Develop the Mindset of a Champion
in Your Sales Career
By Jack Singer, Ph.D.
Why is it that
some salespeople with the most talent are often not the most
successful? What gets in their way? How can some sales people with
less natural talent over-achieve and reach much more sales success
than their more talented colleagues? Are there specific mental
skills that can lead anyone toward championship levels of sales
performance? What separates the mindset of a champion from that of
training programs ignore the biggest obstacles to success. Instead,
they focus on specific sales and closing techniques. But the
biggest obstacles are not sales talent, motivation or knowledge of
techniques. The biggest obstacles, like those overcome by champion
athletes, are the internal, mental and emotional barriers that sales
professionals face on a daily basis..
Below are three
powerful components of the mindset of a champion. Put them into
action today and watch your sales performance skyrocket!
Take Charge of
Your Internal Dialogue: Engage the linguistic nutrition of
Your self-talk is the foundation of your belief system and
your belief system determines your attitudes about your success or
lack of it in your sales career. Inner thoughts either set you up
for success or failure. So often, people unconsciously use
self-limiting thoughts which prevent them from being successful.
It’s a form of unintended self-sabotage. Examples of such self-talk
phrases, are: “The economy will make this a tough sell
now” or “I’ll be lucky if I make half the sales I made last
year.” These kinds of thoughts are like eating junk food once
you decide that a healthy eating lifestyle is just too difficult to
maintain. Your thoughts set you up for failure.
determine your beliefs and your beliefs develop your attitudes,
which determine your behaviors and actions. Therefore, negative,
pessimistic thoughts will ultimately lead to procrastination and
poor sales outcomes. Such thoughts actually convince your mind that
you will fail.
Action Plan 1:
written journal of negative thoughts that enter your mind regarding
your sales performance and notice the patterns. Then, use rational
thinking to counterpunch each negative thought with a healthy,
positive thought. Example: Change “This economy will drive my
customers away now.” to “I don’t have to be successful with every
client. This is a numbers game. I am a sharp, creative person and
I’ll find new markets/customers for my product, despite the
economy. I’ll keep my eyes open for opportunities, which I really
believe will present themselves.”
Unleash the Power of Your Mind:
Plow through the mental road blocks to championship performance. Your subconscious mind takes orders from you without
judging success or failure. You always have the choice in what you
feed to your subconscious mind. Therefore, you must believe in
yourself and in the value of the products you are selling.
Eliminate “imposter fears,” which are the belief that you really are
not good at what you do or your products are really not as valuable
to potential customers as you propose they are.
salespeople focus on their failures and what they did not achieve.
Instead, you need to focus on what you have achieved. You can
actually program your mind to believe in your strengths and your
ultimate success. Just as athletes focus on their strengths, you
can focus on yours. Always remember that your product knowledge,
your customer service skills and your sincere concern that the
customer is satisfied and better off having purchased your products
or services will overcome any deficiencies you see in yourself.
Action Plan 2:
Practice presenting a positive attitude toward everyone you
meet, not just prospective clients and customers. Constantly pat
yourself on the back with positive self-talk, such as, “I provide
a valuable service to my clients” and “I help people achieve
Focus on good
results you have achieved in your sales career and pat yourself on
the back. Learn from results you were not pleased with in the past
and move on. Keep a SUCCESS JOURNAL. Record times you were on a
roll and situations where you were really proud of what you
accomplished. Each day put at least one item on your list. Review
the list of successes regularly, especially when you are having a
Fill Your Mind
with Optimistic Expectations: Unleash the most powerful mental tool
that drives championship performance.
conducted over 30 years with over one million participants has
determined that there is a single, powerful predictor of sales
achievement—optimistic expectations. Ability and motivation in ones’
sales career are not always enough to guarantee consistent results.
Expectations of success or failure are self-fulfilling prophecies
that often determine the outcomes, regardless of ability and
motivation. The research also shows that people who develop learned
optimism live longer and healthier lives, so there are major
benefits that go far beyond your career.
The key here is to
that you will succeed, despite the challenges, obstacles and setbacks
that are inevitable in your sales career. Continue to believe you
will succeed, even in the face of resistance, rejection and
hostility. How you explain to yourself and react to setbacks in
your sales career is a crucial determinant of how successful you
will ultimately be. Training yourself to look at setbacks as
temporary challenges and minimizing those setbacks with the
knowledge that you can find a solution and overcome them, predicts
Action Plan 3:
Developing optimistic expectations can be learned! Even if you are
a chronic pessimist and your parents or spouse is a pessimistic
thinker, you can absolutely learn ways to overcome the negative
beliefs that underlie your pessimistic explanatory style. Revisit
Action Plan 1 (above) because the best way to develop an optimistic
explanatory style is by understanding your own negative thinking
patterns and practicing changing them. You can also get
cognitive training from a professional psychologist or by attending training
seminars directed at teaching you learned optimism. Such training
will do wonders for your career and in your life!
Read other articles and learn more about
Jack Singer, Ph.D.
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