The world of sales is akin to the Olympic Games. There are elite sales athletes who earn medals, and then there are all the rest.
Similar to high-level sports, to succeed in sales requires a certain kind of psychology. In today's marketplace, mere product knowledge, brand name recognition, and excellent service are simply not enough to create a sustainable business. You must be mentally tough to win and build trust that stands the test of time.
What exactly is mental toughness?
In a word, resilience - a result of readiness and focus. At my company, The Athlete Mindset, we created the following Mental Toughness Formula™:
Mental Preparation + Mental Discipline = Mental Toughness or MP + MD = MT
Top sales performers understand that without resistance, there’s nothing to be tough about. If sales were easy, everybody would be winning trips to Bermuda. Growth requires thinking and behaving better, not just differently.
Here are 5 mental toughness tips that with consistent practice, can increase your sales over time:
1. Be mentally prepared
- What is my product, competitive advantage, etc.?
- Who will buy this?
- How do I want to present myself?
2. Be mentally creative
- What makes my client tick?
- Who do I know that can make an introduction?
- How can I stand out from the crowd?
3. Be mentally disciplined
- What conversation outcome am I after?
- Who will lead with questions? (Hint: You will!)
- How can I avoid distractions?
4. Be mentally knowledgeable
- What are three top product strengths my client should know?
- Who will benefit most from my product/service?
- How can I improve the quality of my answers to client inquiry?
5. Be mentally resilient
- What are the most common objections?
- Who is a master of overcoming objections that I can learn from?
- How will I turn objections into positive ‘Ahas' for the client?
Here are a few parting words on mental toughness from one of our expert podcast interviews with a University of Tennessee top student-athlete, now professional female tennis player:
“Mental toughness is the discipline to do the right things all the time even when no one's watching. It's having the focus to keep your goals always in sight no matter the obstacles in your path. It's managing your emotions throughout difficult times and holding yourself accountable for your actions when you do slip up.
The biggest problem in mental toughness development is people don't realise it has to be worked on everyday. People may think they have mastered it but in reality that's when they need it most. It's like confidence, it's hard to get and easy to lose. You can't be mentally tough overnight, it takes hard work, dedication and discipline. It's a step-by-step process that has to be trained each and everyday in order to be successful.”
What is your level of mental toughness? What are doing today to build a championship mindset? How will you leverage your psychology to create greater value for your clients?
By René Vidal, mental toughness coach and co-author of Play Smart to Win in Business: Leadership Lessons from Center Court to Corner Office. Receive instant access to his weekly Mental Toughness Newsletter, thought leadership tools and more.