Often I am asked by a sales manager to coach a sales person who is not meeting their performance goals or standards. Sometimes I’m told straight out that the sales person has lose their motivation or drive to be successful.
After assessing the individual and reviewing all the data and information provided by the sales manager, I begin the coaching process. Using questions to open up dialogue and trust, an interesting pattern begins to unfold, the sales person has the skill set and knowledge to be successful, yet their results indicate another issue.
A majority of the time I find three major factors in play…
- The Sales Person is Missing a Key Skill which can be developed.
- The Sales Person is a total Mismatch to the Sales Position thus a lack of performance.
- The Sales Person has a set of beliefs or a pattern of destructive mindsets which need special coaching. ( refer to Winning Mindset for Sales )
When working with sales people in the third group, I have found five self made destructive mindsets causing the majority of the poor performance. Here are the five most common self-made mindsets…
This one is easy to detect and hard to stop. In fact, the only person who can truly stop it is the sales person. Yet, negativity is one of the biggest obstacles of sales people today. It encompasses everything from poor self-talk, bad mouthing others (especially their customers!), speaking poorly of their product or service, and well the list goes on. In other words a sales person who lives in a negative world is an unhappy camper and it shows to everyone around them. The key is to learn the importance of optimism to a sales person’s role in life. Being a positive person keeps the sales superstar on track no matter what type of adversity is present.
This mindset is rooted in the need for perfection before launching on just about anything the b2b sales person is involved. He who hesitates is lost is an old saying that is still true today. The b2b sales person who gets there first usually is the one who sets the stage and lacks the “me-too” label. Also, listening to the little voice within is one the “secrets” of the top sales superstars. They take action on their thoughts usually leading to better results than the hesitating sales people of the world.
Self doubt is a top negative emotion keeping people in all professions from reaching the next level of success. Too many doubts about their abilities or talent keep people from doing the things important to their success. Early in my career, I doubted my writing abilities to the point of avoiding the act of writing. This was a very costly time for me due to a lack of writing things like proposals, success stories, articles, books, and blog posts – like this one. Now writing is a favored activity since I learned how to write and especially to stop judging my writing until I’m in the editing mode. Success is really simple if you overcome your own self-doubt.
This is the number one fatal flaw mindset for b2b sales people. If they are too scared or worried about being rejected – well, activities necessary for sales success are not even attempted. The important thing to remember regarding the fear of rejection is it is the offer others are rejecting rather than you. When a person takes every no or not now as a personal affront then rejection is at the top of self made destruction. These mindsets can be modified to accept yourself as a worthwhile person and understand if a no comes to your offering – it is the offering being rejected – you the person are safe.
Alas, the fear of failure is a big issue for many people in today’s business world. When a person is hounded by self talk of being a failure at anything or everything they attempt, well the fear of failure is winning the battle of mindset wars. The mindset of being a winner is something that is learned and ingrained into the mental makeup of the b2b sales superstar. The sales superstar look at situations as challenges and opportunities, while the losers look only at the problem and the loss or worst – who to blame outside of themselves. Place failure behind you and look for the opportunities of the moment.
Check this list and be honest with yourself – are any of the above factors holding you back for becoming the b2b sales superstar you should be? If so, create a plan of action to turn them into strengths or mindsets willing you to success no matter what the adversity standing in front of you.
Truth is you can become a b2b sales superstar. However, you must dedicate your life to becoming the b2b sales superstar – in mindsets for success, the selling skills needed to win over all the buyers you meet, and the drive and determination to deal with adversity in a positive way. Learning from your mistakes, while keep moving forward. Be the General George Patton of your own pathway to becoming a b2b sales superstar.
* General Patton was known as a hard charging successful General who while a bit outspoken was a great leader by example and used the motto – I never take the same ground twice!
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