“I’m not just a Salesperson!” – Cognitive Dissonance and Selling – Part 1

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In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the excessive mental stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, and/or values at the same time. This stress and discomfort may also arise within an individual who holds a belief and performs a contradictory action and reaction.

How does this relate to selling?

The problem many underperforming sales and customer services professionals experience is that few aspired to a job in sales. The formative years of most are spent dreaming of a job as a doctor, teacher, engineer, journalist, web designer or an actuary.

This assumption is supported in a recent survey by CareerCast.com, where respondents ranked 200 different jobs from best to worst, based on five criteria, including: physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook. Of these 200 occupations, sales representative ranked 120th, while retail salesperson was further down the list at 140th.

The sales conundrum

Many salespeople are their own worst enemy. It might sound cliché, but in the cold light of day, who can you really hold responsible for your poor results, but yourself?

One of the biggest challenges I encounter as a sales and customer service trainer is the innate cognitive dissonance in individuals who find themselves in a position where selling is required, but are unable to relate to this role in their own minds.

It is clear that many people would prefer not to sell. Unfortunately, when the selling of products, ideas, other people, or even ourselves, plays such an important part in a diverse range of job roles, avoidance is simply not the answer. So, how can you overcome this internal conflict and perform to the best of your ability?

Help is at hand

Stay tuned to the LiveseySolar blog over the next couple of weeks for a series of five posts, which will explore the various ways cognitive dissonance can effect performance, and examine whether a vast disparity exists between what we think sales people do, and what they actually do to succeed.

During our journey we will encounter a number of maladjusted salespeople, including: Hailey ‘Hard-Sell’, Nadia ‘No-Sell’, and Wendy ‘Won’t Sell’. We will explore the typical behaviours of underperforming sales professionals and support our arguments with psychological theories like the Balance Theory, Confirmation BiasAnalysis Paralysis and Fear.

You’ll probably see a little of yourself in some of the stereotypes we describe. So, in the last post of the series, we’ll round things off with a to-do list for each style of selling, so you can make changes to your approach and become more successful than you already are.

Stay tuned for news of our latest blog posts. We’d love to hear your thoughts on our forthcoming series. If you identify with any of the sales stereotypes we explore or you’d like to give us your two cents’ worth, the please contact us or leave your comments below.

NOTE: The best way to answer that nagging question about practice growth or marketing or patient volume in the back of your mind is to book a free 15-minute compatibility call. Get some options and go away with a clear idea of what’s possible.

About the author

Rod Solar
Founder & Fractional CMO

Rod co-founded LiveseySolar and acts as a Fractional CMO for our customers. He’s on a mission to help transform the lives of 10,000 people through vision correction surgery by 2024. To achieve that, he inspires his customers to make confident decisions that will help 50,000 people take the first step towards vision correction.

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Meet our Founders

We’re passionate about helping leaders of high-quality, growth-minded practice owners double their practice revenue

Rod Solar

Founder & Fractional CMO

Rod co-founded LiveseySolar and acts as a Fractional CMO for our customers. He’s on a mission to help transform the lives of 10,000 people with vision correction surgery by 2024. To achieve that, he inspires his customers to make confident decisions that will help 50,000 people take the first step towards vision correction.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK