“There are plenty of fish in the sea”
“Don’t let them know that you like them or you’ll scare them off”
“Stop calling me!” (guess that’s more of a demand than advice)
In dating, the people that tend to be the most successful are the ones that have plenty of options, or at least give the perception that they do. When you start to give off that vibe of desperation, others sense that and it tends to drive them away. If they feel that you are in demand, it tends to make you more attractive and desirable.
The same holds true in sales. Having many options drives confidence, which in turn changes the way you approach prospects, and ultimately how they perceive and respond to you.
This is what we call the abundance mentality; “I have so many things going on right now that winning or losing your business will not significantly impact me one way or another.” Or as I recently heard it so succinctly put; “I want your business, but I don’t need your business”.
By contrast, most salespeople are taught to approach prospects with a scarcity mentality.
“What it will take to earn your business?”
“Let me know your current rate and we’ll see if we can beat it!”
We are afraid to lose deals because we believe there are a limited number of opportunities and each one is too precious to lose.
This approach is almost always the result of two things. One, we teach our sales people to be subservient and beg for business. And two, they rarely have enough real opportunities in their pipeline to have the luxury of walking away from one.
Think about it - When you only have 5 or 6 deals in your pipeline, each of them is critical. I have literally had sales people (and staffing owners) tell me that they can’t walk away from any deal. But if you have 25 or 30 legitimate deals you are working on, than you aren’t dependent on any one of them. This allows you to approach prospects with confidence and make better business decisions.
So how do you move from a scarcity to an abundance mentality? By following these 3 steps:
1. Change your mindset – First you have to believe that the value you are providing is equal or greater than your prospect’s business. If you treat every prospect like its your last, its tough to play on a level field.
2. Fill your pipeline – The best way to have an abundance mentality is to have an abundance of opportunities. This comes from hard work and a lot of sales activity. Show me a sales rep with a light pipeline and I will show you a sales rep that probably doesn’t have enough activity. Your goal should be to consistently have 25 to 30 legitimate opportunities in your pipeline in various stages of the sales process.
3. Be willing to walk away – Sales people hate to lose deals, even the bad ones. Ever close a deal only to immediately regret it? I know I have. That’s because we are trained to win every deal, no matter how low the markup, how bad the job and working conditions are, and how much of a jerk the client is. When you are truly willing to walk away from deals, you will find that not only is it liberating, but ironically you will land more business, and on your terms!
Look, we know that changing your entire sales mindset is hard. And don’t mistake this approach for acting like a jerk. Confidence is not synonymous with arrogance. But I promise you that if you truly focus on adopting an abundance mentality, and stick with it, you will find that you also end up with an abundance of good business.
[Image by Josefa Holland-Merten at https://unsplash.com/hollandmerten]
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