The Right Mindset: Sales 2.0 Takeaways

By John W. Fitzpatrick

As I returned to Atlanta after two days spent at the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, I did a lot of thinking about mindset. With a five-hour flight ahead of me, I had plenty of time to think.

Mindset – the right one, the best one, the most effective one – was my biggest takeaway from a conference that brings together some of the brightest minds spanning many different industries. Here are a few thoughts from the Sales 2.0 Conference that stuck with me on the plane ride home.


  • Have the right mindset.

Gerhard Gschwandtner, CEO of Selling Power, delivered the first keynote, and it nicely set up those that came afterward. He spoke of three things that every businessperson or salesperson must have to succeed: the right skill set, the right tool set, and the right mindset. We all have skills we’ve honed over time, particularly in the sales business, and we have acquired innovative tools that help us do our jobs more efficiently and effectively. But those can get you only so far. Without the right mindset, one that’s positive and confident, your potential is limited. With the right mindset, though, there is no limit to what you can achieve.


  • Have a rejection-proof mindset.

Jia Jiang is an impressive guy. He’s written a book called Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible through 100 Days of Rejection, and that’s what he spoke about at the conference – cultivating a mindset that is free of the fear of rejection. As he elaborated on his philosophy, he showed a slide that simply read, “Just Ask.”

You’re going to hear a no sometimes, no matter what, he remarked. What’s important is how you position the conversation afterward. Why not ask, “Why not?” Find out why you didn’t get a yes. Maybe you’ll get a referral instead. Maybe you’ll learn something you can tweak about yourself or your company. Maybe you’ll pave the way for a future sale. But you can’t do any of those things if you let the no be the end of the conversation.


  • Have a customer-first mindset.

All too often in today’s fast-paced business world, we put ourselves and our companies first, said Gartner’s Tiffani Bova in her Sales 2.0 presentation. When business becomes about us and not them, our customers, no one benefits. Bova’s presentation stood out to me because her point holds true for all types of companies. We can’t get caught up in thinking about ourselves and worrying about our own business moves. If we work our hardest to help our clients succeed, then our own success will follow.


  • Have a mindset specific to your business.

The right mindset isn’t about only customers, though. It’s also about your company and knowing it inside and out. Joanna Weidenmiller, CEO of 1-Page, gave an outstanding presentation. Among other important points, she noted that you know within minutes of an interview whether a candidate fits the needs and style of your organization. Why struggle to make people into who they’re not just because you like their personality or experience? Building a business is about choosing the right people, and being selective pays dividends.

My plane landed safely in Atlanta, and I disembarked armed with my carry-on bag, an extra pack of peanuts, and a fresh, new mindset that I intend to share with my colleagues. I hope these takeaways stick with you as much as they stuck with me.

John Fitzpatrick is President/CEO of Force Marketing, an innovative automotive multi-channel marketing company headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. Force Marketing offers marketing services to an expansive client base throughout the U.S. and Canada and was named as one of Inc. magazine’s 500|5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. in 2014 for the sixth consecutive year.

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