Learn to have a warrior mindset, and the rest is easy!
If you didn't watch or listen to this week's Maximize Business Value podcast, you need to stop what you're doing and go back and listen to it or watch it right now. I interviewed Jason Forrest about his new book The Mindset of a Sales Warrior. I have to tell you that I have read nearly every book about the selling and sales process, and there are a bunch of them.
After I met Jason, I immediately downloaded and read The Mindset of a Sales Warrior. Having spent a majority of my career in sales or managing salespeople (the CEO should always be involved in sales), I was interested in his take on really creating a mindset for selling.
When I read a new book on sales, many times I'm reading it with a skeptic's eye, ‘I agree with this,’ or ‘I don't agree with that.’ But, I must say that I agree with virtually every point that Jason makes in this great book. (By the way, I like to read books on paper, however if you don't listen to this book on Audible, then you will miss a lot of the pure gold that Jason and his wife, Mary, added after each chapter telling stories of how the points made in the book apply to real selling situations. It's definitely worth listening to on Audible.)
In this blog, I'd like to highlight, and give you my spin on, 3 or 4 of the 42 characteristics of a sales warrior that Jason talks about in the book. To be clear, these are my thoughts, and if you want to know how Jason handles these points, get the book.
Chapter 1: Selling is Noble
As the CEO of several businesses, I always took the last interview when we were hiring salespeople. By the time they reached my desk, I knew that they had the skills to be a salesperson, but I wanted to assess whether or not they would be a cultural fit for my company. After hiring them, I would typically put them in a class with other new salespeople to start the training process. One of the first questions I would ask in that training class is, “How did your family and friends react when you told them that you just accepted a job in sales?”
Over the years and many sales training classes, many of them responded with horror stories from their families and friends about being in sales. Based on that common response, it seems that salespeople might have a slight reputation bias to overcome. (Jason calls that a leash.) When you identify as a salesperson, many people think of that as negative.
I, on the other hand, think that sales is a noble profession like any other profession. I mean we are not running into burning buildings here but most companies cannot survive without a sales staff. And selling is what makes the economy and business roar. It's been said that if all salespeople in the United States stopped selling for just one week, the effects would be felt for more than five years on the economy.
People who have never been in sales (and, unfortunately many salespeople) think that sales is about having ‘the gift of gab.’ That couldn’t be farther from the truth. If you know great salespeople then you know that it's not about talking at all. It's really about listening.
Sales is both art and science. It’s about asking great questions and listening intently at the answers. It's also about learning your products and services and how they may help your prospects solve their problems by applying a professional sales process. Sales can really be paint by numbers, if you have the right process and relentlessly follow it. Make no mistake, sales professionals have to learn, and train, and practice, and hone their skills just like any other professional. And really great salespeople bring value to their company and their clients.
Too many companies have started disguising their salespeople as consultants or relationship managers. Great companies don't shy away from using the term sales because they hire professionals who bring great value to their clients. Sales IS a noble profession. It's a shame too many people think of sales as not noble. It is that thinking that has given sales a bad reputation.
So, if you're in sales, you do have to get your mind right. How do you feel about being in sales? Do you believe that it's a noble profession? If you’re a business owner, do you believe that your salespeople are professionals? Do you provide them with the training and the motivation they need to be great with your customers? If not, perhaps you should get a copy of the book and rethink how you view your professional sales team.
Chapter 22 - No Talent Without Effort
Just like a professional athlete trains to hone his skills, salespeople must relentlessly do the same. Let's face facts, unless you are selling some disruptive service that everybody has to have, selling is hard. Anything that is hard, gets easier with practice. You must learn skills and practice them in order to be a great selling professional.
If you're a business owner, what are you doing in terms of continuing education for your sales team? Not only do you need to provide them with education about your products and services, you also need to provide them with professional sales training.
If you're a sales professional, don't wait for your company to provide you with the training that you need. Be a voracious reader. Learn, absorb and apply everything you can find about selling. It really does pay to invest in yourself in sales, to hone your skill. Because, if you become a truly great salesperson, you can work anywhere, and that starts with investing in yourself.
Chapter 36 - Visualize It to Become It
When I was a new sales manager back in the 80s, I used to ride with my sales reps to make customer calls all over the southeast. Before we got to a client site, I would always ask the golden question. “What are we going to accomplish during this sales call?” At first, the sales reps were bewildered by this question. They would say, “We're just here to introduce you to our client or prospect and get to know them better.” I would say, “NO! We need to walk in here expecting to get an order.”
There's a funny thing about the way our brains work. We like to be right. We would rather be right than successful. If we think that we're not going to close a sale and we don’t, then we reward ourselves because we're right. That's just silly! Over time, I trained our sales reps to be prepared to close every time they walked in the door. And, they got really, really good at it!
So what do you do before you get on a call or walk into a client site? Do you plan the outcome? Are you genuinely there to close a sale? If you're not, perhaps you should do some pregame planning before every call.
Chapter 23 - Own Your Success
One of the keys to successful selling is realizing that you must own your own success. It's about having the right mindset to be in sales. Of course that is what the book is all about. The sooner you realize that no one is going to make it happen for you, the sooner you can grab the bull by the horns and take control of your own selling. Your success is not dependent on your company, because I have seen many wildly successful salespeople working for inferior companies selling marginal products. Your success depends on YOU! No one is going to do it for you. The sooner you own that, the better your selling career will be.
If you haven't figured it out already I'm a huge fan of Jason Forrest and his book The Mindset of a Sales Warrior. Pick up a copy on Amazon or better yet, download the audible version because then you can read and absorb without taking any extra time. That’s what Tony Robbins calls NET time. You can get a great education and become a lifelong learner with No Extra Time by listening to books when you're driving or when you're exercising or when you're lounging by the pool.
So, stop right now, and go listen to our podcast with Jason Forrest, and think about your mindset toward selling or toward the selling professionals that work for you. The secret to selling is mindset!
Message me on LinkedIn or on our Facebook Page or email me or call my cell and tell me HOW you are going to upgrade your sales mindset to that of a warrior. I don’t think it is any surprise that sales and mindset have a huge impact on business value. What are you going to do today - to Maximize Business Value?
And remember, we’re here to help. If we can help you in any way don’t hesitate to reach out!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tom Bronson is the founder and President of Mastery Partners, a company that helps business owners maximize business value, design exit strategy, and transition their business on their terms. Mastery utilizes proven techniques and strategies that dramatically improve business value that was developed during Tom’s career 100 business transactions as either a business buyer or seller. As a business owner himself, he has been in your situation a hundred times, and he knows what it takes to craft the right strategy. Bronson is passionate about helping business owners and has the experience to do it. Want to chat more or think Tom can help you? Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his book, Maximize Business Value, Begin with The Exit in Mind (2020).
Mastery Partners, where our mission is to equip business owners to Maximize Business Value so they can transition their business on their terms. Our mission was born from the lessons we’ve learned from over 100 business transactions, which fuels our desire to share our experiences and wisdom so you can succeed.