One of the interesting things about being a coach and speaker is that I have the good fortune to work with lots of different people from all sorts of different types of companies, markets and backgrounds. Whilst I do work (on the motivation and public speaking side) with non-sales people probably 95% + of the work I do is with sales teams of some sort or other! As such, I get a real insight into the challenges and issues that many top sales performers face and also into who they are and what they believe.
Now I guess that not many of my readers will not have heard of logical levels; logical levels hails from neuro-linguistic programming (nlp) and has been championed by a chap called Robert Dilts. Logical levels is a model of what's inside of us and how that helps us filter information through ourselves before acting on it. There are various different versions of logical levels though they all have at the deeper levels the word IDENTITY or who you are.
If you think about it, who you think you are forms the basis of every action you take and every feeling you have. And it's not something that we consciously choose. At your next sales meeting why not ask everyone around the table:
"How did you get into sales?"
I've run this exercise with literally thousands of sales people and the answers are normally very interesting. One common theme however is that most sales people have "fallen into" sales. Very few actually choose. Lets take this back a step further and think about childhood because most of us had a goal or dream to be something when we grew up! What was it for you? Footballer? Astronaut? Nurse? Doctor? One thing I'm confident it was probably not a sales person or a telephone salesperson !! Very few people choose to be in sales!
Think about it for a second. If at some level you have not met your childhood dreams and you have just fallen into sales then how are you going to feel? Particularly when you face client rejections or objections? Its easy to adopt limiting beliefs to support your non-sales identity. I recently worked with a team who had such a strong non-sales identity and such an aversion to what they perceived was a sales identity that they would not even consider the option of handling handling as they felt it was too pushy and rude !! !! Fortunately, we did some one on one work and they're getting on fine now.
So what can you do about this for yourself or your team?
Imagine that you're in a time machine and going back to your childhood armed with all of the information that you have now. When you get there ask yourself these questions …………
- Why would you choose a career in sales?
- What could be great about a career in sales?
- What are the advantages of a career in sales?
- What can only a skilled in sales allow you to do?
- How can you reinforce this new identity and beliefs on a day to day basis?
Answers I have previously heard include: – money, travel, promotion, fastest way to the board (other than finance), meeting people, variety, nice clothes, great cars, work your own hours, respected, professional, essential to business, exciting , dynamic …
Spend some time in writing down why you chose sales and what it can do for you. Even better spend some time writing out your goals (1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years) and then consider how sales can help you get there. Chances are sales can not only help you but it will be the fastest way there!
Why not keep a list of all of the beliefs that you have adopted to support your old self identity and spend some time considering more positive options?
But most of all have fun! When you start to respect who you are and the importance of what you do at the deepest level you will become more congruent and focused and this in turn will lead to better sales results.