How to Overcome the Traditional Technical Sales Mindset
Sales are traditionally known for pushing products to people. Often salespeople even push products that customers don’t want, much less need. The traditional mindset is to focus only on the bottom line and close sales, no matter what. It revolves around negotiating and pushing the customer until he or she gives in and buys your product.
Traditional Sales Process
Times have changed and so has the sales process. The traditional technical sales mindset no longer works. The industrial customer now has so much information at their fingertips, thanks to technology. Customers are much savvier when deciding what to buy and who to buy from.
To keep up with this, a technical sales engineer must go beyond the traditional sales mindset. Focus on what is most important in sales – giving value to your customer.
The Power of Mindset
A mindset can make or break a technical salesperson. It influences how you approach each sale and your sales career in general. Having a negative sales mindset affects the way a salesperson sees each sale.
Consequently, instead of being excited about helping a customer solve a problem, a negative mindset will see the challenges. Typically, 20% of the salespeople of an organization contribute as much as 80% of sales. These 20% see opportunities instead of challenges.
How can you overcome a traditional sales mindset? Here are a few tips that can help:
Understand Your Current Mindset
Being self-aware of what kind of mindset you have allows you to change it as needed. Do you find yourself putting down yourself or the product you are selling? Are you hesitating and procrastinating when it comes to following up with potential prospects? Do you think your job is to convince people to buy what they don’t need?
These types of thoughts are part of a negative mindset that has no place in sales. Figure out what kind of mindset you tend to have. When you do, you can start consciously replacing thoughts and attitudes with more proactive and positive ones.
If you think you’re selling products or services that your customers don’t need, you’ll inevitably be uncomfortable offering them to customers. Shift your mindset. Believe that you are selling welcomed solutions to their problems.
Change Your Perspective
See the sales process as more consultative rather than one-sided. Work with companies to come up with solutions and recognize how you can help. Be an attentive and active listener instead of the one doing all the talking. When you do this, you learn how to speak your prospects’ language.
The conversations you have with prospects become more meaningful. You develop a relationship in the process, helping you better understand what they need.
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Focus on Building Confidence and Staying Optimistic
Being in sales is no walk in the park. There are highs and lows. After spending weeks or months on a deal that falls through, anyone can be easily discouraged.
If you can shift your mindset into a more positive and proactive one, you’ll realize that timing is also a sales factor. Maybe your prospect was just not ready to buy your product at this particular time. It doesn’t mean that they will never purchase from you.
When you see failures as chances to grow, you start becoming more confident in yourself. You can look forward to the next opportunity instead of looking at past sales you didn’t close.
Another critical aspect of overcoming the traditional sales mindset to recognize areas where you can improve. This is also part of having a positive sales-minded mentality. Sometimes, a technical sales engineer will blame others instead of looking at themselves. For example, “The sales team didn’t do a good enough job,” “Our competitor gave them a better deal,” “I didn’t receive enough support from management,” and so on.
You can’t control what others do, but you can control what you do.
A positive sales mindset is to look inwards instead of pointing fingers at others. Consider what skills you could improve. This does not mean you are “bad” at sales. Everyone should always be open to learning and becoming better at what they do.
Maybe you need to work on your active listening skills? Or do you need to update the standard presentation template that you’ve been using for the past three years? Take a good look at yourself and see what specific areas of your sales skills need improvement, and start working on them.
See Challenges as Opportunities
Don’t make the mistake of seeing a problem as something negative. Think of challenges as an opportunity. Yes, it requires more effort to overcome a problem, but it also gives you the unique chance to grow. This would not happen if all sales came quickly.
Lastly, if you don’t feel confident enough yet or you feel those negative thoughts creeping in again, – “Fake it ’till you make it!” or, more accurately, “Fake it and work on it ’till you make it!”
Studies show that people see you in a positive light even when you fake confidence. In turn, it helps you gain real confidence.
Overcoming a traditional sales mindset can be difficult. With consistency, self-awareness, and an openness to change, it can be done.
With over 15 years of experience, we don’t just teach “theory.” We provide actionable lessons so you can see results tomorrow by providing you with all the tools you need to not only significantly increase your personal income but become a top performer at any company. If you are ready to take your technical sales career to the next level or are eager to make a career change, then click here to take the next step towards success with Technical Sales University.