Train Your Mind To Hit Your Sales Target

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To be a successful salesperson you’re going to need to get comfortable with the number of rejections you’re going to face during your journey. This requires a complete upgrade of your mental software.

Adopt A Growth Mindset

Because of our educational systems and cultural narratives, many of us grow up with a fixed mindset as defined by Carol Dweck, the author of Mindset[1], where we believe that we are born with a fixed set of gifts and abilities that cannot change with time.

People with a fixed mindset tend to perform poorly as they’re more likely to avoid challenges or give up easily if they take them on. They also believe their abilities are predetermined, so have a hard time accepting feedback and criticism because they take them too personally. They’re the ones who believe, “I’m just not a good salesperson. There’s nothing I can do about it.”

However, once you adopt a growth mindset, you believe that every failure is an opportunity to grow, and that you can do anything that you set your mind to as long as you’re willing to work hard. Such people are more likely to rebound stronger after setbacks, because they believe in feedback being constructive.

Have a Balanced View of Yourself

One thing that can easily erode your self-confidence is a negative view of yourself. Rather than beat yourself up every time you make a mistake or get rejected, you must learn to have a balanced view of yourself. Accept your strengths as well as your weaknesses. This requires a self-discovery process whereby you reflect deeply on the following questions to identify the overarching themes[2]:

Strengths:

  • What compliments do you usually receive?
  • What challenges do you usually overcome?
  • What’s an important task you usually tackle?
  • What are the times you’ve helped others?

Weaknesses:

  • What are weaknesses you’re aware of?
  • What’s most likely to make you give up?
  • What roles do you actively avoid?
  • What feedback do you receive that may indicate a weakness?

Once you have a clear image of what your strengths and weaknesses are, work actively to leverage the former and reduce the latter.

Practice Self-compassion

Understand that it’s normal for you to make mistakes in your life and professional career. So instead of obsessing over them, focus instead on retrieving the lessons learned, and then moving on. Kristin Neff, one of the pioneers in the field of self-compassion research, has discovered that the three main elements of self-compassion are mindfulness, kindness and the realization that you’re not alone. When you’re mindful, you become aware of the mistake you’ve made and its emotional impact on you, such as the pain you feel. When you’re kind with yourself, you provide the same encouragement and support you would give a good friend. Finally, when you realize you’re not alone, it lessens your suffering.

Make Selling a Habit

To get any good at selling, you’ll need to do a lot of it, so it needs to turn into a habit — a behavior that you do often. This will mean multiple instances of cold calling and facing strangers to sell them something. All habit loops usually consist of three parts: the trigger, the behavior and the reward.

Because getting rejected after a sales call is not your usual definition of a reward, you might need to consciously attach a different reward regardless of the outcome of the sales pitch. This means, you might tell yourself, “If I do 5 cold calls today, I’ll get myself a treat regardless of how those calls go.”

Another mental hack to take action is what Mel Robbins calls the 5 second rule, which goes as follows: If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it [3].

The 5-second rule is about taking control of your life, so whenever the instinct to act on a goal comes up — like when a window of opportunity for making a sale presents itself — you count down from 5, and then take action. The problem is once that window passes, we’ll be less likely to act on it, because our minds are wired to stop us from doing things that are uncomfortable.

References

[1] Dweck, C. (2017). Mindset. New York: Robinson.

[2] Markway, B. and Ampel, C. (2018). The Self-Confidence Workbook. Emeryville, California: Althea Press.

[3] Robbins, M. (2018). The Five Elements of the The 5 Second Rule. [online] melrobbins.com. Available at: https://melrobbins.com/blog/five-elements-5-second-rule/ [Accessed 3 Nov. 2018].