Mind over Quota

Let’s face it – missing sales targets sucks! No matter how experienced you are, it’s the feeling of under-achieving coupled with public shame which makes us ponder our ability as a sales professional in an organization. Yet – WHO has not ever missed their quota?

Having studied top performing sales professionals and following their ways to sales success – I am convinced that we all have the potential to outperform our sales targets. Scary thing is – we also have the potential to underperform! So what makes us over-achieve sometimes, and what makes those outstanding people, exceptional?

It’s 80/20 – eighty percent is from the mind and twenty percent is from the ability. Of course, you need sales skills, experience and an understanding of your industry in order to be in sales – but those alone are not enough. Our mindset is the ultimate driver of our success – and just like skills, we can also learn to strengthen our mindset to outperform ourselves. Surprisingly, so many sales professionals learn how to become under-performers. As Professor Martin Seligman explained in his book “Learned Optimism” – “Learned Helplessness” is based on the belief that whatever we do, won’t matter. For example – “…Our offering is no good, so it doesn’t matter who we approach…” or “…Our pricing is too high and unaffordable for everyone in this market….” As patterns of inability and surrendering persist in our thinking patterns – these self beliefs become our reality. And as time goes on, we speak of these beliefs with such certainty, they may as well be proven facts!

I am not fulfilled by being an under-achiever, and if you’re reading this, chances are you are not either. So what can we do to make a progressive change? Let’s start with one change at a time. One important change we can make is we must break the pattern in our heads that we cannot and distinguish – is it that we CAN  NOT, or DO NOT? If no one has ever achieved the same goal, perhaps there is some truth to your beliefs – until someday, someone breaks the pattern by making history. We’ve seen it all before – people are the 1st to ever do this/achieve that/create things – How did they do it? Not by holding onto that same limiting belief! If we believe something to be certain, we will behave in ways to reinforce that belief to be the truth, and we will seek evidence to support our beliefs are real. However, if we want to achieve a different result – so much enough that we’d feel pain if we did not achieve it – our mindset shifts… from CAN NOT to CAN NOW.

The good news is that we’ve all experienced the feeling of accomplishing the impossible before – in school, sports or in life… such as the first time being a parent. And when we accomplished those goals by weathering through challenging tasks, our mindset was our strongest enabler to our success.

For those of you who are still lost as to how to control your mindset to shift yourself towards progress – one way to do it is to study someone who as had similar success, and see what you can learn from their action and thinking patterns.

We’ve all learned in our lives how to be good at certain things, and usually that is from other’s teachings. When we make ourselves exceptional at things, that learning is always from our own mind’s teachings.

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