Whether or not your job title includes ‘Sales’, its likely that ‘selling’ is part of your professional role. All workplace interactions and many encounters outside of work are a chance to sell yourself as a representative of your business. If selling a product or a service is directly connected to putting food on your table, these five ways to develop a successful sales mindset might let you broaden your menu.
Here’s what I suggest
Develop a flexible mindset
A flexible mindset is attuned to growth and change. It gives you the wisdom to ditch any limiting beliefs aka negative assumptions about your innate lack of talent in sales or anything else. It makes you resilient in the face of ‘failure and let’s you learn lessons and move on.
It also inclines you towards optimism and generosity of spirit. These are essential attributes for sales success, which contrary to a misguided but persistent belief, doesn’t depend on coercing customers into buying. Contemporary sales success is all about giving your customers a brilliant problem solving, life enhancing experience. To do this credibly you need to have their best interests at heart.
Self-belief and confidence in the integrity of your product or service flow far more easily from a flexible mindset. As does self-awareness, patience and your capacity for being responsive and unfailingly polite.
Overcome your fear of rejection
It’s perfectly human to feel rejected when a sale falls through. A flexible mindset lets you reframe ‘failure ‘ less as a personal affront and more as a chance to learn useful stuff.
Often our natural impulse is to run from the hurt and humiliation of rejection. However, if you’re going to learn the lessons on offer you need to stay engaged. Try sticking with the experience long enough to explore the ‘why’ behind it.
If you get the chance, ask the customer why they didn’t buy, you might learn how much or how little your efforts influenced their decision. If you know they bought from a competitor look at their website or social media. Can you learn anything useful about communicating the benefits of your product or service?
This provocative and painfully funny TED talk by Jia ‘Rejection Guy’ Jiang has some great insights into the benefits of ‘fear proofing’ yourself against rejection.
Ask quality questions
Asking ‘why not’ questions when you lose a sale can give you invaluable insight, into what actually happened. Asking quality questions that connect you to your customer and tease out their needs builds trust and credibility and enhances your chances of success
This list from the marketing maestros at HubSpot is a mini master class in asking genuinely empathetic, practical, sales questions. If you listen actively to the answers, odds on you and your customer will solve the right problem in the right way. Beyond that, you’ll most likely turn your customers into raving fans and lay the foundations for a loyal long-term relationship.
Address the elephant in the room
If you sense your customer is uneasy about something, go straight to it. Voicing a fear or an insecurity tells your customer it’s valid and worth considering. Jia Jiang’s handling of the Manager’s unease around his ‘weird’ request to be a ‘Starbucks Greeter’ is a great illustration of how to defuse an awkward moment and calm a customer’s fear by acknowledging and normalising it.
Know your ‘why’
Conventional sales training stresses the importance of product knowledge – i.e. the ‘what’ of your product or service. While this is vital technical know how, it’s also essential to know the ‘why’ of your product or service and your personal ‘why’ for selling it. Sharing this ‘gut/heart/feeling’ knowledge with your customer helps you connect on a deeper level. If you’re not sure about your personal ‘why’ try this fun test from author of “Start with Why’ Simon Sinek’s web site or watch his TED Talk.
Working on these five things will help build self-belief and confidence. Combine this with a clear intention to give your customer a brilliant experience and a fearless approach to learning from failure. Then go out and be an astounding success at selling to customers who trust and like you.
Keen for peak leadership and sales performance? I’ll be your coach
I recently attended one of Rebecca’s workshops. The setting was great and the environment was very welcoming. Rebecca has a great way of leading you down a path of thought without putting pressure on you and making you consider different options both personally and professionally. I would highly recommend her programmes for your mid-tier management and decision makers in your business to help them become clearer in themselves and thereby lead their teams better in the work place.
Director at Stay Margaret River
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