Most people believe that great salespeople are smooth-talkers who can enchant any prospect and trick them into buying anything.
Nothing farther from the truth. What actually defines a good salesperson is how they have mastered their inner game and are able to solve their prospects’ concerns.
Developing your inner game means conquering your demons, might those be self-doubt, fear of ridicule, pride, or perhaps a self-centered approach that prevents you from seeing ways to provide value to your clients.
Giovanni Kisesa, an independent consultant expert in B2B sales, shares with us four keys to mastering sales by improving your inner game.
90% of Success in Sales is About the Inner Game
Every good salesman needs to have ambition, but sales is a lot about confidence, besting the demons that tell you that you can’t do it, and perseverance, putting in the work to turn your weaknesses into strengths, Giovanni explains.
“Drive pushes you to overcome your own self-doubt and access a higher version of yourself,” he says. “That’s what allows salespeople to thrive.”
Recognizing yourself, your strengths, your areas of growth, and what you need to do more and less allows you to know exactly what value you can bring to a sales call or a negotiation table.
Find a Mentor Who Sees Your Potential and Holds You Accountable
Giovanni tells us that, when he committed to mastering his inner game, he looked for a coach that could help him develop his technical and communication skills, as well as his confidence, determination, and aplomb.
A coach or mentor is a person that sees your potential and, with an outside and objective perspective, can speak honestly about your strengths and areas of opportunity, and can turn that potential into actionable skills.
Tunnel vision often prevents us from seeing the solution when we have spent too much time close to a problem. “We tend to have blinders on,” Giovanni says, “and coaches help remove those blinders so we’re able to see things from a neutral perspective.”
Another advantage of having a coach is that they hold you accountable.
Giovanni expounds that a mentor would ideally be an accomplished salesperson who has achieved most of their own goals and knows the high standards required for success. They will hold you to the same standards and push you in a healthy way to help you maintain your commitment and drive.
Make Your Prospect’s Intent a Priority
When you meet a prospect, it is likely they already have an objective in mind, that’s why they agreed to meet you. It is important that you lead the sale in a way that makes that objective the deciding factor.
However, only 3% of people believe salespeople are trustworthy, according to a study by Hubspot. This means most people think you want to entice them to buy something because you want to and not because it solves their needs. That is the hurdle you need to go over.
You are there to help your prospect achieve their intent and to address their worry of not being heard.
To accomplish that, Gio Kisesa explains that you have to approach the sale with the prospect’s best interest in mind, even if that means not closing the sale right away.
This entails understanding their problem first and coming up with a potential solution that adds value to the process. To do that effectively, you need to build trust by being transparent about what you can offer and clear about your desire to help.
Develop a Process to Discover Your Clients’ Needs
Good sales calls are often uncomfortable because prospects have complex concerns that you need to address, which might include the financial aspect of the purchase, the consequences of their buying decision, the technical characteristics of your offer, and others.
This discomfort is part of the process, but Giovanni explains you can curb it if you come up with a plan from the beginning about how to help your client express their concerns, for example, a set of discovery questions.
Also, as important as the questions, you need a strategy to build rapport and help your client gain the confidence to be transparent about their problems.
Giovanni Kisesa states that this visible interest in his prospects’ worries had a lot to do with him going from being a fearful sales apprentice to closing 43 deals in a single month.
Finally, Giovanni shares that, as you keep mastering your skills and inner game, all your improvements will have a “domino effect” that will multiply your success as a salesperson.