When it comes to selling like a top performer, it’s all about sales strategy. But what’s going on between our ears—our sales mindset—affects everything, including whatever strategy we use to sell.
And so, at the end of the day, mindset is actually what drives success in sales.
In fact, sales mindset is one of the biggest differentiators between top sales performers and everyone else.
What’s going on in your mind when you’re in front of a prospect? What are you thinking about when you’re in between prospects? The answers to these questions determine so much about your ability to sell like a top performer.
In this video, I’m going to walk you through the sales mindset that comprises the way top performers think. Check it out.
1. I am a peer.
Top performers see themselves as peers—as equals—to their prospects. Average and bottom performers see themselves as supplicants. They’re deferential, grateful just to have the opportunity to be in front of the prospect. As a result, the prospect is immediately put in the position to feel a lower level of respect for that salesperson. The right sales mindset requires that you think of yourself as a peer to your prospects, whether you’re selling to Fortune 500 CEOs or to the most successful people on the planet. You must see yourself as their peer. At the end of the day, you’re both just two human beings who put their pants on one leg at a time. As soon as you start to think of yourself as somehow below or inferior to your prospect, the relationship becomes imbalanced. You are a peer.
2. I don’t need this.
This is one of the most valuable sales mindsets of top performers: understanding that you don’t need every individual sale. What you’ll notice about average and low-performing salespeople is that they treat every sales situation as if they’re in dire need of closing it. The prospect can immediately sense that. On the other hand, top performers have the mindset of, I don’t need the sale. Even if they’re actually feeling a strong need to close the sale…or they really want to close the sale…they still go into the sale with the mindset that they don’t need it. If you have the mindset that you need the sale, it puts you in a place of desperation and weakness. In order to be top performers in sales, we must come from a mental position of strength. The key to doing this is to not need the sale.
3. I bring value.
Top performers recognize that they bring real value to the personal and professional lives of those that they sell to. If instead we feel like we’re tricking people into buying from us, well, we’re going to be selling in a way that feels dirty. That’s the opposite of the sales mindset of a top performer. We must recognize that we bring real value to the lives of the people that we sell to. We must know that we’re improving their lives. Understand that, as a salesperson, you really do bring value—even when you’re making a cold call to someone. When prospects choose not to do business with you, well, that’s their choice to not take you up on your value. Know that there is inherently value in the conversations you’re bringing to your prospects.
4. They need me.
Every salesperson is selling to prospects who have a particular set of challenges. Through your specific offering, you can help your prospects solve those particular challenges, whatever they may be. But the key is that your prospects must be a good fit for what you’re selling. Those are the prospects that really need you. Top performers know how to target their ideal prospects, and they also know that those prospects need them in order to be more effective professionally or personally. This sales mindset puts the salesperson in a position of tremendous strength because it reinforces the knowledge that they’re bringing real value to people’s lives. You’re not just some charlatan trying to sell snake oil. You and your offering have inherent value for the right prospects. If they choose not to do business with you, which is always their prerogative, that’s okay—but it is their loss. This is the sales mindset you must adopt in order to start thinking like a top performer.
5. I help my buyers.
Continuing along the same vein, top-performing salespeople always have the mindset that those who buy from them are better off for it. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to always feel like there’s a social-mission component to everything you do. Only that you must recognize that you’re helping to improve the lives of the people you do business with. At the Sales Insights Lab, that’s our first tenet. We consider ourselves a mission-based organization where we believe we’re helping the people who work with us. Our mission is simply to help more salespeople sell more effectively. You’re helping the people that buy from you, too. It’s not about tricking anyone into buying or saying the perfect line to get them to buy. It’s about helping to improve the lives of the people that do business with you. This is a rockstar sales mindset.
6. I deserve success.
This sales mindset is more personal, and many otherwise-strong salespeople struggle with adopting this credo. But you must believe that you deserve success in order to reach your full potential in sales. I meet many salespeople and business owners who are tactically strong at selling, and willing to try every strategy—but at the end of the day, they start to self-sabotage because they don’t truly believe they deserve the success in sales that they’re going after. You deserve success. If you don’t believe that, then you’re in trouble. At first, you can fake it till you make it…but ultimately, you must get to a place where you truly believe you deserve success in sales if you want to be a top performer.
7. Rejection is part of the process.
Rejection is a natural part of selling. Top performers understand this. They have the sales mindset that rejection is just part of the process. It’s not personal. In fact, it’s part of life. If you’re single and you’re out dating, chances are you’re going to face some rejection. You’re not going to end up marrying the first person that you meet. (And if you do, it may or may not end up working out so well…) The same is true for sales. Rejection is simply part of the process.
Some of the most successful salespeople in the world actually get rejected a lot more than the average salesperson. Why? Because most salespeople want to stay within their comfort zone to avoid the pain that comes with rejection. But successful salespeople just go for it. They step out of their comfort zone and accept that potential rejection is the cost of success. And you know what? Some prospects might say mean things. Just let it roll off your back. Who cares? Rejection is part of the process.
8. No is okay.
This is a critical sales mindset for every salesperson. We must recognize that no is an okay outcome. When you adopt this mindset, it has a couple of powerful effects. First, it takes pressure off of you as you’ll no longer feel the need to close every single deal, regardless of whether the prospect isn’t a fit. (The reality is that at least half of the prospects that you come across are not going to buy from you for one reason or another.) Second, this sales mindset actually takes a lot of pressure off the prospect, too. If the prospect feels like you’re trying to do everything possible to get them to say yes, they’re going to sense a ton of pressure from you. But when no becomes a fine outcome, you stop putting undue pressure on the selling situation, and your prospect no longer feels the onus is on them to say yes—even if it’s not a fit. When prospects feel pressure to say yes, they often end up giving vague statements such as, “Let me get back to you…” or “I’m going to think it over…” or “Maybe…” but in their head, they just want to move on and get out of the conversation with you. It’s too much pressure. So begin to adopt the sales mindset that no is okay, and take the pressure off you and your prospects at the same time. You’ll be so glad you did.
9. I know my why.
Top-performing salespeople know exactly why they do what they do. This is a key sales mindset because it’s ultimately what drives your day-to-day activity, your sales motivation, and your reason for being in sales in the first place.
Consider these questions: “If you were to become tremendously successful in sales, what would that mean to you? What would that mean for your life?” Get crystal clear on your answers to these questions. Maybe you’re trying to pay for college tuition for your kids. Maybe you want to buy a new house, or provide security for your family. Understanding your why is really important—because sales is hard. Picking up the phone to talk to a stranger is not an easy thing. More people would do it if it were easy. So get crystal clear on your why. The more that you can connect you day-to-day sales activities with your personal life and real outcomes for you and your family, the more effective you’ll be in sales overall.
So there you have it. Now you know how to think like a top performer by adopting the right sales mindset for success. Which of these sales mindset tips are you going to adopt first? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below to join the conversation.
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.