The Secret to Success in Sales lies in the Science of Thinking and Feeling Rightly

The world has changed dramatically in the last 5 years and even more so in the last year with recent global events. The relationship between buyer and seller has shifted significantly and technology has had an impact on when the seller enters the buying cycle as well as how we engage with clients on initial meetings, presentations and throughout the sales cycle during the current pandemic, Covid19. This combined with an extremely rapid rate of change and a market that is more competitive than ever, it is no surprise that salespeople are feeling overwhelmed and falling behind the performance curve.

The reality is that unless salespeople are supported in understanding the complexities of the environment in which they operate and are taught the skills needed to thrive in the current environment then they are likely to find themselves missing out on opportunities to their competitors who are investing in CPD (Continual Professional Development) – in this case, sales training!

Salespeople interacting

The rigors of performing successfully in a competitive sales environment require not only developing a broader range of more complex sales skills but a greater understanding of the inner world of thought and emotional management.

Although many of the fundamental sales skills remain the same, the way in which they are executed has expanded beyond the traditional face-to-face engagement. For example, pitching to a client via Zoom or MS Teams gives you less of an ability to read a client’s body language in response to something you may have said, and therefore you have less ability to control the outcome. Salespeople therefore need to find new ways to understand their clients and influence them towards a specific outcome.

Notwithstanding this, it’s clearly obvious that salespeople who can execute successfully on these skills (Listed below) in the context of how the world is changing, have a far better chance of winning deals over their competitors in the long run. The good stuff is still coming…. Read on!

List of sales skills – Don’t feel like you have to read them all.

[ Identify their ideal target market, think strategically, operate independently, prospect and generate their own leads, build relationships quickly and sustainably, solve problems for their clients, educate clients, establish themselves as indispensable partners to clients, pitch successfully, influence positively, create urgency, negotiate, manage a sales pipeline scientifically to create predictability of outcomes and close more deals.] – These are just some examples and not meant to be a full list.

Here’s the good stuff!

Emotional Intelligence – the new frontier of success and where prospects and clients start to experience you differently.

Whether you are a BDM (Business Development Manager and a hunter), an Account Manager (more of a farmer), or in Customer Service or Customer Experience, the way a client experiences you is a consequence of the expression of who you are and the quality of YOU!

What is it then that defines the quality of who you are?

The quality of who you are is determined by the quality of your thinking and emotions and your ability to develop and nurture the mental and emotional habits that are supportive of superior actions and outcomes.

Just think for a moment how a client experiences two individuals with very different ways of thinking and feeling. Here are two scenarios:

The first salespersons thinking just happens to them, there is almost no self-reflection and there’s almost no filtering or accountability for what goes into their thinking. Their emotions fluctuate to extreme’s based on their reaction to external circumstances and they live with high stress levels and struggle with low self-esteem as a result of their negative self-talk. They live with unnecessary fear, have strained conversations, are easily defeated and in many ways are pessimistic about a positive outcome. This kind of salesperson is often quite transactional in their approach too.

I know what you’re thinking… “They shouldn’t be in sales, right?”… but you will be surprised how common this is in most people including many salespeople. Why? No one has taught them how to manage their internal space. Modern neuroscience teaches us how to control our inner thoughts and emotions and the impact our beliefs and perceptions have on our choices, responses and actions and therefore our outcomes in life and in our performance in sales.

Let’s look at someone who in contrast has developed a high level of emotional intelligence and has built strong mental and emotional habits. They demonstrate self-awareness and choose their thoughts carefully and the outcomes in their experience. They have built an inner emotional strength and stability which responds (rather than reacts) to external circumstances determined by evaluating the facts and choosing their specific response. Their motive is always to demonstrate value to the client in turn reducing resistance, building confidence, breaking down barriers, stimulating rapport and synergy, developing warmth, opening conversations, building trust and credibility and strengthening relationships.

Learning to develop the broad range of sales skills is critical to any salesperson’s success. Similarly learning self-management, developing EQ, business acumen, leaderships skills, strategic thinking and finally the science behind thinking and feeling rightly will certainly set you up to not only survive but thrive in your industry, particularly in tough times.