Chapter 1THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SELLING
Some salespeople always do well, no matter what is happening around them. They make excellent money, live in nice homes, drive new cars, and dine in fine restaurants. They always seem to have money in their pockets and in their bank accounts. Most of all, they are happy, optimistic, positive, friendly, relaxed, and seem to be in complete control of themselves and their lives. They are the top salespeople in every organization and their companies are dependent upon them for continued sales results.
Thousands of hours and millions of dollars have been spent studying the most successful salespeople in our society. They have been interviewed exhaustively, as have their customers, co-workers, and managers. Today as a result of this research, we know more about what it takes for you to be one of the best in your business than we have ever known before. And the most important thing we have learned in all these studies is that selling is more psychological
than anything else.
One of the most important principles ever discovered in the field of human performance is called the "winning edge concept." This concept states that "small differences in ability can translate into enormous differences in results." What this means is that if you become just a little bit better in certain critical areas of selling, this slight improvement can translate into a substantial increase in your sales results. You may be on the verge of a major breakthrough in your sales career at this very moment by lust learning and practicing one small thing that is new and different from what you have done before. If a racehorse comes in first, even by a nose, it wins ten times the prize money of the horse that comes in second. Does this mean that the horse that wins by a nose is ten times faster
than the horse that comes in second? Of course not! Is the horse that wins by a nose twice
as fast, or 50 percent faster, or even 10 percent faster? The horse that wins is only a nose
faster, but that translates into ten times the prize money.
By the same token, the salesperson who gets the sale for himself and his company gets 100 percent of the business and 100 percent of the commission. Does this mean that his product is 100 percent better than that of the competition, or 100 percent cheaper? Of course not! His product may not even be as good and it may cost more than that of the competitor, but the top salesman gets the sale nonetheless. The person who gets the sale is, in most cases, not a lot better than the person who loses the sale. He or she merely has the winning edge, but that's all it takes to get 100 percent of the business.
This concept is vital to your success. You may have heard of the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule, which, as it applies to sales, says that 80 percent of sales are made by 20 percent of the salespeople. Depending upon the sophistication of the industry and the overall level of training, the ratio can be 90/10 or 70/30, but in large national sales forces, the 80/20 rule holds true. Twenty percent of the salespeople make 80 percent of the sales and earn 80 percent of the commissions, while 80 percent of the salespeople make only 20 percent of the sales and share only 20 percent of the commissions.
What this means in dollar terms is remarkable! If ten salespeople are making a total of $1 million in sales in a given period, this means that two of the salespeople are making $800,000 of sales or approximately $400,000 each, and eight of the salespeople are making $200,000 of sales, or $25,000 each on average. This is a ratio of 16 to 1. The top salespeople are outselling the bottom salespeople by sixteen times!
This difference in sales results cannot be explained simply by sales technique and methodology. There is something else going on, and that something else is the mind-set or psychological state of the salesperson.
In every large company, it is common for some salespeople to be earning $25,000 a year while other salespeople are earning $250,000 a year, a difference of ten times. They are all selling the same product, to the same people, at the same price, under the same competitive conditions, into the same market, and out of the same office.
Is the person earning ten times as much as the other working ten times as hard, putting in ten times the number of hours? Does he or she see ten times the number of prospects?
Is it possible for the high-earning salesperson to be ten times better, in any area, than the person earning one tenth as much? Of course not.
In fact, sometimes the person earning ten times as much as the other salesperson in the office is younger, has less education, sees fewer people, works fewer hours, and has less experience than the long-term professional who is barely making a living.
This book will show you how to move into that top 10 percent of salespeople, to become one of the highest paid people in America, and to achieve all of your goals and dreams in this wonderful profession. And this requires, more than anything else, that you develop the winning psychological edge, which we will talk about through the rest of this chapter.ATTITUDE VERSUS APTITUDE
The 80/20 rule is as applicable to individual salespeople as it is to large sales forces. Fully 80 percent of your success as a salesperson will be determined by your attitude
and only 20 percent by your aptitude.
A positive mental attitude, or a constructive and optimistic way of looking at yourself and your work, goes hand in hand with sales success in every field and in every market. Developing this attitude of unshakable self-confidence and enthusiasm, no matter what is going on around you, is your passport to greatness in selling.
The 20 percent of sales effectiveness that comes from product knowledge and professional selling skills is extremely important as well. It is only when you are thoroughly knowledgeable about what you are selling and thoroughly skilled in your ability to present it effectively that you develop the confidence and self-assurance upon which a positive mental attitude depends. We will talk more about this in later chapters, but for now, let's continue our discussion of attitude.The quality of your thinking determines the quality of your life.
If you improve the quality of your thinking, in any area, you will improve the quality of your life in that area. By using your mind, your ability to think, you take charge of your life and determine your own destiny. You move from being powerless to being powerful. You determine everything that happens to you by the way you think about it, in advance. You may not be what you think you are, but what you think, you are!
The most rapid and positive changes in your personality and your sales results come about when you change your thinking about yourself and your possibilities. When you reprogram your subconscious mind so you feel a sense of personal power and control, every part of your life begins improving immediately. As William James of Harvard wrote in 1905, "The greatest revolution of my generation is the discovery that individuals, by changing their inner attitudes of mind, can change the outer aspects of their lives."
The very best salespeople have an attitude of calm, confident, positive self-expectation. They feel good about themselves and they have a quiet faith that everything they are doing is contributing toward their inevitable success. They are relaxed about their lives and their careers. They know, in their hearts, that they are good at what they do, and their customers know it as well. Often, their customers decide to buy from them even before they've made a sales presentation or described their product or service. They are the champions of selling everywhere. And because of the Law of Cause and Effect, you can become one of them by developing the same attitudes and attributes that they have.SELF-CONCEPT: THE MASTER PROGRAM OF PERFORMANCE
One of the greatest breakthroughs in human performance and effectiveness in the twentieth century is the discovery of the self-concept.
Your self-concept is the bundle of beliefs that you have about yourself and your world. It is the master program of your subconscious computer. These beliefs began forming with your very first experiences as an infant. Over the years, you have absorbed a complex series interwoven ideas, doubts, fears, opinions, attitudes, values, expectations, hopes, phobias, myths, and other impressions. You have taken them into your mind and accepted them as true. These are the operating instructions of your subconscious computer and they control everything that you say, do, think, and feel. In the absence of any deliberate change on your part, you will continue doing, thinking, saying, and feeling very much the same things indefinitely.
Just as you have an overall self-concept, or composite idea of who you are and what you can do, you also have a mini-self-concept
for each individual part of your life. These mini-self-concepts determine how you think, feel, and perform with regard to people, sports, health, relationships, work, learning, creativity, and everything else you do.
You have a mini-self-concept for how much money you earn, as well. Whether or not you are happy with your income, it is the amount you have programmed yourself to earn, based on your past earnings and your current belief system. It is your self-concept level of income. It is the cumulative total of all your experiences with earning money since you got your first job. It is a part of your subconscious programming, and you tend to earn that amount even if you change jobs or move to another city. It is locked in.
In fact, this self-concept level of income is so deeply ingrained that if you earn much more or less than your current level of income, you will feel distinctly uncomfortable. Even thinking
about earning substantially more or less than you're accustomed to will make you ...