One of the most frustrating things for sales managers is when you have a sales rep that is doing a good job but has the potential to be a superstar. For whatever reason, they can’t seem to make the jump.
The question is what can you do as a sales manager to help a salesperson break through their limitations so they become better, stronger, faster?
What’s going on here is not a matter of skill set or lack of desire. What’s going on here is a limiting mindset. How can we get our salespeople to build a stronger mindset, so they perform at a much higher level and close more sales?
A client story
Let me tell you about Jim. Jim is the number one salesperson at his company. Jim’s frustration was that he knew he could do better. Much better. No matter how hard Jim tried he could not break through whatever invisible barrier that was stopping him from being exceptional.
Jim had heard me speak at a keynote presentation on the sales mindset. He came in to see me and Jim said, “Umar, I’m not sure what’s getting in the way but I can’t seem to get to the next plateau of performance. I can do better for a little while, but I go back to my old performance level.”
Uncovering hidden limitations
I asked Jim, “in your mind’s eye, I want you to go back to a particular moment in time, where you were fretting about not doing better,” Jim said, “About a week ago, I pulled into the driveway at home, at the end of my workday. Before I got pout of the car and went into the house, I was beating myself up, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I do better?”
I asked Jim, “In your mind’s eye, go back to that moment, be in the car, look at the instrument panel in front of you, see the garage door. And when you do that, I want you to also hear whatever was going on in the background, your inner thoughts about not doing better. When you do those two things. See what you saw back then at that moment, and hear what you heard back then, you get to re-experience what you were feeling back then.”
Jim instantly started feeling that uncomfortable feeling and said, ” That’s weird. I’m feeling it now. There’s this uncomfortable feeling right here.” As he pointed to his chest.
I showed Jim a tool from neuroscience that linked this feeling to his unconscious mind. Had I asked Jim, ” Have you felt this feeling before he would have said maybe?” This neuroscience tool allowed him to instantly connect the feeling to the moment he first felt it.
Jim said, “Oh my god, I forgotten this. I was eight or nine years old and I had gone to a restaurant with my family. And before the waitress came to take our order, my dad turned to us kids and pointed at me and said, “Remember, don’t order steak, we can afford it”. This pivotal moment created a limiting belief for Jim around self-worth and money.
Despite this limiting belief, Jim became the number one salesperson in his company, but this very belief was holding him hostage, stopping him from becoming exceptional.
Our beliefs determine how we see the world and how we show up in the world.
We get somewhere between 50,000 to 100,000 beliefs that define who we are as human beings. Most of these beliefs get established by the time we are 7 years of age. We get these beliefs through osmosis from our parents, our uncle’s, our aunts, our teachers, basically anybody in authority. If they say something believable it goes in our unconscious, and it guides our behavior and the way we show up in the world from then on.
From the time we’re seven to the time we leave this plane, we get another 5% of beliefs. So the basic structure of who you are happens at a very early age.
This is how beliefs are created
Human beings are meaning-making machines if something happens with a lot of emotion attached to it, and it could be a positive emotion, something glorious and wonderful. Or it could be a negative emotion, something traumatic. When the event happens, and there are lots of emotions around it, our brain, our mind needs to make meaning out of that event. Our minds do this because our survival may depend on it.
The meaning we make from an emotional event installs a belief in our unconscious mind and it guides how we show up from then on.
For example, James a 6-year-old lost money that he was saving to buy something special. When he told his Dad his Dad freaked out and got very upset and said, “James, you can’t handle money.”
At that moment, emotions were running very high. From Jame’s point of view the person who loved him the most in the world, the person that protects him from other adults is angry and may stop loving and caring for him. If Dad stops loving James he could die! Super traumatic right?
Our beliefs control us
Negative beliefs about money can cause major problems in our finances. Negative beliefs about selling can sabotage our sales efforts. A salesperson can reach a certain level of performance. Anything beyond that will be out of bounds. Our beliefs hold us hostage. What we need to realize is that we just can’t will away our limiting beliefs. We just can’t get a new set of sales skills and hope that they’ll somehow overcome our limiting beliefs.
Mindset tools are essential
What we need are new tools like NeuroBoosterz, tools like Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and mindset tools like applied neuroscience. These tools deliver change that is quick, predictable, and permanent. When you change your beliefs, it allows you to break through mindset barriers. This is how you become better, stronger, faster.
Uncover your beliefs around selling
Beliefs about money and salespeople have a huge impact on sales performance. The way you uncover beliefs is to uncover our unconscious thoughts about the issue we are focusing on.
Most of our beliefs are created by the time we’re seven years of age. Our thoughts back then were simple and the structure of our beliefs reflect it.
Exercise one: Finish the following sentence at least 10 times. Salespeople are ____________! Ask the question of yourself and write down whatever pops up in your head. Keep repeating the question until you run out of answers.
Exercise two: Finish the following sentence at least 10 times. Money is ____________ ! Ask the question of yourself and write down whatever pops up in your head. Keep repeating the question until you run out of answers.
These exercises will uncover your thoughts and your beliefs about selling and money. It is critically important to figure out where you might be holding yourself back from becoming a more successful salesperson. Please share the beliefs you uncover in the comments section of this post.