Being a sales professional is unlike any other career. You have a level of freedom that doesn’t exist in most professions. But along with this freedom also comes responsibility and that’s why it’s outside of most people’s comfort zone.
It’s a role where you are accountable for the results you produce month in and month out.
This profession demands that you ride an emotional rollercoaster; one where you will experience both the highs of winning deals and the lows of losing. It’s an important topic, one that regularly comes up in my coaching with both salespeople and their managers, and it’s linked to self-worth and the results you will achieve.
So, I’d like to address the question. How can you prepare mentally for this journey? Not just to survive but to thrive in this environment.
Let’s look at five keys to creating resilience and a winning mindset.
- One key is to take a broader perspective or viewpoint of your work. That can be challenging when you have just lost a major opportunity. But the fact is no one wins all the time and if you are converting 40-50% + of your opportunities you are ahead of the pack. If you adopt a longer-term viewpoint, you are less likely to be upset by every rejection or lost deal. You gain an understanding that this is all part of the sales process towards hitting your target. Therefore, to achieve this you need to focus on filling your pipeline with quality sales opportunities that are further out, then this will enable you to have a healthier long-term pipeline which allows you to be much more resilient to the ups and downs of everyday life.
- Avoid placing too much confidence in one or two big deals. Often salespeople who rely on one or two big deals to hit target come unstuck and place themselves under way too much pressure. Rather, break your annual target down based on your average order values and use these as an indicator of the number of new opportunities you need to put into the pipeline each month. Then when you do land a big deal, it will be a bonus on top of your regular results rather than a lifesaver.
- Key to enjoying your sales career is to realise that your self-worth and value as an individual is not linked to your sales results. If you’re going through a bad patch, you can turn it around, and current results are not indicative of your potential for improvement. The important thing is to analyse your performance, understand where you went wrong and take steps to improve. Here is where professional coaching can be a real asset to help you be more reflective, to identify issues that need work and to set specific corrective steps.
- If you’re a sales manager, the art and science of coaching your team to reach their potential should be high on your list of priorities. Unfortunately, many sales managers have never received training and development in this area, despite the fact that they can hold the key to increased performance for the whole team. So, educate yourself on how to communicate successfully with the different personalities in your team. One type of approach is not enough you need to be adaptable in your communication to get the best from each
- Finally, another area worth reviewing is your approach to your clients. Are you focused on winning your next piece of business or rather are you looking to demonstrate value and help them achieve their goals. This will make a big difference in your attitude and how likeable you are. People want to deal with people they like and trust. So, to enjoy your sales career and have long-term success, this genuine interest in others is vital.
Applying these five tips will put you well on your way to creating a winning mindset, where the rollercoaster ride is exciting and challenging in a good way!
Look out for my upcoming October podcast series that will focus on dramatically improving your communication skills with clients.