Most sales people think they are open to new experiences and change. They say they are willing to learn new things to be successful. But my experiences do not corroborate with that. I have seen a lot of people enter, and unfortunately exit, sales and these two traits, being open and willing, are so vital for long term success. Whether it is inside sales or face to face you want to make sure to not let your ego get in the way of progress.
As you will hear, I share that there are times when an ego is an important tool. But there are generally more times where it will stop you from achieving the goals you have.
Links from this episode:
Movie Clip: My Blue Heaven
Episode 7 – Transcript
Welcome to Episode 7 of The Sales Experience Podcast. My name is Jason Cutter and I am glad you are tuning in with the desire in your heart and mind to be a more effective salesperson or sales leader through shifting the sales experience your prospects have from one of selling to one of buying with your help.
Hopefully you have listened to the first 6 episodes or jumped around and listened to ones that fit your current circumstances. No matter what, I am happy you are here.
This is day two of mindset week. Yesterday was about how our minds trick us into playing life safe and holding back on what we could and should be doing for ourselves and others. If you didn’t listen to it – check it out. Today’s conversation is about having a mindset of openness and willingness. What do those teams mean? Might seem obvious, but let’s define in terms of a long term, professional career in sales.
Openness is defined acceptance of or receptiveness to change or new ideas. In sales that means being accepting of new information, knowledge, steps, scripts, or anything else that facilitates your continue success and growth within your sales career.
The best salespeople I have ever seen do not just rely on their charismatic, slick talking, story-telling abilities – but are always exploring and open to new strategies, new ways to look at personalities or behaviors in order to be more effective, new discoveries of how to solve a prospect’s problem, researching how best to explain their product or service or how to walk a prospect down the path towards being a customer.
One of the definitions for willingness is being cheerfully consenting or ready. The emphasis for a successful salesperson is the cheerfully part. Not just ready for anything, but actually looking forward to it. A willingness to take on any task, learn anything, go through training, learn a new script or way of handling prospect objections. Whatever the company puts in front them as a way to create more success.
There are all kinds of buzzworthy cliché tag lines I could throw out there – readers are leaders, learners are earners. At the root of them they are true – because for someone to be a reader or a learner they are in pursuit of hopefully useful knowledge in order to excel at their focus and interests in life.
In sales I have seen so many people come, and unfortunately go, that were not open. They either felt they already knew it all and didn’t need the company’s systems or processes, scripts, or proven best practices.
I have seen reps who talked good game in the interview process but they weren’t really open to feedback, or willing to fully embrace everything the company provided or required of them.
Most of this comes from the ego getting in the way of openness and willingness. And why does the ego kick in, especially for some people more than others – for exact reason I talked about in Episode 6 – survival defense mechanism. An attack on the ego is an attack on our wellbeing.
That is why I covered that part yesterday. If you struggle with being open to feedback or you aren’t really willing to go through everything your company asks of you, then there is a good chance it’s some deep rooted, subconscious survival stuff kicking in.
Please don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that having an ego is bad, or if you don’t react to new things with openness and willingness that you are a bad person. There is no good or bad, right or wrong. The question is if its helping you achieve your goals or not. In same instances, an ego will help you push through things. In other ways, it will cripple forward progress.
Last part on this – most people think they are open. Most people think they are willing to tackle new things, or can handle change well. One my favorite movies called My Blue Heaven starting Steve Martin. There is a line that he has in it, which is perfect for this ‘Everyone thinks they have a sense of humor. Even people who don’t.’ Everyone thinks they are open and willing. Even people who aren’t.
If you are in a sales role or thinking about getting into sales, I would explore how open and willing you truly are. And since we all think we are great in all ways, I strongly recommend asking people who are closest to you, or your current manager, to get their honest feedback on how open and willing you are. If you are a sales leader I definitely recommend getting Cy Wakeman’s book called No Ego and checking out her videos on Youtube. I will put some links in the show notes.
That’s it for Episode 7. Go out there and be open and willing, on your path to increasing your effectiveness for both you and for your prospect’s sake. Until next time, always remember that everything in life is sales and people will remember the experience you gave them.