Getting your thinking on-target

In my last post, I wrote about how your off-target thinking affects you when selling. After you’ve rated where you stand on these examples, it’s time to learn how you can get your thinking more on-target:

Polarisation: “I’ll never be able to overcome objections with customers on the phone.”

Start to think in percentages. There is no always or never. Instead of thinking you can never do something, focus on the times you have. For example, “I overcome objections 30% of the time, 70% of the time I do not.” The fact that you have done something even once is proof that you’re capable and that you can do it again.

Filtering: “Overcoming objections is the worst part of selling.”

Change your focus to what is really happening and reframe your thoughts like this: “When I get an objection, I get a little nervous; but I’ve managed to get good results from time to time. There is no need to magnify this aspect of the sales process.”

Mind reading: “They won’t buy from us because what we do is too new.”

Believe only what you know or don’t know. Instead, think: “I don’t know if they will buy from us or not.”

Catastrophising: “They will get upset with me if I probe them with questions.”

Again, use percentages and focus on the positive aspects of the situation. “In 1% of calls I make, I encounter a prospect that might become upset with me when I probe, but 99% of people I speak to are very comfortable with answering my questions.”

Personalisation: “Jane is better than me at this because she’s so good at overcoming objections.”

While it’s entirely appropriate to learn from others that have skills or knowledge that exceeds our own at the present moment, it helps to remember “it’s all temporary”. Just because Jane knows more or is more skilled than you at present, doesn’t mean that you can’t get better than you are right now, or even possibly exceed Jane’s ability. Instead of comparing yourself to others, compare yourself to yourself, to where you first began, and where you might one day be.

Blaming: “It makes me so angry that our customers just don’t understand the value in what we offer.”

Be responsible for and take control of your own feelings. Try thinking: “My customers have many concerns that they are thinking about, I think I’ll identify better ways of explaining what we do so that I don’t have to get angry when I have to deal with them.”

Shoulds: “These prospects should be more responsive to my requests for meetings.”

Again, think in percentages: some people do what you think they should, some people don’t. Consider how you can make your requests more compelling so that your prospects might be more inspired to respond in the way you’d like.

Being right: “I think once I can lay out the facts, you’ll see that I’m right.”

Actively listen until you completely understand the other person’s point of view so well that you can argue their point of view for them. Use: “It sounds like you have some concerns, would you mind explaining them to me?”

Fairness fallacy: “It isn’t fair that I try so hard and I’m still not successful.”

Instead of thinking in terms of fairness, think in terms of preferences: “I’d prefer to be successful after trying really hard.”

Correcting your off-target thinking isn’t easy, and it can’t be done by reading a blog post or even trying things once. These are habits you need to get into, habits that will be the result of correcting your thinking everytime you have an off-target thought, and replacing it with one that is more on-target. Doing this will have a dramatic effect on not only your performance in sales, but also in life.