7 Ways to Develop the Right Sales Mindset

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Sell or Be Sold" by Grant Cardone. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is a sales mindset? How do you develop a selling mindset?

A sales mindset is a commitment to put all of your time, resources, and energy into the sales profession. You treat excellent sales performance as essential to living a successful life. You can develop a sales mindset by putting aside any negative perception of sales, developing pride in the sales profession, and eliminating other career options that can distract you.

Read on to discover the steps to developing a sales mindset.

Developing a Sales Mindset

The first step to developing a sales mindset is to commit to the art by putting all of your time, resources, and energy toward it. As soon as you commit, you’ll see results. (When you’re not committed, on the other hand, the results are delayed or don’t come through at all.)

  • For example, when Cardone decided to commit to sales, he automatically started making more money as well as dressing better, picking up good habits, changing his language, and gaining more energy. 

There are seven ways to develop the right sales mindset:

1. Convince yourself that sales skills are critical to living a successful life. Your life (the life you want) depends on your ability to learn to sell.

2. Mythbust your negative perception of sales (if necessary). There’s a lot of inaccurate information about selling floating around in the world because people tend to pass on myths or “common knowledge” that they don’t actually have any experience with (and money is a subject that’s particularly susceptible to this).

Myth #1: Sales is unpleasant. People will tell you that selling is unstable (income, commissions, and the economy fluctuate), requires long hours, isn’t a “real” job, and is harder today than it’s ever been. None of this is true. In fact:

  • The money is good and there’s no maximum salary—you can make as much as you want. Additionally, commission-only positions may seem unstable, but consider how stable salaries are—they depend on companies that are at the mercy of the stock market and banks. If you work on commission, you depend only on yourself, and you’re far more invested in your success than a CEO is. Finally, all economic conditions have pluses and minuses—for example, when the economy is tight, fewer people want to spend, but there’s less competition for their dollars.
  • You can control your own hours, and when you’re working for yourself, the days don’t feel long—you already work for yourself 24/7 just by being alive.
  • There are just as many opportunities to make money in sales today as there were in the past. While there may be shortages of certain products (such as oil), there are also shortages of master salespeople, so there’s little competition.

Myth #2: Salespeople are con artists. Very few salespeople are swindlers, and if they are, their tactics (dishonesty, aggression, and manipulation) are amateur and ineffective. The most successful salespeople are honest, admired, and calming; they provide good service, have a strong desire to help people, and are leaders. 

Myth #3: Selling isn’t important. In fact, the key to developing the right sales mindset is to understand the critical importance of selling to society and the economy. If people didn’t sell things, no one would produce, store, ship, or advertise them.

3. Get over your dislike of selling (if necessary). The only reason people don’t like doing things is that they’re bad at them—feeling incompetent and powerless makes them uncomfortable. You can’t have the right sales mindset if you don’t like the idea of selling, it’s only because you don’t know how to do it yet. Once you learn the techniques, you’ll feel perfectly comfortable.

4. Be proud of being a salesperson. Believe that selling is noble, important, and inherently good. Additionally, believe that there’s nothing wrong with getting your way. This will set off a self-perpetuating cycle—your pride will make you more successful because it makes you more confident and committed, and as you become more successful, you’ll become even more proud.

To strengthen your pride and belief in sales, think of someone in your life who’s positively influenced you and write down five of their traits. Then, consider how all these traits apply to sales.

5. Stop looking for and eliminate other career options. This will force you to commit.

  • For example, think of sales the same way you think of your partner—once you’re married, you don’t keep looking for someone new; you put work into the relationship you already have.

6. Don’t wish for what other people have. They have it because they committed to getting it. If you commit, you can get it too.

7. Regularly remind yourself of your commitment. 

  • For example, Cardone regularly wears a pin that says “100%” to remind himself of his commitment to selling.
The 7 Steps for Developing the Right Sales Mindset

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Joseph Adebisi

Joseph has had a lifelong obsession with reading and acquiring new knowledge. He reads and writes for a living, and reads some more when he is supposedly taking a break from work. The first literature he read as a kid were Shakespeare's plays. Not surprisingly, he barely understood any of it. His favorite fiction authors are Tom Clancy, Ted Bell, and John Grisham. His preferred non-fiction genres are history, philosophy, business & economics, and instructional guides.

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