Even the most basic sales training make an average seller out of a complete novice. But what truly sets the best sales people apart from the pack? The answer is in their mindset--how they fundamentally identify with their product and sales process.
To help my startup build a culture of highly effective sellers, we hired sales industry veteran Rod Browning to lead our sales organization. Rod's previous experience includes helping build the very first outbound sales team at GoDaddy in addition to executive level positions at companies like Homerun.com and Deem.
One of Rod's superpowers is his ability to identify the character traits that make someone a highly effective seller. At the very top of Rod's list is the ability for a seller to curate the right mindset and motivation for selling a product or service.
Below are five common mindsets that Rod commonly observes in the most successful and effective sellers on his teams.
1. They Clearly Understand Their "Why"
To be an extraordinary seller a person needs to discover their "Why." In his TED talk How Great Leaders Inspire Action, Simon Sinek explains that where most leaders understand "what" their organizations do and "how" they do it, really great leaders are the ones that clearly understand the why behind their product or service. The sales motion is no different. Great sellers are able to understand why they sell a product and how it will genuinely help their customer, resulting in a natural sales process and experience.
2. They Are Helping, Not Selling
The most effective sellers lead with the mindset of wanting to help versus wanting to sell. They ask themselves how their product can genuinely help their customers by internalizing the benefits and value. This helps sellers to view their world through a lens of understanding and empathy instead of a transactional lens.
3. They Have Clear Intent
Customers can feel when they are being sold and viewed as little more than a conduit to commission. Once a customer catches on that a seller is only in it for the sale and don't have the customer's best interests at heart, trust goes out the door. The only true difference between manipulating someone and persuading someone is intent. The best sellers are crystal clear in their intent to help and serve the customer from the very beginning.
4. They Focus on What They Can Control
A seller can only really control two elements of the job--their attitude and effort. It is inevitable that rejection and lost sales are going to happen. What's important is how a great seller responds when things get tough. The best salespeople don't let the fear of failure or rejection harm their effort levels. They fail fast, fail often, and use rejection as fuel towards closing their next sales opportunity.
5. They Listen More Than They Talk
You can't help someone without understanding his or her intrinsic needs first. In many cases, customers aren't always willing or prepared to explain their needs on their own. Smart salespeople take a listeners mindset at the very start of a sales conversation. They ask great questions and then they sit back and listen, letting the customer explain how that salesperson can serve them best.
Starting with the right mindset is an exceptionally important first step in becoming an effective salesperson. Find your own fundamental connections with your customers and product and set yourself apart from the pack.