It’s the collection of our attitudes and beliefs that influence our behaviours.
Sales has always been a high-pressure high reward environment making it a notoriously challenging condition for salespeople to thrive in. Sales continues to have the highest employee turnover of all functions. In addition, the pandemic has instilled a huge amount of fear in salespeople. Fear of not meeting your targets, fear of losing your job or facing redundancy, fear of speaking out against unrealistic expectations which continue to erode health and wellbeing over time and this is the same mindset we are taking into every customer conversation. When we act, or sell, from a place of fear, we inevitably fail.
The answer lies in equipping salespeople with the psychological resources they need to operate at a higher level of awareness so, we not only understand ourselves better but, also our customers.
To be a great salesperson we need to stop thinking like a seller and start thinking like a buyer and that starts with understanding ourselves first. Our knowledge and ability are not fixed. We can learn how to build our psychological resources, so we understand ourselves and our customers better. The benefits of building our psychological resources are not only scientifically proven to increase individual sales performance but, stem beyond work and contribute towards positive wellbeing in all aspects of our lives.
Salespeople often contend with a myriad of factors, their own limiting beliefs, customer scepticism of a profession synonymous with mistrust and the role of human nature within the buying process.
Traditional sales training mostly centres around the sales process and pays little attention to the psychology of the people involved. A sales relationship is about the process of buying and selling between human beings first and foremost. So, we must start with understanding the human psyche.
You don’t have to! Sales mindset training IS still sales training. It deals with the psychology of people to help you understand how and why people buy and armed with this knowledge means you instinctively know how to sell to your customers.
Selling ALWAYS comes down to how we behave, and that includes the customer. Of course, having the basic knowledge of selling skills is important but, we have seen time and again highly skilled salespeople who can fall apart in a negotiation or just can’t seem to establish that trusted relationship with a customer. That is always down to what’s going on inside their head or not understanding their customer well enough, it’s very rarely a factor of how much skills training they’ve had.
Actually, you need to both both. Once you understand a customer’s motives or barriers to buying, you can put practices in place to tailor your approach accordingly and this only comes from understanding buyer psychology. You can learn all the ‘sales techniques’ you like, but if you are using them without understanding the psyche of your customer, they simply won’t work.
Anything with a psychological component is typically harder to measure because it requires appropriate controls in place particularly when measuring sales revenue uplift which is also influenced by many other variables, most organisations don’t want to invest in these measures so, we tend to rely on the numerous scientific case studies that have already proven a return.
A lot of our training focuses on helping salespeople build higher levels of Psychological Capital (PsyCap) - PsyCap refers to the four key psychological resources of Hope, Confidence, Resilience and Optimism and research shows that high levels of PsyCap predicts better individual sales performance, desirable attitudes and behaviours along with overall wellbeing (Luthans et al., 2005, 2006 & 2007). Specific studies in the sales environment showed salespeople with higher levels of optimism sold 88 per cent more than their less optimistic peers (Seligman, 1991).
Because the two are interdependent. Sales is a high risk and high reward profession which creates a challenging and pressurised environment. Mental health and wellbeing amongst sales people is notoriously bad.
Research shows salespeople face constant pressure to bring in revenue and meet business targets whilst coping with buyer rejection, anxiety and stress on a regular basis and this can lead to burnout. Salespeople who experience stress on a regular basis report less satisfaction, do not perform well and are more likely to leave. (Ingram et al., 2011).
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Equipping yourself with the resources you need to sell better can make you feel better too (Seligman, 1991).
Yes. Sales is a high pressure, high reward environment, when you factor in the demands and responsibility for delivering vast sums of revenue and profit through your teams and customers, you need to consistently bring your ‘A-Game’ to the table! However, when our psychological resources are depleted, we can make ‘errors in logic’ and hold beliefs that are counter-productive and get in the way of effective problem solving and successful relationships.
With over 50% of salespeople missing their targets (Hoffeld, 2016), how we respond as sales leaders is critical to the outcome. Leadership is about understanding people. A good leader needs to engage, inspire and motivate a team towards a common goal. And to do that, you need to understand people - in some ways your team are just like your customers, they need to know that you have their best interests at heart, and that you will respond with strength and compassion through the inevitable highs and lows.
No! If that’s how you’re feeling, now is the perfect time to act.
Stress that is not managed well will inevitably get passed down onto your team, and the cost of that to your team’s morale, productivity, sales and ultimately health are too big to leave to chance.
I set up SalesPsych because I don’t believe in waiting for people to fall over or fail before intervening. I believe in equipping people with the proactive skills and mindset they need to manage their wellbeing and sustain high performance in a sales environment.
This training is for both but, we often spend a disproportionate amount of time focusing on poor performers and trying to get them back up to satisfactory levels. What would happen if we invested more in our good or high performers and uncapped their true potential?
Yes! The cost of recruiting new salespeople runs into its thousands per person and yet, research shows that most salespeople quit within their first year due to a disconnect between the demands of their sales role and the resources they have to deal with them effectively, which is why I believe in setting your new sales team up for success by equipping them with the psychological resources they need so they are better prepared to handle the day-to-day pressures of working in sales.
Absolutely, I run coaching, training or hybrid sessions for individuals on any of these topic areas.
100%. A lot of my clients are independent or small business owners who may be experts in their own fields but, have a fear of ‘selling’ and what that means, some of this is about basic sales processes but, a lot of it is about their own limiting beliefs or experiences that are holding them back from realising their full potential. The hybrid sales training and coaching sessions tend to work well to provide a balance of both skills and mindset training.