And can success in sales and other walks of life really be attributed to mindset?
I am an avid follower of success in sports and my favourite sport is rugby league.
Successful sports teams often talk about creating a culture of success and a winning mindset. How often do we see a team which on paper has the more skilled players beaten by a team with less skilled players. This is all to do with mindset and truly showing up. You have got to have belief and the desire to want to do something to be successful. You can provide your team with all the skills training in the world, but just like a sports team, if they enter the meeting with a prospect or client with the wrong mindset and their head filled with limiting beliefs, then it is unlikely to be a success.
A few weeks ago, a true giant of the rugby league world, Dom Manfredi, sadly announced his retirement from rugby league and his club, Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club. Over the years, Wigan Rugby League has produced some of the greatest rugby league teams. The team has also had some of the best talent from New Zealand and Australia to play for the team.
I recently had the privilege of listening to him being interviewed before one of Wigan’s recent matches. Dom Manfredi has suffered some terrible injuries during the last few years, which have resulted in several operations on his knee.
So how does Manfredi’s retirement relate to the world of sales transformation, performance and more importantly sales mindset. As a player, Manfredi demonstrated unconditional commitment to training and in matches. He said during his interview he would have done it all again and has no regrets. Even this season he wanted to return from injury, play the remaining matches and then retire at the end of the season.
When he was recovering from injury, he would train, go home, put ice packs on and think about training the next day. This requires a high degree of mental toughness, commitment and resilience. It really is doing it tough. Doing the same routine day in day out to get back on the pitch. Many of us as salespeople have this same winning sales mindset and are prepared mentally to really tough it out, do the same things day-in, day-out to achieve results.
Sales has lots of similarities with sports. Yet how many salespeople demonstrate true and unconditional commitment? What we are talking about here is the continued discipline to do the simple things well, practice, role play, constantly wanting to improve.
Manfredi also had the mindset to apply his undoubted skill as a winger. It’s okay having the skills, but if you lack the “Sales DNA” to implement, then you are never going to be truly successful. In Manfredi’s case, he achieved greatness because he never gave in, even when injured. How many of us truly have the discipline to consistently apply ourselves day after day?
Success in sales happens when the skills we have are matched with the right commitment and mindset.
The mind is very powerful and your mindset can have an enormous impact on the outcome. In sales, a salesperson’s success is 80 per cent attributed to their mindset. There are many examples of limiting beliefs. Let's consider just one, "the need for approval". This is all to do with a salesperson's need to be liked. If this is stronger that their desire to close a sale it can cause problems. People who have a high need for approval don’t like asking the tough questions that could make the customer feel uncomfortable in any way, They can’t afford to be held back by the need for approval or the fear of confrontation.
Many young people desire to be the next sporting success and have the talent. They have the desire and dream about winning medals. Yet they lack the application.
If you are a salesperson, sales manager or sales leader reading this, then ask yourself are you truly prepared to do the real hard yards like Manfredi to achieve real success in sales?
Finally to Manfredi, what a great player, you gave the sport of rugby league some outstanding moments of skill and pleasure. Who can forget those tries in the grand final against Warrington? Only 4 weeks after coming back from another major injury.
So the next time you are thinking of investing in developing your salespeople to improve sales performance, ask yourself the question; are we dealing with the real issue and should we move away from purely focusing on more skills training and look to focus on really dealing with the mindset issue?