I’m often asked what I think the most significant aspect is to becoming a master salesperson. Not an easy question to answer, because, of course, there are so many aspects that make a salesperson successful, let alone a master; we could create a list a few pages long, covering every point of all three sides of the selling Triangle—Mental Attitude, Work Habits, Salesmanship. Still, it’s a reasonable question and it deserves an answer.
In my opinion the most important point is an Equality Mindset. What do I mean by that? An Equality Mindset means the salesperson has no fear of the prospect/customer. He sees himself as the prospect’s equal and approaches him in that frame of mind. He’s confident. He knows that he must have the prospect’s respect in order to do business with him, and the only way to obtain the prospect’s respect is to be his equal, not his fearful lackey.
The unfortunate truth is, most salespeople are, to some degree, afraid of their prospects/customers; and because of that, they approach them (again, this is in various degrees) from a subservient position, which, trust me, does not generate respect. On the contrary, it causes a lack of respect, in many cases a complete turnoff.
Think about it: Do you want to do business with someone who seems to be afraid of you? Who fawns all over you, jumps at the chance to agree with you? Who wants your business so badly that he’ll say anything, do anything, to get it? I didn’t think so.
When you have an Equality Mindset you approach the sales process from a position of strength. When you don’t, when you’re subservient to your prospects/customers, you approach the sales process from a position of weakness. You’re behind the eight ball from start to finish.
Here’s a list of things to keep in mind:
● The worst thing that can happen is that you won’t make a sale. So what? You knew going in that you weren’t going to sell them all, right? So why be fearful? There’s nothing to be fearful of.
● An Equality Mindset leads to what I call the Voice of Authority. A Voice of Authority will cause your prospect/customer to have faith in you, give weight to what you’re telling them, r‐e‐s‐p‐e‐c‐t you.
● Eye Contact: You must always look the prospect/customer directly in the eye to gain their respect. A salesperson who avoids eye contact is going to be seen as suspicious or untrustworthy.
● You’re there to serve the prospect/customer, better their life. That’s a pretty terrific thing, isn’t it? It’s something you can be proud of, isn’t it? It’s something your prospect/customer should appreciate. They will, too, if you’re dealing with them from a position of equality.
In his foreword for my book, Selling Fearlessly, Dr. Tony Alessandra confronted this issue as well as I’ve ever seen. I’m adding it because it’s apropos, not because it’s a great plug for my book (although...if it influences you to buy the book, I think you’ll be glad you did):
These are questions few people have asked before:
● Are salespeople afraid of some or all of their prospects?
● Do they see themselves as subservient to their prospects?
● Do they suffer from a severe fear of failure?
● Is fear the number one reason for their lack of success?
Are these questions especially pertinent to the 80% of salespeople who only do 20% of the business?
If you were to do a survey asking 500 salespeople what their greatest fears are, chances are you would get a lot of surprised looks and statements along the lines of “I’m not afraid of anything.” Chances are, too, the salespeople may not be lying to you; they may really believe to be true what they said. The reason for that is “fear” is not an emotion most of us are consciously in touch with or, even if we are, we hate to admit it. It’s just too painful and embarrassing and, too often, an invitation to ridicule from one’s peers. It is a huge conspiracy really—a king‐sized barrier to successful selling—to even discuss it, let alone challenge it, is a taboo most refuse to confront.
Originally posted on sellingfearlessly.com
About the Author
Robert Terson of Sellingfearlessly.com and author of “Selling Fearlessly: A Master Salesman’s Secrets For the One-Call-Close Salesperson.” He retired in January, 2010 from a 40-year career of selling advertising to small business people, 38 years of which he owned my own company, to write, speak, and help others succeed.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.