Toxic Sales ThoughtsOur thoughts determine our actions and our actions determine our results. If your results are not what you’d like them to be, odds are the root cause is one or more negative thoughts you’re harboring despite the fact they’re holding you back.

In my work training and coaching salespeople, professionals and business owners, I’ve noticed several common thoughts shared by a tremendous number of them. Are any of these thoughts poisoning your sales?

1. “Buyers are liars.”
If you believe that all prospects lie all the time, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Because subconsciously you’ll treat them like the liars you believe they are, building distrust instead of trust. Assume instead that buyers are honest and you’ll build rapport and trust faster.

2. “I shouldn’t have to prospect.”
A lot of salespeople expect their company to provide them with all the leads they’ll ever need. (And great leads at that.) In a perfect world, prospects would call us all day long, ready to buy. But really, if that were the case, there would be no need for salespeople! If you want more sales, you need to do more prospecting. Embrace that fact, get better at it and make it more fun. (Hint: One study found that 70.1% of buyers would switch vendors if the new vendor was more fun to do business with.)

3. “Our product/service is too expensive.”
Nearly every prospect asks for discounts, leading most salespeople to believe that what they sell is too expensive. The reality is, most salespeople don’t appreciate the value their product or service delivers to the customer, so they discount reflexively. Take pride in what you sell, appreciate its true value, and recognize that your prospect’s budget is not the same as your budget.

4. “The competition is better than we are.”
Every product and service on the market has its own strengths and weaknesses. The trouble is, we tend to undervalue our strengths and overvalue our weaknesses. Study your competitors and determine what their weaknesses are. And do an inventory of your strengths.

5. “I don’t want to pressure anyone.”
A common fear shared by many people in sales is the fear of being perceived as a stereotypical “salesperson”: slimy, underhanded, manipulative, deceitful, obnoxious. That fear causes them to avoid asking for the sale because they don’t want to come across as pushy, overbearing or high-pressure. Which results in them losing a lot of sales. But there’s a huge difference between pressuring someone and simply asking them if they’re ready to buy. The former pushes them away, while the latter helps them overcome their inertia and make the decision they already want to make.

6. “They aren’t really buyers.”
A lot of salespeople believe they’re really good at sizing up prospects based on their appearance, reputation or title. But when you judge someone not to be a buyer, guess what? They don’t buy! (At least not from you.) Assume every prospect is a genuine buyer.

7. “Sales training is a waste of my time.”
I’m always amazed when there’s somebody in one of my seminars who clearly thinks they know it all already. I’m not saying there isn’t some bad sales training out there—I’ve sat through some of it myself—but it’s a rare seminar, book or video that you can’t learn something from. And that one thing could mean all the difference for your sales.

Be honest: How many of these thoughts have ever run through your head? If you’re like most people—and most people are—at least one. And probably more.

That’s okay. It’s normal. And becoming aware of those thoughts is the first step to correcting them. And when you change your thinking, you’ll change your sales.

photo credit: Toxic drink via photopin (license)

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