The following three factors are critical to success in business and sales and if you have these in place, your success is virtually guaranteed.
Mindset is the most important element because with it, the other two will naturally follow. The most important aspect of mindset is having an expectant, positive attitude. Attitude will determine how far you get in life, how happy you will be, and even how long you’ll live. No one with a negative, defeatist attitude ever achieved anything great. Also, people want to be around and do business with positive, upbeat people and they will run from negative ones.
With the right attitude you’ll get up early, stay up late, and naturally do the right things at the right time, whether you feel like it or not. With the right attitude you’ll take initiative and run with the ball once you catch it without needing someone to tell you to. With the right attitude you’ll go into that cave you’re afraid to go into, because you know that’s where the treasure lies. With the right attitude you’ll do the hard work and stay away from the busy work and escape activities that unsuccessful people do to get to the weekend.
In addition to attitude, other key aspects of mindset are: motivation, conviction, confidence, commitment, and persistence. All of these really come do to knowing why you’re out there helping people. They require that you have a passion and absolute certainty about what you’re doing. You need to be completely sold on you, your company, and your product and know that people are far better off with you and could be in serious trouble without you.
Another important element of mindset is focus. If you’re going to be successful in business or sales, your focus must be on over serving people and always doing what’s best for them. You go above and beyond, do much more than is expected, and you do everything possible to ensure an outstanding, second-to-none customer experience. It’s not about you or your company, it’s about the customer. The customer always comes first, and while they may not always be right, you’d better go into that conversation determined to do everything in your power to make them right.
Skillset is your ability to ply your trade. As a business owner, entrepreneur, or salesperson, it’s your ability to get out into the world, interact with people, close deals, and then deliver the goods.
If you’ve been in your business for any amount of time, you know what situations you’re going to run into during the day and what people are going to say to you. You have to have well thought out, effective, scripted responses for anything and everything that will come your way during the day. Your responses should be well rehearsed and flow naturally and automatically. In addition to effective responses, you need to know how to open a conversation, build trust and rapport, fact find, present, listen, close, and do all the other things necessary to connect, communicate, and get the business. Most business and salespeople I run into continue to struggle with the same objections and situations over and over again. They respond the same ineffectual way time and time again, and then complain and get frustrated while blaming the economy, customers, and anything else other than the real cause, themselves. What’s the definition of insanity? Right. You need to do the hard work necessary to find effective ways to engage people, present your product, and handle any situation you run into. Also, as there will always be new and better ways of handling various situations, this is a continuous learning process.
Finally, skillset requires that you take 100% responsibility for your professional development. Even if you do work for a company, it is still your responsibility to sign up for classes, go to seminars, and read and listen to educational resources in order to advance your professional career.
The right mindset coupled with the proper skillset will all be for naught if you’re not taking tons of action and talking to tons of people about how you can help them. If you’re struggling, you have one of three issues: not enough people know you, not enough people are thinking of you when they’re ready to buy your product, or not enough people believe you can solve their problem. Your objective is to make sure as many people as possible know who you are, have confidence in you, and are thinking of you at the right time. This will take a massive amount of work. It has been my experience that people drastically underestimate the amount of work that’s necessary for success. As a general rule, it will take two to five times as much time, effort, and energy as you think it will. There are no magic bullets or shortcuts here, you need to put in lots of hours on the right activities.
Speaking of the right activities, the top people are always focused on what’s most important. In sales and business, the most important things you do are: prospect, present, close business, and build current customer relationships. Without those, nothing else matters. You’ve heard me say it before: sales and business are numbers games. In order to get the number of quality customer relationships you need, you have to be talking to tons of people. Ultimately your success will come down to the size and loyalty of your network.