I remember years ago the experience that reinforced this lesson: How you think is what you get and don’t believe everything you hear and see.
One of the businesses I used to own employed about 30 salespeople. I was in the process of recruiting two more salespeople to add to our team. During the initial training program, I had each new recruit spend the day going out on appointments with a seasoned salesperson. When the time came for my new salespeople to spread their wings and go out on their own, I noticed some interesting results.
After a few weeks of being in the field, one salesperson quickly demonstrated his selling competency, reinforcing that I made the right hiring decision. However, the other salesperson’s performance was questionable.
How can that be, I wondered? They both received the exact same training and support. They both passed the initial exam demonstrating their knowledge and selling ability. After many skill practice scenarios and role-plays, they both seemed capable of selling effectively.
In my quest to find the answer, I went back to the two seasoned salespeople that took them out in the field for the day to see if I missed anything. I sat them each veteran down one at a time and asked each one them, “When you took the new salesperson out in the field, what did you tell them?”
One salesperson responded, “I simply shared with him my personal experience here. I told him not to expect any sales activity until your third month. I also said that you’re not expected to perform immediately and because of the vast amount of product knowledge you need to assimilate, what needs to be learned can be very overwhelming.”
The other salesperson shared, “I told him that you have an opportunity to deliver incredible value to each prospect. You’ll probably wind up selling most of the prospects you speak with. Since the product practically sells itself, my customers feel that it’s really a ‘no brainer’ to make this purchasing decision. Sometimes the prospect may have one or two concerns, but for the most part, you’ll always be able to design a solution that addresses and diffuses their concerns. Therefore, expect to close nine out of every ten presentations you deliver.”
The lesson? Even though people say, “Seeing is believing,” the truth is, “Believing is seeing.”
What we believe in our hearts and our attitude towards our career, other people and more specifically cold calling affects our behavior, which then creates our experiences and results.
Here were two new salespeople with a desire to succeed who shared the same level of product knowledge and completed the same training program. Yet, each of them performed very differently based on their belief around what to expect regarding their career as well as their level of productivity.
Once again, “How you think is what you get.”
Photo credit: Chicago Art Department