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The Mental Game of Selling: Managing Expectations

There’s a lot of things we can talk about when it comes to the mental game of selling, but we’re going to focus on expectations today. Just because I don’t think we discuss expectations and the impact they can have on our minds enough. So anyway, here are three things to think about:

1. Selling’s hard. Any time someone approaches selling thinking it’s going to be easy, I’ve noticed that being told “no” by prospects ends up hurting more. I mean, I understand where those who have the opposite approach are coming from. They may have more confidence going in if they’ve got the preconceived notion that selling will be easy. But in my experience, when people enter the game of selling knowing that it’ll be hard, usually it’s easier to keep a better mindset throughout the process.

I have a friend who can run 50 miles straight. Can you imagine? Running 50 miles is hard. I’ve run a couple of standard 26-mile marathons and that was difficult enough. I think my approaching a 50-mile marathon knowing it’s hard is going to help keep my mental capacity great as I train. Just like in sales, if you believe it’ll be difficult, you’ll work harder to overcome the challenges. So be aware that selling is hard, and that’s okay.

2. Realize that you’re going to be punched in the gut eventually. Confidence will wane at some point in the game of selling. I think a lot of people feel better knowing they’re not alone in that. Every single salesperson I have ever coached, myself included, has experienced a loss of confidence at one point or another. So if you’re feeling that way, don’t worry. It’s normal.

But the thing about confidence is we want to have shorter low periods, and we help coach people through that. Lacking confidence for two hours is not a big deal. However, if you lack confidence for two days or worse, weeks or months, that’s where you need to get coaching. That’s where we can help bridge the gap. Still, it’s important to know that you will have moments where you won’t feel confident about selling. Be ready for that mentally.

3. Expect the need to create a sense of urgency in your everyday work life in order to be great at selling. If you do not feel like you’ll have a sense of urgency for a day, take a vacation. Vacations are awesome. Take a day off. A week, even, if possible. Take time off to relax, refresh, rejuvenate. But if you’re going to be working, have a sense of urgency. Be quick about following up with that sales call, about making that connection, about scheduling appointments and meeting with people. Because if you have this sense of urgency, your mind will be strong. If you’re just kind of lackadaisically getting through the day, that’s when sales problems happen. That’s when you need to take a vacation.

Hope these tips help! Again, there’s a lot we can discuss about the mental game of selling, but start with these three.