There is a shift in the way companies and organisations view their training processes. The new approach is to look at developing the ‘whole person’ rather than solely the ‘how to’ of the job role. Naturally, salespeople are interested in understanding what makes themselves and other people tick in order that they can then make that targeted ‘sell’.
What is it that sets the great sales individuals apart from the average ones? What really makes the difference between those peak performers who can consistently exceed their targets and the average salespeople who never really manage to break through that perceived glass ceiling? The answer is they think differently from most other people.
Selling is probably the second oldest profession and how exciting it can be when we master the most powerful of sales tools of all, our mind. What the high performers understand is the vital link between their thinking and emotional skills and their sales effectiveness; they understand glass ceilings only exist when self-imposed. In order to break through that glass ceiling, they need to understand that traditional selling skills and product knowledge do not play the most important role.
Research shows that success in almost every area of life, whether it be in personal or professional terms, is at least 80% the result of thinking and attitude and only 20% about such factors as knowledge, skills, ability and born- with gifts and talent. It is crucial for salespeople to think about the 80- 20 equation and the role thinking plays in their success. High performers know they leverage the existing traditional sales techniques and processes – the 20% – by employing a success-orientated thinking style, 80%.
However, what are leaders, sales managers and sales trainers doing about the 80%? Where is most of the training budget allocated? To the 20%? I call this ‘trying to cure a leaky pen by wearing rubber gloves’! To reach stretching sales targets, we must realise success is based for the most part, on our attitude - the way we think, how we think about things is much more
important than what we think about. What high achievers are able to do is think about the way they think about how they sell. They can stand outside themselves and use that incredibly powerful innate tool called introspection; they can benchmark the quality of their thinking which enables them to use the ability we all have to change, to hone their sales skills and to sell at an even higher level.
Selling, persuading people to buy, should be a natural and relaxed process. We sell more when we feel good and are being ourselves. We have all experienced the situation where a salesperson suddenly switches into ‘selling mode’ and it’s a real turn-off. When a salesperson is with a prospect, they should be the same person they are when with their family, friends and colleagues. If you want to see a great salesperson in action, look at an eight-year-old child who wants an ice cream – they are natural-born persuaders and don’t give up! Selling can be as natural as getting dressed, ie they don’t think about it on a conscious level. Peak performers have always sold this way. They know product knowledge, building desire, objection, handling and closing techniques should all coalesce into one seamless, subconscious whole; it’s about the salesperson gaining mastery over their own mind to maximise their sales potential, this combined with gaining an understanding of what motivates their potential customer and then selling naturally.
There is a saying that seems to have been around forever: ‘people buy people first’ - actually, brains buy brains first. Whenever we are interacting with another human being, our brain is communicating with their brain so it’s incredibly useful to have an understanding of how the two brains communicate with each other. Understanding the brain means this will enable the salesperson to understand the reasons why a prospect will buy their product or service.
People don’t buy for logical reasons - logic is the bridge we build from where we are to where we want to be. We construct our own logic from our own perceptions, values and emotional needs and it gives the salesperson an undeniable edge if they understand that; because of the way the brain is wired, everyone, without exception, makes buying decisions for emotional reasons. It’s then the job of the salesperson to use that knowledge to give the appropriate emotional information that will persuade the prospect to buy their product or service.
This doesn’t mean to say that data, specifications, delivery times, warranties and those other factors are not important
to a prospect but, if we bought for logical reasons, we would all be buying the same product or service to suit the same need but we don’t. The right half of the brain monitors the logical side and stays quiet until it doesn’t feel comfortable with the logic being employed and then emotional highjack takes place and emotions take over.
Taking control of your brain
Most people’s brains run their lives – very few people run their brains. By taking control of our brains and understanding how our mind works, we can harness its potential to make it work for us. In these challenging economic times, it is vital for salespeople to not only demonstrate they know how to do their job in order to be successful in their role, but to also be able to demonstrate they can think about the way they think about their job. This means salespeople are then able to continuously improve their thinking skills to persuade prospects to buy more of their products and services.
If we worry, have negative thoughts, if we don’t understand the brain can’t do a don’t, if we pretend other people and events can make us feel anything, if we feel resentment about ‘imposed’ targets, if we think we have to go to work, then we are demonstrating we are not thinking about the way we think. In other words, we don’t know how to think. Salespeople taking conscious control of their brains means they can sell subconsciously.
It’s all about the way they THINK..!
It is a common fact, the best sales performers may not always be the most articulate or well versed in the ‘traditional’ or accepted sales skills. Often we choose to label them as naturally gifted at selling. The truth is much more compelling. They often have a subconscious knowledge of a unique and dynamic approach to selling – Sales Cybernetics. This method looks at resetting thinking patterns; it’s about creating a dynamic shift in the 80% of the sales process – the thinking and emotional skills.
Sales Cybernetics applies the theories of control and communications, to an area where they have a particular relevance - the selling process; this is based on increasing knowledge of the brain and extensive studies of human nature, uniting them to provide the tools necessary to make selling a spontaneous and natural process. It is not about the sales process, it’s not about the product, the company nor the customer, it is about developing the salesperson and the performance of the individual – it’s about how they think. Sales Cybernetics helps to make the link between taking full personal responsibility for sales performance and achieving superlative sales results. It is about realising a fundamental change in the salesperson and the impact this has on performance. By homing in on more effective ways to control and direct thinking, salespeople can have control and influence over the core drivers that help them to perform in their roles. This combined with solid sales skills, can deliver staggering results.
These thinking patterns centre on vital elements, such as:
- How you cannot out-sell your self-image
- Developing a winning mind-set
- Understanding brain-to-brain selling
- Why a sense of purpose fuels higher performance l High emotional intelligence
- Removing sales-sapping paradigms l Understanding the customer’s universe (their perceptions)
Low stress selling
By bringing core thinking to the front of the development issue, salespeople are able to address the root of the matter and redefine the most fundamental elements that will affect their success. On an individual level, this new way of thinking can lead to huge potential for growth and development and will bring benefits far beyond just helping to hit and exceed sales targets; it helps individuals to review their own personal goals and objectives and it’s an opportunity to take a quantum leap forward in deciding what they want for the life ahead and exactly how to get there.
It doesn’t matter what level of skill or experience they or their team have in sales, because what we think about isn’t nearly as important as the way we think about what we think about - this approach is what works for sales professionals at all levels who are serious about increasing results and creating sustainable change.