Clearly, mindset can make all the difference in problem solving.
Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, a leading expert in motivation and psychology, and author of the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, discovered that everyone has one of two mindsets—fixed or growth.
Her work confirms what I have seen in sales over the years: people do tend to have either a fixed mindset, or a growth mindset. Why is this an interesting finding? Which mindset do you think leads to more success in sales?
Is Your Sales Mindset Set in Stone?
Consider the fixed, or closed, mindset as it applies to sales. If you have a fixed mindset, you might say certain things to yourself that freeze your thinking in one position.
Some of these things I have heard repeatedly throughout my sales career. Do you ever hear yourself saying these things to yourself?
- Sales is hard.
- Salespeople are born.
- I can’t sell!
- I tried sales once and it never worked.
- I will look stupid if a client says no.
- I have to win or lose.
- Will I succeed? Probably not.
- I hate sales, and will never be any good at it.
Chances are you have thought more than one of these things in the course of your career. With a fixed mindset, you see things only in black and white. In your mind, you hear words like “win or lose,” “right or wrong.” You assume things have always been done one way and nothing will ever change. This mindset, while understandable, may not work well for you if you sell a product or service.
Growing your Business
If you have a growth mindset, on the other hand, you may find yourself thinking differently. More and more often, you will catch yourself saying things like:
- Sales is easy.
- Salespeople are made, not born.
- I can’t sell . . . until the next opportunity.
- I tried sales once and while it was challenging, what did I learn?
- I need to make some more mistakes to learn.
- I win, lose, or get the opportunity to go back again.
- If I succeed—great! If I fail, what did I learn?
What if you could adopt this way of thinking, what Carol Dweck calls the “growth mindset” or “potential mindset”? It might help you push through limiting attitudes toward many things in your life or business. It might dramatically change your life. If you can catch yourself in your fixed mindset, you will start to get results much quicker. I promise.
It may be daunting to think about changing the very way you think about things. How can you do that?
- Look for opportunities to grow every day. When you begin to take up a growth mindset, you will find that if you are not learning new things you are actually failing. Challenging yourself to learn just one or two new things a day will build a growth mindset.
- Deal with failure and setbacks. Planning is an important part of growing. However, we do not always achieve all of our goals. Instead of beating ourselves up, look in a different direction and start again.
- Grow by doing. Ask yourself, what can I do differently? Apply a different approach to a problem and see what happens.
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You will discover instantly how you rate in the sales and influencing department in your business.
Here is an audio extract from my book