You can make a lot of money if you are a successful salesperson. Unfortunately, for most, they adopt a losing mindset when it comes to selling. This means that most won’t pursue a sales career. For those who make the mistake of choosing a sales career with a losing mindset, they will find themselves unemployed when their sales results reflect their losing ways.
Enough about losing…. How can you create a winning sales mindset?
More importantly, “Can you create a winning sales mindset?”
Let’s answer that second question first.
Can you create a winning sales mindset?
I often thought that people are either salespeople or they’re not. Ironically, I thought that I was “not”. Before I got into sales, I was convinced that salespeople were liars, cheaters, and thieves. I believed that to sell, you needed to convince some poor, unsuspecting customer they needed to buy your product for an inflated price. I was wrong. However, this mindset prevented me from entering the field of selling for quite some time. I now believe that anyone can become a successful salesperson by hard work and creating the right sales mindset.
How can you create a winning sales mindset?
Before I explain how you can create a winning sales mindset for yourself, I want to describe five levels of mindset that may be familiar to you.
The Victim (I Lose)
The lowest level of sales mindset is called Victim mindset. At victim, you believe that something outside of you is in control. There is nothing you can do to convince someone to buy your stuff, so why even try. Believe it or not, this is the most common mindset associated with selling. At this level, if you see a help wanted ad for a sales job, you will quickly pass it by.
If your unlucky enough to land a job as a victim, you will experience a few rejections and be convinced, you cannot sell your product or service.
The Cheater (I Win, You Lose)
Cheaters are the salespeople that tend to give sales a bad name. They are the people who believe that, to succeed, they must manipulate their customer into buying their stuff. Deep down, they think their product is inferior or it is over-priced. In order to overcome these product deficiencies, they must convince the customer the product is better than it really is, and their competitor’s product is worse than it actually is. They want to win a sale at any costs and will do whatever it takes to make that sale.
The Survivor (I Win…)
The survivor is a relatively successful salesperson. These salespeople will learn what they can about their product. They pay close attention to everything they’re taught, and then mimic their teacher. These folks tend to find success with customers who know what they want, and the survivor salesperson just happens to be in the right place at the right time. The product is either so good that it sells itself, or the customer knows enough to pick your product despite your lack of passion as a salesperson.
The People Pleaser (You Win)
People pleasers tend to be great salespeople. These folks desperately want others to like them. A people pleaser cares about the people he or she is selling to and sells on an emotional and empathetic level. Empathy means that the salesperson is asking open-ended questions, and genuinely cares about the answers. If the product or service is not right for their prospective customer, the people pleaser will either make it right, or avoid selling. While a people pleaser is often great at identifying customer needs, they may stumble when connecting the value of their product or service to those needs.
The Opportunist (Win-Win)
The opportunist is trying to create a win-win deal for the customer and the business. These are the salespeople that are by far, the most successful. They uncover needs like the people pleaser but are quick to connect the benefits of their products or services to those needs. They also recreate new products and services that their company can easily provide to solve their customer’s problems. Opportunists are amazing solution-based sales professionals. They understand every facet of a business deal so they can negotiate on their own without checking with their boss for permission.
Now that you know the sales mindset options. You have probably deduced that the most successful salesperson is “The Opportunist”.
The question I promised to answer is, “How can you create a winning sales mindset?”
Understand that each one of these people I just described is a “mindset”. I never talked about the product or service you’re selling. I never implied that the product or service you are selling is good or bad. Nor did I indicate whether the salesperson in question is an extrovert or introvert, or any other fixed trait. This means that ANYONE can operate at any level I just described.
How do I think like an Opportunist?
Step 1 – Be Aware
The first step is awareness. You must be aware that as a human being, you’re prone to settle at one of the lower levels. It’s your nature. This means to be an Opportunist, you must be deliberate and intentional.
Step 2 – Superior Product and/or Service
Represent a product or service you believe in. Opportunists always see the benefit of what they are selling, and its value regardless of its price. Never, represent a crappy product.
Step 3 – Know How Your Company Makes Money
Understand how the company you work for makes a profit. If you don’t understand how your company makes money, you can’t negotiate with customers and make the best deals for your employer.
Most companies tell their salespeople they must sell some product or service at a specific gross margin. You may even earn a higher commission if you can increase the margin or sales price. Be aware of what the company must earn for good deals regardless of what you’ve been told.
Step 4 – Follow Your Customer’s Buying Process
Most of your customers will not understand what your product does or why they need it. Be patient with them and be willing to educate them so that they feel comfortable making a buying decision.
Most customers are naturally skeptical of salespeople. Why? Because most salespeople are at the lower levels I described. Can you imagine? They’ve been cheated, pitched, and coddled. Win-win negotiators are rare… so be patient.
The best way to be deliberate in this area is to follow a sales process that mimics your customer’s buying process…. and allows for gradual commitment that is consistent with their ability to make sound decisions. When they see that you care about their level of education to make the best decisions for themselves, they will trust that you care.
Step 5 – Be Empowered
You must feel empowered to be an opportunist. Each time you visit with a customer, be curious about them. Empathize with their plight. Each time you talk to your sales manager, feel bold in telling him or her about adjustments that must be made to prices, product designs or whatever else to improve deals. Opportunists will never accept a mediocre status quo.
If you can follow these steps, you can become a successful salesperson. If you don’t, please don’t pursue a career in sales… ‘cause we’ve got too many low levels sales people in the world. We need more opportunists.
I hope you’ve learned how to create a winning sales mindset for yourself. If you’d like to learn more about how I coach my business owner clients and their employees, visit my website at www.mmbizcoach.com .