On any given day, sales reps go through a string of pressing matters: a client to call, a meeting to set, a pitch presentation to create, and more. But on some days, the demands are even greater: the deadline is looming; they’re nowhere near their sales targets; and prospects are falling off the sales funnel.
It is on these days that the sales rep should have the strongest resolve to sell. They should be more motivated than ever and have the proper sales mindset.
But how does one maintain the right sales mindset? Well first, you need to understand the selling mindset. Business coach Lori Darley describes it as “being curious. It is about learning about all stakeholders and their needs and taking care of them. This mindset is about listening and connecting. It is about authentic interactions.”
Knowing this, how do you cultivate and maintain the right sales mindset, especially for those moments when your will and your persistence are tested?
Here are seven ways you can continually foster the right sales mindset:
1. Develop a genuine interest in your client and in what they do and want to achieve
That curiosity must be coming from a place of sincere interest in—and care for—your client, his business, and his goals. Once you’re working with genuine intentions, the work feels more effortless. It will also be much easier to develop a relationship with your customer and earn his trust. And selling is all about that: building a relationship and earning trust.
Authenticity is such a rare thing in a very competitive industry. But clients can see and feel authenticity. And they will almost always buy from someone who’s honest, transparent, and sincere.
2. Reframe your objective: you’re giving value, not just selling
A lot of sales reps feel sneaky or dirty for selling. Well, you would if your only objective is to sell. Reframe your objective and your reason for selling: you are there to provide value to your customer, not to make a quick buck.
Find out how your product can add value to the customer’s life: What problem does it solve? What benefits does he get from it? What need or want does it address? You can only truly answer these questions if you really invest the time and energy to get to know your customers and, as previously noted, develop a genuine interest in what they do and want to achieve.
3. Stay customer-centric
There’s an old saying in sales, “The customer is always right.” While some may say that this statement is now debatable, one thing remains true: The customer must always be taken care of.
Having the proper sales mindset entails knowing that your job doesn’t end when the deal is closed. If anything, the real work begins. You have to work doubly hard to keep the customers happy and turn them into loyal customers, even brand advocates. Besides, customer retention is always good for business: It’s always said that 80 percent of your future profits will come from just 20 percent of your existing customers. Always aim to increase your customer retention rate. Try to meet—even exceed—your customer's needs. If you keep a customer-centric mindset, you’re doing half of your work in sales.
4. Rewrite the negative narrative
We know: It’s hard to stay optimistic when doors are being shut in your face. Rejection is a very real thing in sales, but you should learn to handle it like a pro. Learn to move forward after a mistake, a rejection, a failure. Rewrite the negative narrative: how can you change this negative situation and turn it into a positive one?
Your mind is a very important tool in sales. It can either make or break you. Make sure you keep a positive mind all the time. Don’t let the fear of rejection and failure overpower your will to succeed.
5. Maintain an inspiring surrounding
Staying positive requires a little bit of cleaning up of your surroundings. Aim to surround yourself with only positivity and inspiration. Find mentors who will help you sharpen your skills. Talk to others who have had success in sales. Know their success stories and learn from them.
6. Stay hungry
The right sales mindset is a constantly hungry mindset. You must always stay hungry: hungry for more opportunities; hungry for more connections; hungry for more closed deals.
You must also always be hungry for learning. Make sure that you invest the time to learn new things and do better at your job. Follow thought leaders; enroll in sales webinars; read up. If you’re a sales manager, it is your job to make sure that the team is exposed to a learning culture.
7. Be prepared for anything
You know what separates the sales superstars from the rest? They’re prepared for anything—a battle (a.k.a. negotiation), an objection, a rejection, an angry client. They don’t fear awkward and difficult situations because they’ve prepared for them. If you want the right sales mindset, be prepared for anything and everything.
Photos from Unsplash. Main photo by Austin Distel