Why Sales Needs to Be about More than Just Revenue

By Jim Cathcart

One pillar of Sales 3.0 is about cultivating a peak performance mindset by leveraging mindset science. What is the quality of your personal mindset? Moreover, how is your mindset blocking you from achieving success? At Sales 3.0 events and on this blog, we’ll feature insights from peak performance mindset experts about mindset science and how you can harness the power of your brain to clear blockages and set yourself up for greater achievement. This post is by Jim Cathcart, a certified peak performance mindset trainer. — Sales 3.0 Conference Team

Some people are all about what works (pragmatists) and others are all about what feels like the right idea (emotional idealists). The best path usually runs somewhere between them.

In times of abundance the emotional idealists can thrive because they won’t be inhibited by doing only what works. They can test their concepts in relative safety and not be immediately held accountable for outcomes. They have room to experiment with their good intentions independent of proof of viability.

In times of scarcity the pragmatists are sought out because they can still produce results despite the limitations that inhibit growth.

Our society sees this every election season. The idealists get elected in times of abundance and the pragmatists get elected in times of scarcity. When the economy is good, spending explodes and, when it’s bad, spending has to stop.

This pendulum effect was built into the system created by America’s Founding Fathers. They knew there would always be pragmatists and idealists competing for limited resources and leadership positions. So they designed a system of checks and balances that prevented either side from always dominating. You and I need to do the same in approaching our own life and business or career.

Should you be planting trees this year or stockpiling more lumber for building? There are times and seasons for each. If you only cut and build, then you’ll run out of wood someday. If you only plant, then you’ll be overgrown and under-sheltered someday. Farmers get it because they see it daily – but the rest of us often need reminding.

It is my belief (and my actual experience) that What is Good and Right should drive our focus on What Works. In other words, our visions (ideals) of what is possible and what matters most need to shape our plans and actions.

When I conduct sales training I often begin by talking about the purpose of selling – why sales matter. If you see selling as a way of helping people and making the world a better place one sale at a time, then you’ll be more motivated to stay the course and continually improve the way you sell. It helps you be of value to more people. But if selling is seen only as revenue generation, then it’s a mechanical and tedious activity.

Pragmatists say sales are just for producing revenue – and the main purpose of business is to generate revenue. They see the human factor and higher purposes of serving people as necessary distractions from the “real world” of getting the money. They also alienate a lot of potential customers and lose business to more caring competitors.

Idealists say that sales is a necessary evil and they’d rather not have to deal with it. They want to help people and make the world a better place by just directly providing services and products regardless of the revenue produced. Most idealists seek work in public agencies and non-profits because they aren’t personally accountable for revenue generation there. They are often interested in marketing (promoting concepts) but not in selling (face-to-face calls).

Neither of these mindsets alone can perpetuate a business or organization. They must coexist and take turns being first in line. The pendulum must swing or the entity will die. Think of it as the heartbeat of the organization.

So let’s become visionary pragmatists. Remember why it matters to help your customers. See the visions of what is possible and dream of better ways to truly make a difference for your constituents and customers. At the same time, require yourself to conserve resources and invest your energies wisely so you can perpetually produce practical outcomes. Get true, measurable results that prove the value of your ideals and goals.

If you think something is a great idea or vitally important to do, then prove it. If you can’t yet prove it, do some low-cost experimentation to validate your hopes – and only then expand your expenditures. No more borrowing from tomorrow to make today more comfortable. Send some of today’s money ahead to the person you’ll be in the future; fund your retirement long before you retire. Plant trees under whose shade you will never sit. Build bridges that work right now and also allow for even more traffic in the future. Instead of going into debt, borrow comfort from today to make tomorrow more abundant. It’s the right thing to do. You’ll be really glad you did.

Jim Cathcart has received virtually every award that is available to speakers: The Golden Gavel, Speaker Hall of Fame, The Cavett Award, and Legends Award – and he’s also been inducted into the Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame. He has been helping people succeed since the 1970s and has authored 17 books. He is featured daily on the Thrive15.com TV channel, with 110 programs recorded. His students include some of the top achievers in the world. His TEDx talk has received more than 910,000 views. He is a certified peak performance mindset trainer. To book him for a training in mindset science for your team, visit this page: http://www.mindsetscience.com/trainers/.

About Lisa

Editorial Director at SellingPower.com.
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