How to stop self-limiting beliefs impacting your sales performance

The biggest limiter of sales success (outside of the absence of specific skill/s), is belief.  Or, more specifically, lack of it.  As human beings, negative and self-limiting beliefs are pretty common but, for sales people these impact the numbers – the gauge on which their performance and success are measured.  Therefore, being able to recognise and turnaround these negative beliefs is critical to winning deals, hitting targets and realising potential.  Here I will highlight some of the common negative beliefs held by sales people, look at why we have them and, most importantly, provide some strategies for overcoming them.

Common negative beliefs

Negative and self-limiting beliefs plague sales people for the entirety of the sales process.  As such, they impact whether a sales person can secure the win-win, whether they even pick the phone up to a prospect in the first place and everything in-between.

 Here are some of the more common negative beliefs I’ve come across in my coaching of sales people.  If you recognise any of these, be sure to read on to the end.

“They won’t be interested in speaking to me”

” I am not good at using youtube, digital marketing or online to reach out to new leads and prospects”.

” The product is too expensive , i dont think any customer can afford it”

” I live in this location and not the other location hence i wont be able to be successful in sales until I move to that location”

“I don’t know enough about our product/services to sell them” (most common in those new to a company, who hold the misconception that they must know absolutely everything in order to be able to sell).

“The customer knows more than I do and they’ll see through me”

“The market’s saturated at the moment, there’s no business out there”

“I’m going to get beaten up on price, so I’ll have to discount”

“I’m just in a slump at the moment, I need to give it time”

“I won’t know how to deal with their objections”

“I won’t know how best to negotiate”

“I’ll never be as good a sales person”.

” Who is buying properties and houses in this Economy, there is no Money”?

“I’m not going to hit target this month anyway”

“I’m probably not going to win this deal”

“It is not my type that wins Incentives and gets the best of recognition ,awards and recognition.”

Why do we limit ourselves with negative beliefs?

I believe there are 3 main factors which influence why we choose to limit ourselves with negative beliefs (note the use of the word ‘choose’, because it is a choice), these are:

  1. Social Style – Our initial response to situations is driven by our social style and preferences.  For example, whilst some will respond with an instant ‘yes’ and think about the how later on, others prefer to determine the if and how before committing to a ‘yes’.
  2. Resistance to Change – Moving beyond a negative belief requires you to do something differently and the fact is that it’s far easier to continue with the status quo (even when the status quo involves some level of discomfort or dissatisfaction) than it is to make change.
  3. Mindset – Without question, the biggest influencer on the extent to which an individual will allow negative beliefs to permeate.  Those with a Growth Mindset are able to override these negative thoughts and focus instead on achievement of the end goal.  Conversely, those with a Fixed Mindset let those negative beliefs hold them back.  

The secret to success lies in the overriding of those negative beliefs with the specific type of positive beliefs that enable you to overcome obstacles and achieve the big goals.

the acronym DICE to define the 4 specific types of belief we need to succeed:

  1. Deserved – To achieve success, you have to believe that you deserve that success.  Whilst you might not instantly think this applies to you, a number of the common beliefs I outlined above can be attributed to this, for example; I don’t know enough about our product/services to sell them, The customer knows more than I do and they’ll see through me, or I’ll never be as good a sales person as: (insert name here).  Just because someone has more knowledge and experience than you, does not mean you deserve success any less than them.  If you want it and are prepared to work for it, then you deserve it.
  2. Important – If something is not important enough to you, you’re never likely to achieve it.  Reminding yourself of the reason why, the end goal, is invaluable when it comes to overriding those negative beliefs – why you do the job you do, why do you want to win the current deal, why you want to reach out to a new prospect?  These motivations can be work or personal related, or a combination of both.  Think about how the achievement of your goal will make you feel and what the benefits will be.  Sales leaders and organisations should ensure that their reward structure is one that heightens levels of importance.
    If this is something you’re finding especially challenging, take a look at ‘Re-igniting your Sales Mojo.
  3. Can do– Even the most successful people would admit to occasionally allowing those feelings of ‘can’t’ overwhelm them.  Can’t is simply a matter of mindset.  As I alluded to earlier, even where you might genuinely be lacking a specific skill or tool you need to achieve your goal, there is always something you can do about gaining it.  When you override ‘can’t’ with ‘how’, your focus changes, suddenly you find that you, in fact, ‘can’ and your outcomes accelerate.  For example, if you recognised the belief ‘I’m probably not going to win this deal‘, try turning it around to ‘How can I win this deal?‘  ‘What can I do differently to ensure I achieve the outcome I’m looking for?’
  4. Exciting– Moving beyond something just being important to you, it also has to excite you if you are to be successful.  There are very few (I’d suggest, no) successful sales people who don’t get a thrill from identifying a big opportunity, winning a deal (especially so if it has been complex or challenging) and working towards a target.  This excitement pulls them through those inevitable periods of frustration, anger and doubt and ensures they remain focused on the goal

Once you’ve recognised how to override those negative self-limiting beliefs with positive ones, the next step is to ensure you maintain consistency.  As any gold-medal winning athlete will tell you, success doesn’t come from applying these positive beliefs for just the last month before your big competition.  It comes from incorporating these into your life, every single day, for many years before.  The point is that you’ll need to constantly repeat and reinforce these positive beliefs if they’re to bring you the desired results.  This will become easier over time, as these beliefs become habitual.

Question of the day.

What are your limiting beliefs limiting your sales performances?

What are the new empowering beliefs you will use to replace this limiting beliefs?

Thanks for your attention and please do have a productive week.

Dr Laide Okubena

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