Here’s the deal. Sales gets a bad rap. There’s a lot of negative connotations and a lot of negative vibes around sales in general.
- Are people going to think that I’m annoying?
- Are they going to think I’m pushy?
- Are they going to think I’m salesy?
- Are they going to think I’m greedy?
- Will they think I’m only trying to sell them something for the money?
It’s likely that you, as the leader, have seen and heard these things as well. This creates a vibe where sales is a bad thing. We need to make sure that we nip that in the bud because sales is the most important thing.
So what do we do to help our team overcome a negative sales mindset?
How do we help them overcome that idea, and get them excited about selling and excited about the work that they do for you and for your company?
#1 Create a Culture of Excellence.
We want to create a culture of excellence. A culture of high performance.
We do that by sharing our vision.
We talk a lot about vision casting, but do they know what their sales job is for? It’s not just to go out and make the company more money because that is not motivating enough. That is not enough to go through all of the negative connotations around sales and do the hard work.
- Do they know what the vision of the company is?
- Do they know the impact they are making by selling your services?
- What kind of results are your clients getting?
- What kind of lives are you changing?
- What is the impact that you’re making?
You might think that it’s not that serious.
I promise you that it is. I promise you that it is important. You are making an impact in a really, really big way.
One of the best ways to really overcome that negative mindset around sales is to help them understand:
- What are we working for?
- What is the impact that we’re making?
- What is the footprint?
- What do we want people to say about our company?
- What do people think when they interact with us?
When they really understand that the work that they’re doing is about that bigger picture, it’s about that impact, it’s about the ripple effect of the work that you do, it makes it a little bit easier to do that tough work.
We want them to really be bought into the vision of your organization.
#2 Establish a Mindset Exercise.
What I always do:
- Write the word sales on the top of a piece of paper
- Write down all of the thoughts and feelings and emotions that come up around the word “sales”.
You’re going to get things like “sleazy” or “pushy”, or “spammy”.
I did this exercise myself… and realized, even as an expert in sales, I too, started with a negative mindset around it. See, I grew up in the age where telemarketers would call your house in the middle of dinner, and my father would curse and groan about telemarketers interrupting dinner.
By definition, sales is the exchange of a product or service for money. That’s it. This means all of the other thoughts, feelings, and emotions that we have about it are in our brain.
What I really love to do is figure out:
- Where did this come from?
- Were you sold to in a way that wasn’t comfortable?
- Did somebody not take no for an answer?
- Was somebody pushy with you?
- Was somebody kind of slimy in a way that didn’t feel good?
Most of the time, our thoughts and feelings about sales come from a previous experience, or maybe even things that we grew up with.
I have yet to find a movie where sales is portrayed in a positive way. Most of the time, the salesperson in the movie is the shyster. They’re the bad guys. Nobody wants to be the bad guy. So of course, we don’t want to be salesy.
The first thing we have to do is to understand:
- Where did these thoughts come from?
- What’s going on here?
- Is it true that sales is slimy?
Once we realize that the thoughts that we have are tied to the stories that we’re telling ourselves, then we can break up with those stories. We can choose to create new stories or new thoughts or new beliefs around sales.
Selling is helping and selling is serving.
My job as a salesperson is to help this person make a decision.
I am here to help them get the result that they said that they wanted. We are not talking people into buying things. They willingly got onto the phone with you. They’re willingly on this zoom call with you having a conversation about why they could potentially need the services that you provide. I’m just helping them get what they said that they wanted in this conversation.
I want to serve.
My mission is to serve. My mission is to help entrepreneurs and CEOs really experience true entrepreneurial freedom by having a sales team that can sell for them. My mission is to serve in that way. If I don’t sell my services, I don’t get to serve. The people in the world who want that, need that, have a problem in that arena, don’t get to experience that result.
For me, by selling Social Sellers Academy, I am ultimately serving the audience that I am passionate about serving.
When we view sales from that place of serving and helping, and really helping people get the transformation or the results that they want, it becomes so much easier to send that follow up, make that additional phone call, to be persistent, to really challenge that person when they throw an objection that doesn’t feel in aligned with what they told you that they wanted.
We really have to work on training that mindset and really believing that mindset.
#3 Lean to Expect the No.
We hear no way more than we hear yes. We all know that that is true.
- How do we keep going?
- How do we keep putting one foot in front of the other, when it appears that a large portion of our day is negative?
I think a lot of reasons that people get frustrated with all the NOs that they’re getting is because they think that something has gone wrong.
They think that they’re doing something wrong. But, I assure you, that is not the case at all.
That’s just the nature of the beast.
That is the statistics. Even in the old-school sales books, the stats have always been in a way that we hear no more than we hear yes. It’s not abnormal.
We have not done anything wrong.
So how do we deal with no?
I say use it as a learning opportunity:
- What could I have done differently?
- How can I improve?
- What could I have said or done?
- How can I improve and take each no as an opportunity to improve?
- How do I get better at helping people get what they want?
- How do I get better at making sure that the people that come to me, the people that I talk to, and the people that get onto the phone with me, get what they want?
As a leader, it is your responsibility to infiltrate opportunities for improvement in your sales meetings, AM and PM huddles, and the 1-1 conversations that you are having with your team.
If we get 1% better every single day, we’re knocking it out of the park a year from now.