How you view yourself and your circumstances has a lot of impact on your sales success.
While the benefits of a positive outlook are well known, the unfortunate truth is that salespeople often take on limiting beliefs instead. These negative thoughts and doubts can cause sales professionals to lose confidence, miss out on opportunities, and in extreme cases, quit sales altogether.
Thankfully, you can prevent many common limiting beliefs from setting in.
Here are 7 limiting beliefs that get in the way of sales success, and how to get rid of them (or better yet, turn them into fuel that boosts performance)...
1. The prospect will think I'm asking for too much
There are two parties to a deal. You and the customer. Everyone wants to be treated fairly and the goal of both parties should be to get to an equitable outcome.
Worrying that you are asking for too much is either a sign that you haven't successfully established the value of your product or service yet (in which case almost anything you ask for is too much), or it's an unreasonable lack of confidence.
So rather than worrying about asking for too much, focus on creating value and solving problems. If you've done that, and your proposal is fair, you have no reason to believe that you're asking too much.
2. I'll be a bother asking for referrals / reviews
Another limiting belief is that asking for referrals bothers the customer. The truth, however, is that many leads and customers are happy to refer you or pass along information along. That is, as long as you've earned the right to ask, and you do so respectfully.
So create value, and sell in a way that builds loyalty and your customers will want to reward you for it. They'll also have every reason to believe that their friends or associates will benefit from your expertise as well.
The same is true about asking for reviews. Company and product reviews have become very valuable for businesses. Treat your customers well, and when you hear they're happy, confidently ask them to share their sentiment publicly. The worst they can do is say no. But you shouldn't feel hesitant to ask.
3. Everybody else is doing better than me
Some sales professionals self-limit by comparing themselves to others and then internalizing, embellishing and isolating their feelings.
It can be easy to think that everyone is succeeding when you see others doing well, but keep in mind that everyone has ups and downs. If you’re feeling like you aren’t measuring up, talk to a supervisor or mentor and ask for help to keep things in perspective, and to improve your skillset.
As long as you focus solely on your own trajectory, and put in the effort to make it a positive one, you're on the right path.
4. I can't say no to a prospect
Telling a prospect that you aren’t able to accommodate him or her is one of the hardest things to do in sales. After all, the goal is to secure the sale, so won't turning down a request kill the deal?
Maybe. Maybe not. But it doesn't matter. Operate within the reasonable range of options for your company, and don't sweat the rest. After all, you decline something when it's not worthwhile for your company. If that kills the deal, a favorable deal wasn't possible anyway... and at least you avoid wasting time with a prospect who isn't worthwhile.
On the flip side, holding strong shows you know the value of what you provide. If the prospect is truly interested, you'll find your way back to an agreement.
5. There's no room for me to grow in my career
Some sales professionals feel that upward mobility is difficult to attain. In reality, there are always opportunities. Sometimes they just take time to present themselves. It’s up to you to keep proving your value to yourself and your company.
Resigning yourself to staying in one role is one of the most limiting things you can do for your career. So focus on getting results and growing as a salesperson, and pursue every opportunity to advance yourself.
6. I'm not a natural leader
You may have been told that some people are natural-born leaders and some are followers and that these two groups have no overlap. This way of thinking holds so many sales professionals back from reaching their true potential.
Anyone can take on leadership positions when they leverage their strengths properly. Look for areas where you excel and then seek out opportunities within your team that incorporate these skills.
And remember, being a leader doesn't necessarily mean having to be an extrovert or taking command of others. Many people simply lead by example, and give others something to aspire to.
7. Lost deals and sales slumps are devastating
Missing out on a deal, regardless of the reason, is not fun. But it happens. To everyone! Sometimes the circumstances are simply out of your control. Not every product is a fit for everyone.
But even when you suspect you could have handled a situation better, there's no sense it feeling defeated and devastated.
The key to moving forward is to view it as a learning experience and to grow from it. What did you do right? What could you have done better? Applying the lessons you learn with each call, each deal, can stop the cycle of negative thinking before it ever has a chance to hurt your performance.
Even more likely, it will dramatically improve your performance over the long-run.
Wrapping up common limiting beliefs that hold you back from sales success...
The mind is an incredibly powerful thing. Doubts and negative thoughts alone can hurt your performance. Of course, the same beliefs that have the power to work against you, can be turned around to help you instead.
If you’re starting to feel like you’re in a rut, consider the following solutions to common limiting beliefs and leverage them as fuel for success:
- Focus on value and fairness and stop worrying about your price
- Asking for referrals and reviews from happy clients is reasonable and worthwhile
- Don't measure yourself against others, but know you're never alone in your professional journey
- Be free to say no when something isn't worthwhile
- Make your own opportunities for professional growth
- Everyone has leadership qualities and there are different ways to lead
- Lost sales are opportunities to learn and grow
What limiting belief has held you back? How did you get past it?