Why the Negative Mindset Toward Sales Needs to Be Changed

Why the Negative Mindset Toward Sales Needs to Be Changed

If I had $1 for every time I’ve heard someone say, usually with great emphasis, “I am NOT a salesperson!” I probably wouldn’t be writing this post.

In some cases, based on the role some people were in, I understood their belief. Certain people in any organization truly don’t think they are in sales. In other cases, though, I heard this declaration from people with such titles as business development officer, relationship manager, and trust officer, to name a few. With these individuals, their words had nothing to do with not thinking they were in sales. Instead they were AFRAID they were in sales! To them, sales belonged in George Carlin’s list of “dirty words.”

The reality is, as Daniel Pink relates in his book, “To Sell Is Human,” everyone is in sales today.1 While only 1 in 9 people are technically in a role categorized as a sales job, we all spend a meaningful portion of our days trying to persuade, convince, or otherwise move others to do something we want them to do. By loose definitions, that is selling. For those people whose roles don’t involve regular, direct contact with clients or prospects, grasping Daniel Pink’s concept can help. No matter what someone’s job description is, everyone’s role is critical to the ongoing sales efforts of any business.

However, it’s the negative mindset toward sales that needs to be changed.

Most people with this belief are in roles that have direct, regular contact with clients and prospects. Their fear and avoidance of sales costs businesses significant business every year. Properly handling employees with this belief and creating a positive change is a delicate task. The simplest way is to create specific sales-oriented metrics and begin holding those individuals accountable to them. While this method is simple and quick, it is also completely ineffective. This approach may generate greater sales from a few people, but what improvement you see will be short-lived as the negative mindset is not changed. I have seen this method employed more than once and never with a successful outcome.

Related: Connect With Your Visual Learning Prospects Through Storytelling

In my experience, the best approach with these individuals is to engage a dialogue around their beliefs.

You cannot change a mindset that you don’t understand. By bringing an entire team together and having everyone share their beliefs and concerns about being considered a “salesperson,” you are taking a huge step in the positive direction. Regardless of the issue at hand, one of the reasons most people resist change is that they’re feelings and beliefs are never heard. Hearing what is behind your employees’ mindset around sales is critical. You are engaging them on this issue from where they are.

From there, you can work together as a team and as manager-employee to gradually work through their beliefs and concerns. Through some combination of knowledge training, sales skill enhancement, and lots of role-play and practice you will see a new mindset emerge. Like the old saying about Rome, a positive mindset toward sales is not built in a day. But each day can provide positive reinforcement to the new belief that sales is not a dirty word.

Drew Taylor
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Drew Taylor is the Founder of DTaylor Group, a boutique strategic consulting firm and organic growth authority for wealth advisors and asset managers. He partners with firms t ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: Feb 19-23

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: Feb 19-23

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, Feb 19-23, 2018

Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!

1. Don’t Get Pinged by the Social Security Earnings Limit

I’d like to introduce you to Peggy. Born in 1956, Peggy will be 62 in 2018. She has worked in retail her whole life, the past twenty-five years spent in management. Peggy divorced from her husband 14 years ago, is still single and has no children. — Dana Anspach

2. We're Back to “Bad News is Good News” and “Good News is Great News”

This week the markets shrugged off last week’s fears and went back to the slow and steady melt up, despite economic news that looked likely to once again rock the boat. — Lenore Elle Hawkins

3. Q1 2018 Factor Views

Themes established in 2017 across a wide range of markets and factors continued to resonate through the fourth quarter. Economic growth was strong and supportive of equity markets across the globe, a range of volatility measures reached all-time lows, and business and consumer sentiment remained elevated. — Yazann Romahi and Garrett Norman

4. A Beneficial Basket of Commodities

Advisors and investors that feel they are hearing more and more about commodities and the corresponding exchange traded products in recent months are right. That is a natural result of dollar weakness and yes, the greenback is floundering again in 2018. — Tom Lydon

5. 3 Trends Shaping the Future of Asset Management

As the industry works to cope with new regulation, wades through an outpouring of new products, learns to satisfy investors’ shifting priorities and manages the active-passive debate, the viability of business units will be questioned, and at times radical measures will be taken. Peter Hopkins

6. 5 Ways Advisors Leave Money on the Table, and What to Do About It

My hope is that this article points out some opportunities for you to make more money and serve your clients at a higher level and that you decide to do something about it. — Bill Bachrach

7. The Market Has Gone Wild! Is It Time to Change Your Investment Strategy?

Whether the market is flying high or taunting your emotions with new lows and some bumpy volatility, here are four things every investor should keep in mind ... — Lauren Klein

8. How to Deepen Client Relations and Capture New Business Using Engaging Content

Why financial advisors NEED to understand much more clearly the power of good digital market. With tools like AdvisorStream, it’s easier than ever to get the content you need to drive leads and referrals today! — Kirk Lowe and Matt Halloran

9. Three Ways The Most Successful Gain Big Attention

How do some firms and ideas go from nowhere to everywhere in a few short months? All of a sudden a restaurant becomes popular, a gas station gains a cult following, or a Broadway show becomes too popular to get a ticket for years. — Maribeth Kuzmeski

10. Who Are the Hottest FinTech Firms and Influencers Around the World?

"Worldwide, $27.4 billion poured into fintech startups in 2017, Accenture reports, up 18% from 2016. With so much in play, it’s not surprising that 22 companies are new on this, the third edition of our list."  — Chris Skinner

11. The New Stock Market Normal Is Not What You Think!

Many sensational headlines have been written the past few weeks about market declines, but two things have increased for sure: the viewership and the ad revenues of financial media organizations — Preston McSwain​​​​​​​

Douglas Heikkinen
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IRIS Co-Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues ... Click for full bio