Richard Branson famously said: “Show me an entrepreneur who says they have never failed and I will show you a liar.” The same could be said of a salesperson that hasn’t had a dip in confidence at some point in their career. And in all honesty, there can’t be many of us that haven’t had a slight mental wobble over the last few months.
After all, we’re going through the biggest social and economic upheaval since World War II. Every day brings new uncertainty. It’s then perhaps by no surprise, that during a recent poll on mindset, 73% of salespeople said belief in their ability to hit their sales targets had been impacted by recent events.
So, if you have experienced a mental slump, don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone.
Which is why our Co-Managing Director Alan Morton, sat down with renowned psychologist and leadership coach, Richard Reid for an online chat on how salespeople can develop and maintain a peak performance sales mindset.
In this blog, we reveal 3 of Richard’s tips to improve resilience and positivity in the changing sales environment.
Our brains are wired to focus on the negative things that happen to us. When we were cavemen, danger was all around us. Anxiety and a risk-averse mindset kept us alive. However, while society has moved on our brains haven’t – our internal radar is still on red alert for a prowling sabretooth tiger.
During times of stress, this reaction only increases. For some, this stress results in the fight response, improving productivity. But for many of us, it can result in the freeze or flight response, resulting in avoidance and procrastination. And it takes 3 positive thoughts to counteract a negative one.
Just take a moment to think about how many negative messages (warnings of danger to the primitive parts of our brain) we receive in just one news report.
Richard suggests setting aside a few minutes at the end of each day, to write down three achievements.
At first, you may struggle to identify these wins but please persevere. You’ll soon develop a habit of acknowledging small achievements throughout the day, naturally giving you a more positive outlook.
As our poll suggests, external forces can massively affect your mindset. So, let’s get this straight – a global pandemic has not immediately made you a worse salesperson. The reason you may not be selling is for a number of factors you can’t control.
So, you need to focus on what you can control – by identifying what you are doing right and what you can improve. By monitoring your activity, from the number of prospective emails you’re sending to the number of Zoom calls you’re booking in, you or your sales leader can identify what perhaps needs working on.
Having a dashboard that monitors this activity is integral to this process – it could be you need to make more calls or it could be you need to adjust your sales approach for the virtual environment. But you won’t be able to identify training needs without hard data.
And we’re all in a situation where we’re having to learn new ways of doing things. So, when your team leader is shadowing you and making suggestions, don’t view this as criticism but as a way to improve. To return to Richard Branson’s quote, the only way to get better is by making mistakes – a highly important attitude to have, to achieve a growth mindset.
Mark Twain is quoted as saying: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” The fact is, there are all parts of our job we’d rather avoid.
However, the best approach is to get this over and done with at the start of the day. If there’s a difficult call you’ve got to make, do it first thing. That way you’ll have an immediate sense of achievement and your day can only improve.
If you don’t, then it’ll be weighing on your mind all day and more than likely it’ll get pushed back again. Not only are you prolonging the agony but you’re adding to that sense of a lack of achievement.
Why not turn it into a positive – make the first “win” you write on your list, finally getting that call out of the way.
As the stoic philosopher, Seneca said: “We suffer much more in imagination than in reality.” How often have you put something off only to find it wasn’t as painful as you thought? How many hours, days or weeks have you put yourself under unnecessary stress when you could have just tackled that task sooner?
As we have said, if you have struggled to adapt to the new sales environment you’re not alone. Unfortunately, this isn’t going to change in the foreseeable future. So, it’s important to speak to your sales leader, or a consultant, to help with structuring your day to give you the optimal mental boost.
To discover more ways to improve your mindset, and we thoroughly recommend you do, watch a replay of the session here.
To talk to us more on how you can improve your sales mindset, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 (0) 207 653 3740.
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