As has been espoused many times in these pages (and in more books than a dog could run around), a person’s mindset is a huge contributor to their success in life. How we think governs how we act and behave which in turn, govern the results we achieve.
It therefore follows that if we can identify and flick the right mindset ‘switch’, it can have enormously positive knock-on benefits to our success.
In a business setting, nowhere is this more evident than in selling. The world of sales has spent - and continues to spend - a fortune on trying to change how people act and behave. However there is also a ‘mindset’ shift that could have a transformative impact on the likelihood of these behavioural changes taking place.
So what is this mindset shift?
Simply put, it is moving from a governing mindset of “How do I sell more (of whatever it is I am selling)?” to “How can my business help your business be more successful?”.
Let me explain….
Many salespeople unconsciously operate from this “How can I sell more?” mindset. This governing 'mental context' naturally fuels many of the behaviours that sales development programmes are constantly trying to change - for example:
- Talking about the products and services they sell too much or too soon.
- Talking about the price of what they sell (as opposed to value it creates for the customer).
- Relying too heavily on demos (which are of course demos of the product they sell).
- Playing safe with customer stakeholders they know best (even if they are not the ones who stand to benefit most and/or are not decision makers).
- Negotiating and offering discounts too quickly (to get the deal over the line).
However if a mindset of “How can my business help your business be more successful?” was governing a salesperson’s actions, it would naturally guide the salesperson towards the following much more effective sales behaviours. These include:
- Researching the latest trends/insights within their customer’s industry (to improve their understanding of the business threats and opportunities facing that customer).
- Taking time to find out about the customer’s business, their aspirations, plans and issues (how else would they be able to articulate how their solutions will help the customer's business be more successful?).
- Exploring the potential benefits to a wider, more senior group of stakeholders (so that they can more fully understand all the business impacts of their solutions).
- Articulating the ROI/financial benefits of their solutions (because they know that is how business success is usually measured).
- Working with the customer after the sale to ensure they receive the business success expected from what they have just bought.
Now of course, our governing mindset is not usually something we are consciously aware of. This mental context is unconsciously ingrained over time and largely shaped by the cultures, operating environment and leadership to which we have been exposed. However, changing mindset doesn't need to take an eternity. The key is consciously and continuously reminding oneself of the new context and operating from this context time and time again until it becomes habitual.
Imagine the impact a perfect alignment of mindset and behaviour would have on performance. Ask any sporting champion!
Give it a go and see for yourself!