Personal Belief Systems vs. Sales Beliefs
When you make a hire, you get a person that is the aggregate of beliefs, experiences, capabilities, etc.
With the good comes the bad. By the time they were in grade school, the majority of their belief system was cemented in place. Some beliefs benefited them then and continue to benefit them now. Beliefs such as “look both ways before you cross the street” and “chew with your mouth closed” served them well as children and continue to serve them to this day.
However, many of these beliefs impair their ability to function as a sales professional. Their mothers told them over and over again to “never talk to strangers” and not to “bother people while they’re busy” and “it’s impolite to talk about money” and “don’t ask too many questions.”
Then you come along and give them a job. On their first day, you show them their office and their phone. And their marching orders sound something like “pick up that phone, call some strangers while they’re working, ask them a lot of questions, and talk freely about money.” And now we wonder why they freeze up. The truth is that in the battle of beliefs between mother and boss, mother wins every time.
Overcoming Negative Beliefs About Sales
The first step in overcoming a negative belief (or system of beliefs) is gaining self-awareness around the harmful beliefs that you harbor. Keep in mind that many of our beliefs/belief system are held subconsciously and are difficult to acknowledge.
Here is an inventory of some more of the most prevalent (often subconsciously held) sales beliefs salespeople are victimized by:
1. It’s not “OK” to confront prospects
There’s something about sales that makes salespeople believe that we don’t deserve equal stature as our prospects. For instance, we’ve all had a prospect tell us something that just wasn’t true. But what happens? How do we handle it? We let it be. We don’t point it out. We don’t ask the question. Why?
Who else in your life gets this type of immunity? Hopefully no one. But if you do grant this immunity, it’s likely to an authority figure. Perhaps a boss or a parent. So why are we OK treating prospects like authority figures?
Overcoming this sales belief is a huge step for many new hires, but one that needs to be taken in order to be a truly successful salesperson.
2. I need to provide proposals
Don’t get me wrong, proposals are sometimes needed. But most salespeople will propose to prospects who simply aren’t qualified.
If we’re talking about money, delivery, warranty, guarantees, etc., before we even understand what their compelling reason to do business is, we are in trouble. And, worst of all, we’re wasting everyone’s time. Not just our own, but the prospect’s as well.
Getting beyond this sales belief can help salespeople to operate more efficiently, saving time and energy for everyone involved in the sales process.
3. Any lack of results is due to…
If you ask a salesperson this question, and their answer strays from something resembling “my own ineffectiveness,” you’ve stumbled upon another bad sales belief.
The truth is, we don’t lose deals because our competition was cheaper, we lose them because we didn’t help the prospect uncover and understand why we charge more and why it’s a better fit for them. We don’t lose deals because they’re happy with their current vendor. We lose deals because we didn’t help them discover why they really shouldn’t be.
Lack of results is our (or our leader’s) fault. Not the economy’s. Not the competition’s. Not the price of tea in China’s. And getting past this damaging sales belief can help your salespeople to truly take control of the sales process and its outcome.
4. Prospects are honest
I’m not claiming that your prospects are bad people. Or liars to their core. But we all know, you can lie to sales people and still get into Heaven. And prospects do.
They mislead, misdirect, “ghost” us, etc. But, to them, it’s OK. It’s part of “the game.” The salesperson who doesn’t suspect her prospect of misleading and being less than honest, is bound to be surprised.
If we maintain the sales belief that all prospects are honest all of the time, we’ll never engage our skepticism. Or ask that burning question. And we’ll continue to be misled.
5. I’m uncomfortable talking about money
Simply put, if this is your belief, you’ve got two choices: 1. Get comfortable, or 2. Find another trade.
In sales we talk about money. We have to. It’s important. And it’s really not that personal. It’s just another line item, a currency not unlike time or employee count. It’s not a taboo topic. It’s not impolite. It’s the honest thing to do.
And for those of us selling to CEOs, presidents, and other high-level executives? It's especially important to abandon this sales belief when it comes to them. These people love to talk about money. They appreciate it when you get down to it. They like that you’re not a wimp; that you’re preserving their time.
Adopting Sales Beliefs That Will Benefit Your Team
Holding on to these harmful sales beliefs could be seriously harming your sales team! If you want to move towards success and growth, it's time to abandon these beliefs and adopt some new, healthy sales beliefs.
Looking for a sales consultant or mentor who can get your team pointed in the right direction? Connect with our Lushin sales trainers! We have years of experience helping salespeople thrive! Find out how we can make a difference for your team when it comes to developing healthy sales beliefs. Contact us online or give us a call at 317.846.9200 to get the conversation started!
Interested in resources that can help take your sales team to the next level? Check out our downloadable sales training white papers and our extensive collection of sales training videos for valuable sales insight from our team!