their limiting beliefs. After all…you wouldn’t want to disagree with yourself! Coming up with these alternative, positive examples will often convince you that you can in fact do well what you believed you couldn’t…and you’ll already be destabilising that limiting belief and on the journey towards eliminating it. There’s a more in depth process too for cracking limiting beliefs once and for all – do get in touch for more details of the process.
And those reasons and excuses?
How about those reasons and excuses you identified? If you notice yourself blaming someone or something else for your lack of results you are in the unfortunate “valley of reasons and excuses”. This is a gloomy place that stops you taking action. You think there’s just no point. You think it’s not your fault. You think you can’t do anything about it and it’s out of your hands. You’re in ‘the valley’ and you have relinquished all responsibility and gave up your power. You’ve become a victim of circumstance.
So why do so many sales people go there? Because it lets you off the hook and allows you to blame something outside of you!
Leaving the Valley
These things or people that you’re blaming may or may not be real barriers but if you are to take back your power you must accept responsibility for where you are. Accept that they are potential barriers and for every one of those reasons and excuses on your list, ask yourself ‘what action can I take (despite these challenges) to achieve my goal?’
Not only will you come up with actions that give you more choices, you’ll also start to feel so much better about yourself. You start to take back the power. You’re back in charge. You’re pointing your brain towards the solutions instead of the problems! It’s an easy but profound change. Taking back the power is not about denying that an issue exists, it’s just pointing your thinking in the direction of solutions rather than stagnating in the problem.
You see your mind doesn’t care if you plant positive or negative seeds. It will nurture and care for them regardless.
So which seeds are you planting?
Until next time