Beliefs Are More Powerful than Skills

I heard author and motivational speaker, Gabby Bernstein, doing a radio interview recently. In it, she made the statement, “Beliefs are just thoughts you keep thinking.” It resonated with me. She was specifically talking about fear and how it becomes not only a habit but an addiction. I, of course, thought about it from the perspective of sales.

Beliefs Limit Success

We know that an overwhelming number of salespeople are sabotaged by their own beliefs. Regardless of an individual’s current success in sales, they can limit that success just based on thoughts they repetitively think. Of the last 100 salespeople we analyzed, 86 had negative sales beliefs that could sabotage their sales success. 86 PERCENT!!! And this number is consistent with the data I have on about 600,000 salespeople in all industries.

It means that even if your salespeople have been trained on what to say, what to ask, and how to overcome objections, they may still not be that great at executing. Just telling a salesperson to do something doesn’t change how they feel about it or their beliefs about whether they should do it.  And it doesn’t change their negative thoughts about things like how the other person will react.

Self-Fulfilling Beliefs

Beliefs are far more powerful than the skills your salespeople have been taught. And the worst part about their belief system is that it gets in the way of what they know they are supposed to do, which makes them feel worse about themselves. Your salespeople lose confidence, and then, guess what? They perform worse. You then form beliefs about them, and it is a vicious cycle.

This is the circular nature of beliefs. We have a rule-based in our beliefs and our actions and outcomes reinforce that rule. Here’s an example of what I mean:

Overcoming the Cycle

So, what can you do as the team leader to help them overcome their negative beliefs?

Here are some ideas:

  1. Have individuals plan their sales conversations and insist they list what the possible outcomes could be. Help them prepare for the worst possible outcomes.
  2. Practice language they will use in uncomfortable situations.
  3. Have them keep score of situations where they said something or asked something where they initially felt uncomfortable but did it anyway.
  4. Help them reprogram their negative beliefs by taking a negative belief, such as “It is not comfortable to ask about money” to “It is imperative that I help decision-makers get the best value for their money so I must know all the financial considerations.” You are welcome to download a list of 43 common self-limiting sales beliefs and the affiliated reprogrammed belief.

If you really want to get into the details of each of your salespeople and learn specifically what will help each one achieve their greatest height, we can help you. Here’s a sample of a personal sales evaluation where an individual’s sales skills, plus their self-limiting sales beliefs, are measured. Then reach out and let’s talk about your team.