The world of B2B sales has been transformed by big data, mobile technology, and advanced analytics, and there’s no question that these developments have made it possible for sales reps to engage with customers more efficiently and reliably. However, there is still room in the B2B sales landscape to talk about the power of positive habits, which can transform your actions and influence your behavior in myriad ways.
Put yourself in a positive mental state
Whenever you’re entering into any kind of interaction, it’s important to be as calm and relaxed as possible. You may think your client won’t notice and that you can manage to suppress your stresses, but negative feelings have a way of subconsciously manifesting themselves in your delivery. It’s all about the alignment between what you’re saying and how you’re feeling. If your mood doesn’t line up with your words, the prospect will know that something is off. Researchers have long known that having a positive explanatory style is correlated with good health later in life, but it will also impact how the client relates to you as well.
“But how can I do that reliably,” you say, “when I have so many things on my plate — both personal and professional?” Find something habitual that eases your tension and puts you in a good mood, and do it before your sales calls. It can be looking at photos of your loved ones, listening to music, or reading your favorite passage from a novel, as long as it works for you. You can even focus on writing positive things down, as one scientific study found that writing about intensely positive experiences has a dramatic effect on mood levels.
Focus on aspirational selling
Sales situations should be positive environments, because what you’re really selling to your prospect is an aspirational solution. Of course they have important pain points that form the foundation of their buying journey, but it’s unwise to focus too much attention on the negative aspects of their current circumstances. Instead, consistently steer the direction to what is possible for your two companies to achieve together. Your role is that of a storyteller, so tell them a story that allows them to picture themselves in a situation where a reliable partner is ready to help them overcome their issues.
Think of every call as a relationship opportunity
Even the most prepared and talented sales professionals aren’t going to convert every opportunity, and sometimes there is simply nothing you can do to persuade a prospect who has a set agenda. You can choose to approach these interactions as a waste of your time, which will lead you to behave bitterly during each encounter. Or, you can look at every opportunity as a chance to build a relationship that has value in its own right. Through this lens, even sales calls that don’t result in a close hold value for both parties.
Believe in your company’s value — as well as your own
One area where positive thinking truly has the power to be transformative is in honestly believing in the value of your offering. By doing so, you validate the trust the customer has placed in you, because they inherently understand that someone they trust wouldn’t steer them towards a solution that wasn’t right for them.
But it’s important to remember that it’s not only the value of the product that’s at play; it’s your own value as a loyal partner as well. When you believe you are able to improve this person’s life through your professional value, it will come through in every interaction.
Incorporate breaks to reset your brain
Every ambitious sales professional wants to increase their efficiency, and this obviously includes finding ways to make more calls in the same amount of time. Many sales reps are wary of taking breaks when they have momentum going, but breaks are actually very powerful when it comes to regulating our brain activity and re-focusing our energy. Even a short, five-minute break every hour can make a significant impact on your ability to deliver a consistent experience to every prospect, whether it’s the first or the 50th person you’ve called that day.
Invest yourself in your prospect’s success
Prospects aren’t looking for people who want to sell them something. They’re looking for a value-added partner who understands their problem and is confident they have a solution that can help. The ideal salesperson is someone who isn’t looking for a quick commission or a bump in their conversion ratio.
Rather, you’re there because you want your customer to succeed and extract value from the relationship, and when they achieve that everyone wins. Each time you enter into a sales interaction with a client, remind yourself of why you do what you do, and it can have a powerful impact on your behavior.
Danny Wong is a marketing consultant, sales strategist a