In 1957, Roger Bannister became the first athlete to break the four-minute barrier for running a mile. Prior to Bannister's achievement, on that evening in May at the unassuming Iffley Road track in Oxford, most athletes considered a sub-four-minute mile impossible. But that same year, sixteen other athletes also ran a mile in less than four minutes.
Did they become super-human overnight? Or, more simply, did their beliefs change? That is the way it works - if one person can do it, we can all do it, we just have to believe we can.
Our Colleagues Can Exert Positive Pressure:
Like those milers, salespeople have their own unique sets of beliefs, some of which limit their potential in sales. For instance, during a recession, the members of a sales force may all believe that strong sales are impossible. But if just one person increases their sales, what seemed an inevitable fact will suddenly appear more like a thin excuse for poor performance.
We Must Challenge Negative Beliefs:
Sales Captains who challenge negative beliefs with good questions can help create shifts in mindset. Take a look at these examples of negative beliefs and examples of questions that challenge them.
"Our solutions are too expensive."
"Compared with whom?"
"Compared to what?"
"How do you know?"
"I'm hopeless at cold calling"
"According to whom?"
"What prevents you from being good at cold calling?"
"What would happen if you were good?"
"My sales target is too high this month, I'll never achieve it"
"What do you need to do so that you can?"
While challenging questions may not instantly create a belief change, over time, they can enable salespeople to shift their perceptions of their beliefs, recognising that there are other possibilities and options available to them.
Developing Self Worth:
Organisations that recognise the importance of helping their salespeople develop a strong sense of self worth are many times more likely to produce high performers. Self worth is vital to everyone but especially to salespeople who hear "no" more often than they hear "yes, I'll buy". A salesperson's self-esteem can sometimes take a hammering, but organisations that find ways to build their salespeople's self-esteem reap an invaluable dividend. Self-worth translates into attitude, that small thing that makes such a big difference.
In Summary - The most successful salespeople take care of their attitude and they understand that:
Great Attitude = Great Results,
Average Attitude = Average Results,
Poor Attitude = Poor Results.
The second commonality with successful salespeople is that they expect to be successful and they want it badly enough that they bring about its happening i.e. fulfilled expectation.
Tomorrow: I am heading back to Paris. It has been a great week and I'll be here for you on Monday as usual - JF
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