Today’s post is by Steve Kraner, president of Software Sales Gurus. Steve helps his clients identify the optimum approach to selling through continuous split testing to provide specific, detailed guidance for sales conversations with today’s technology buyers. Contact Steve at 703/966.0192.
Your sales teams’ sales skills are driven largely by their current mental map. This is why a salesperson – who believes she has to discount to win – ends up yielding to the slightest price pressure.
Let’s examine a few of these kinds of self-limiting beliefs and explore how they impact sales performance.
A Salesperson’s Incorrect Beliefs Are Self-reinforcing
Belief: Let’s say a salesperson believes he is constitutionally incapable of holding his own in a conversation with a powerful authority figure.
Response: His belief drives his behavior in the presence of such a person. He may fidget, shift his eyes about, or giggle inappropriately.
Result: The response impacts the outcome. The CEO will probably notice the salesperson’s discomfort and will probably respond negatively, thereby reinforcing the original belief. The salesperson is now more certain he cannot hold his own with authority figures.
A Salesperson’s Actions Are a Manifestation of His or Her Beliefs
If you want your salespeople to act differently and improve sales performance, you will need to help them identify incorrect, self-limiting beliefs. It’s not easy. Self-limiting beliefs are mostly injected – and rarely inspected. Most of us are familiar with the old saying: “I’ll believe it when I see it.” It may actually be more accurate to say, “I’ll see it when I believe it.”
Your beliefs are not who you are. They are who you learned to be.
Here are four suggested leadership techniques to challenge and change self-limiting beliefs:
- Weekly game film review with the team. As part of ongoing sales mastery sessions, I use call recordings to critique and directly impact the entire team’s beliefs. When a salesperson hears a peer engender a laugh in response to disarming honesty, they begin to believe it will work for them, too. When a teammate generates engaged answers to all 10 questions of the need diagnostic, they envision themselves doing it.
- Lead by example. If you lead a call, allow your salesperson to witness you say “no” to a discount and get the order, their mental map is updated. (I guess it’s obvious, but, if the leader does not believe, that must first be corrected.)
- Reverse seminar. Ask a senior-level client to speak with your team on her industry and how they use your solution. This impacts beliefs about the value of your solution and its value in the eyes of senior people.
- Pass this link – How Your Beliefs Impact Sales Success – on to your team and use it for a discussion at your next sales meeting,
Changing beliefs is difficult but, once the mental map updates, sales performance is improved instantly and (in many cases) permanently.
My next Software Sales Bootcamp is September 5-6, in Reston, Virginia. Please give me a shout if you’d like to explore a private program for salespeople or sales managers anywhere in the world.