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Mar 7 / gary

When you think of a salesperson, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

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When you think of a salesperson, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Have you ever wondered how some businesses manage to survive in spite of themselves?

It may come as a surprise to you but some people who own or manage businesses actually don’t like salespeople!! Shock, Horror I hear you say but it’s true.

Now, I can almost hear you thinking “I don’t like salespeople either” which is not really surprising. What is surprising is just how many senior executives have this negative mindset about sales yet sales are the most vital part of any business.
In my regular talks to TEC / Vistage executive groups, the very first question I ask is “When you think of a salesperson, what’s the first thing that comes to mind; the very first thing that pops into your head?”
This question tests the subconscious mindset that we have about sales; the reflexive feelings we have about salespeople. Would it surprise you to hear that the first thought about sales that comes into the head of around 70% of those executive is a negative one? The funny thing is that it doesn’t surprise me in the least. You see the salespeople that we remember are those that made the biggest impression on us. The reason they made a big impression on us is that they were so different to us and appeared not to have the values that we see ourselves as having.

We saw them as pushy, sleazy, dishonest, arrogant, ill-informed….etc. All of the things that we are not. They stick in our mind because they were so different to us.

The funny thing is that we deal with salespeople almost every day that don’t stand out to us as salespeople. These are the trusted advisors that we rely upon to assist us in making informed decisions; the people we may have been dealing with for years and whose company we enjoy and advice we trust. We enjoy their company because they’re just like you…..but the fact is they are still salespeople, they’re just better at it.

This negative sales mindset greatly impact how we as leaders interact with our sales organisations. It impacts our view of their worth, our understanding of their issues and our focus on their development. The fact is that we know sales are important but that doesn’t mean we have to like it.

In my experience dealing with hundreds of CEO’s each year, the most successful organisations are those that are led by people who not only understand the importance of sales but also understand that their sales culture must be aligned with their own values.

A positive sales mindset comes from having a positive sales culture. Not only is it possible to have enormous sales success without compromising your values, it’s absolutely necessary. The sooner you shift to a positive sales mindset the sooner you get great sales outcomes.

You’re never going to excel at something you think negatively about!