A true reality mindset comes when your inner understanding matches the outer circumstances. Anything other than that is just deceptive thinking.
Markets change all the time, which means circumstances are constantly rising and falling; one minute they’re in your favor, the next they’re not. When circumstances are easy, that’s when you’ll get things called market sales. These don’t require much convincing or extra effort. When you speak with prospects, they’re already on the brink of buying, they’re just deciding on their final options. Conversion rates tend to climb in these seasons.
In my latest book, The Mindset of a Sales Warrior, I dedicated an entire chapter to the importance of seeing things as they are, not better or worse than they are.
And then you have down markets, when you speak with fewer prospects who are ready to buy. Again, the natural arc is that sales decline as the potential pool of buyers thin out. Or so most salespeople think.
The problem isn’t the circumstance, it’s the mindset surrounding the circumstance. When the market is great, salespeople fall victim to deceptive thinking. They don’t recognize the market’s role in their sales, so they coast, thinking they’ve got it all figured out. Then when the winter economy hits, their sales plummet. This is the other side of the deceptive thinking boomerang: “It’s not my fault my sales are down. It’s the economy,” they complain.
“Sales warriors don’t just maintain their pace when the winter economy hits; they increase it.”
The true sales warrior mindset is completely different. They see everything as happening for them, not to them. Instead think, “My goal, regardless of the circumstances, is to maximize every opportunity.” This means understanding which direction the wind is blowing and adjusting your sail accordingly. If you have the wind at your back, it’s about maximizing the great weather. If you have the wind in your face, then it’s about maximizing your strategies so you don’t lose speed.
If your mindset is currently, “Of course my sales will drop when the market gets worse,” then you’re not thinking like a sales warrior. Because sales warriors don’t just maintain their pace when the winter economy hits; they increase it.
So let’s say last month you spoke with 20 prospects, and this month you’ll only speak with 10. You have two options in that moment. The first door is self-defeating. You could complain about the circumstances and assume your sales will decrease because your potential buyer base has been cut in half. This is the door I’ve seen all too many salespeople take, and their burnout rate is astronomically higher than their peers.
Or you could choose to simply see things as they are. Now you can spend more time with the prospects you speak with and give them more time to see the value you can offer them. The point is that you’re constantly re-coaching yourself to not inflate the negativity (or the positivity) of the moment you’re in. The minute you do that, you’ve given up your control to the circumstance. And that’s devastating for your sales.
Your mind is naturally trying to protect you at all times, but it actually works against you when it comes to having realistic thinking around extreme circumstances. When things are bad, your brain starts looking for threats; this is why you start looking outside yourself for reasons. When things are good, your brain is attempting to reward you. The most important thing for you is to moderate both of those reactions.
That’s why reality thinking is so important. By programming yourself to see the world as it is, and not how it might appear, you’re taking another step on your journey to becoming the sales warrior.