This is a Giant Problem for Salespeople

By Christine Harrington

Here’s a mind-blowing statistic: 44 percent of salespeople give up after the first “no” from a prospect!

If 44 percent of your sales team have an 80 percent probability of giving up after hearing “no,” you might be wondering if more training on sales process could fix the issue.

However, if  sales success hinged solely on sales process, then all your salespeople should be winning deals, because they all have access to the same process. Yet nearly all organizations have a slim tier of top performers – and all the rest are average or low performers.

The problem isn’t sales process training. The problem is the new frontier of selling: mindset. The proper selling mindset  has been the most overlooked and undervalued aspect that influences sales performance. Here are the two major mindset problems salespeople have:

  1. Too often the salesperson doesn’t understand how to stay in control of the sale. Frustration and discouragement set in.
  2. Many salespeople struggle with daily focus, structure, and activities that could otherwise help them produce a full prospect funnel.

The New Frontier of Selling

The new frontier of selling is, without a doubt, developing a peak performance mindset. Mindset development is commonplace in the world of sports, but it’s totally neglected in the world of selling. Why? Because, for the most part, the science on the mind has mostly been thought to be exclusively for the field of psychology. However, Olympic and professional athletes have been hiring psychologists for over a century to train on how to develop a peak performance mindset.

Why not explore this new frontier for selling too? If athletes use mindset to enhance their performance to win, shouldn’t salespeople?

You may be thinking, “What’s all the fuss? I can control my mind and thoughts.” OK. If that’s true, why do you win sales and lose sales when you follow the same sales process? The answer is found by developing the selling mindset…the key to increasing sales.

Taking the First Step

The first step to a selling mindset is awareness. Awareness has two components. Self-awareness is knowing how you think, feel, and act. Social awareness is knowing how you impact others. Self-motivation moves you toward your goals and dreams. However, to stay on the sales road to success, you need a mindset that expands in a positive direction when adversity inevitably happens. To win you need to master self-activation.

Self-activation enables you to be creative, use positive problem solving processes, and manage adversity. The result is an expanded self confidence. Since life is filled with obstacles and sales is hearing more “no” than “yes,” doesn’t it make sense to learn how to harness your mind to work for you instead of against you?   

Start with These Two Tips

Self-activation is when the cerebral cortex of the brain is stimulated into a general wakefulness or attention. And yes, you do activate this part of your brain merely by your thoughts…positive and negative. This is why monitoring your self talk is so important.

Tip #1: Positive Self Talk

Please don’t confuse this with positive affirmations. That’s another subject I don’t fully embrace. (Most positive affirmations are taught incorrectly.)

Positive self talk in the context of this article is in terms of how you’ll respond to adversity.

Scenario: Your sales team or you are behind on hitting monthly sales goals. There are 10 days left in the month to hit your goal. Which of these do you do?

  1. Cave and say, “I’ll make it up next month.”
  2. Give it the ’ol college try and say, “I’ll give it my best shot.”
  3. Harness your mindset in a positive direction by saying, “I’ve done it before. I know I can do it again. Here’s my plan over the 10 days. I WILL DO THIS.”

Remember, you cannot reach your peak performance without specific goals and the benefit of no-limit thinking.

Tip #2: Emotional Self Regulation

How do you regulate your emotions? The quick answer is to remain neutral when you feel yourself reacting to what someone said to you or you’re being drawn into drama. Easier said than done…I get it.

You have three choices:

  • React
  • Respond
  • Do and say nothing

Scenario: Your best client calls in a complaint. As you’re listening to her drone on and on about what went wrong, you may feel your emotions take over in a defensive mode because her tone and language are accusatory. In other words, she wants you to react…but in a positive manner. However, her communication style is evoking in you something much different. Your rational mind knows she’s not trying to make you angry, but your emotions get the best of you – so you react. Then she reacts…and back and forth it goes! You know how this ends. If you want to save the account, you eat some humble pie.

If you’ve done the work in emotional self regulation, the conversation and outcome are much different. As she’s complaining, you feel your emotions to defend rise. This time, you consciously shift to remain neutral so you can think clearly to defuse her anger and resolve the issue. The outcome? You’re the hero because she feels heard and understands you’ll fix the problem.

There’s much more on how to self-activate. For now, start with these tips and I’ll write more in upcoming articles about this. Let me know in the comment section below if this article is helpful. Do you have a story you can share?

Christine Harrington is The Savvy Sales Lady. She is a facilitator for Peak Performance Mindset workshops and a personal sales coach who helps sales professionals develop and improve their sales performance.

About Lisa

Editorial Director at
This entry was posted in Selling Skills. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ERROR: si-captcha.php plugin: GD image support not detected in PHP!

Contact your web host and ask them to enable GD image support for PHP.

ERROR: si-captcha.php plugin: imagepng function not detected in PHP!

Contact your web host and ask them to enable imagepng for PHP.