January 11, 2012

Setting a Proper Sales Mindset: Why You Should Want to Call Your Prospect

Mindset matters. Golfers visualize the perfect shot before addressing the ball. As my sons leave the on-deck circle headed toward home plate for an at-bat, I always say the same thing, “line drive buddy, line drive.”

What we believe makes a difference in how we behave. 

Recently I’ve found myself tackling “prospecting mindset” with several client sales teams. Too many salespeople tie themselves in mental knots when it comes to pursuing new business. These same reps are fine when engaging an existing account, but when it comes to proactively pursuing prospects, they freeze – mentally and emotionally. They’re nervous, can’t think clearly, are unsure of themselves, stumble on their words, start talking with a bizarre sales voice and generally flail all over the place. As you can imagine, this mental lock-up does incredible damage to their new business development efforts.

I like to go back to the basics and have reps who struggle with prospecting erase the tapes in their minds and start over. Sales is simple, right? Our customers have needs. We, salespeople, have potential solutions to those needs. Said differently, prospects have pain, business problems to solve or results they are looking to achieve. The salesperson represents a business that removes those pains, solves those problems or helps companies achieve their desired results. How cool is that? Prospects have an itch and we might be a fit to scratch it. Hmmm.

Once we begin seeing ourselves as professional problem-solvers, our mindset for approaching prospects should radically change. We should WANT to call prospects. We should enter into prospecting with the belief that the prospect might NEED our help; they may actually want to talk with us.

How differently would you approach prospecting if you truly believed that the potential new customer would be better off if they did business with you?

Do you see yourself as a value-creator and problem-solver? If you don’t perceive yourself in that light, it will be very hard to come across to your prospect as such.

My challenge is to really go deep on this. What are you telling yourself about your role as a salesperson? If you believe you can bring ideas, help, value and potentially a solution to the prospect, how should that effect your approach? The words you choose? The tone of your voice? And maybe most important, your own desire to make the call?!?!?!

Your sales mindset matters. A lot.