Call Amy (614) 286-8265

This article highlights the four essential sales mindset elements that greatly influence sales success: self-trust, responsibility, motivation, and discipline. By fostering self-confidence, embracing a growth mindset, taking ownership of outcomes, identifying motivation types, and practicing discipline, sales professionals can improve their performance and achieve desired results.

There are four mindset elements that have a significant impact on your sales success: self-trust, responsibility, motivation, and discipline.

1. Self Trust

I have many conversations with my clients on evolving into and being a trusted advisor that their clients rely on, and that their prospects are attracted to. The foundation of building trust in others is to first build and maintain trust in yourself. For example, if you don’t trust yourself, your guidance might be received by the client as indecisive, lacking knowledge, or even insincere – and you’ll never build trust.

I see the foundation of self-trust as being in two places – your self-confidence and your growth mindset. Self-confidence is that belief you can and will figure something out. It’s acknowledging when you don’t know something but can learn the answer elsewhere – and that doesn’t faze you. It’s acknowledging an error, correcting it, and moving on. It’s the belief that what you have to offer, and your experiences, are of value.

Growth mindset is a term coined several decades ago in social science circles, and I first learned of it from researcher Dr. Carol Dweck. In her work, she found that those who embrace a growth mindset tend to believe that their intelligence has the capacity to grow. They view experiences, feedback, and challenges as learning opportunities on the path to mastery; they aren’t viewed as failure, or as an indication that they aren’t smart. Those with a growth mindset are more likely to take risks, learn more, and develop resilience in the face of challenges or negative outcomes.

2. Responsibility

Believe it or not, responsibility is a data point that can be measured. Objective Management Group measures 21 sales competencies and over half of them are related to mindset and thought processes. The other half are tactical skills directly impacted by what we believe, our internal “talk track,” and how we perceive the world around us.

Responsibility is the idea that we always own the outcome. We don’t blame outside forces (positive, negative, or neutral) for the results. To be fair, sometime outside forces play a role in success or when something doesn’t go according to plan. But it’s not what we point to as the reason; we look inside first. We don’t use an outcome as a crutch, but rather as way to learn and become better the next time.

One litmus test is to ask yourself these questions, regardless of the outcome: What role did I play in the outcome? What can I learn and apply next time?

sales worksheet qualifying opportunities

3. Motivation

Motivation can also be measured; it directly impacts effectiveness and success. Motivated sellers are goal oriented. They are more likely to prospect and earn new business than their less-motivated sales peers.

The same research firm I just mentioned, Objective Management Group, has identified and measured three types of motivation for over 2.2 million sales professionals and leaders.

  • Extrinsic. Extrinsically motivated sellers are driven by outside and lifestyle rewards. This can include compensation plans, commission accelerators, and recognition like spiff awards and company trips.
  • Intrinsic. Intrinsically motivated sellers are driven by non-compensation rewards such as company culture, enjoyment of the job, stretch assignments, and being part of the team.
  • Altruistic. Altruistic sellers are driven by high levels of service and by putting customer needs ahead of company needs. The research has found that sellers with high levels of altruistic motivation are often better suited for customer service or client success roles over sales roles.

While many sales professionals have a mix of motivation types, there is typically a dominant type. Understanding how you are motivated opens doors to finding the most suitable role for you. It helps you own your performance. It elevates your awareness of when you need to adjust, and overall finding the rewards of the profession.

4. Discipline

Discipline is the decision to follow through on the right activities that create the outcomes (and life) you desire. Elite sellers don’t shy away from discipline. They embrace it.

It’s when my alarm goes off at 5:20AM for the 6AM cycling class and I don’t hit snooze. It’s your decision to make one additional client call when you really feel like calling it quits. It’s the willingness to try the new sales skill and keep working at it until you master it. It’s holding yourself accountable for your success. It’s also the ability to know when something isn’t working anymore, and you act on making a change in a new direction.

A way to build this discipline into your life is to plan your next day the evening before. When you have intention for what you’d like to accomplish the next day, you’re already improving your odds. It’s also helpful to know what triggers procrastination. When you find yourself saying, “I don’t feel like it,’ or “I’ll put this off until tomorrow,” give yourself a full stop. Interrupt the pattern with different language and then act. “I don’t feel like making this one last call, but I know I’ll feel better when I do.” And then follow through. Follow through builds self-trust, it’s motivating, and it’s a great example of responsibility.

Mindset helps create the right behaviors, and the right behaviors lead to positive outcomes. You may find yourself needing to act first to help you create the right mindset. Purposeful action and mindset feed one another. Feed yourself through purposeful and positive action; you’ll see all four of these mindsets helping you create strong sales and a successful life.

Does Your Team Need Help Developing a Sales Mindset? Contact Amy Franko.

Amy Franko is the leader in sales strategy and sales leadership coaching, helping you to design best-in-class sales programs that accelerate growth. If you need help cultivating a strong sales mindset, let’s schedule a conversation. Don’t let your competition get an advantage. Contact us to schedule a conversation with Amy.

Your sales growth is only as strong as your strategy.

Download Amy's Sales Strategy Index now and receive the top 10 growth factors every sales strategy needs. 

Congratulations! Here is your Sales Strategy Index.