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The Psychology of Selling By Pat Evans

We all know there are two types of people: those who say, “My glass is half empty,” and those who say, “Isn’t that my glass?” I’m an “Isn’t that my glass?” person.

I have learned over the years that negative thinking is a waste of time. Blaming people is a bad habit that takes up a large part of a typical person’s day. I’ll prove it. Your homework assignment will be very simple: DON’T BLAME ANYONE FOR ANYTHING FOR THREE DAYS. This includes slow and/or moronic car drivers, your spouse or significant other, your children, prospects, and watch out for this one — people in your own firm. If you mentally blame any person for anything, start over with a fresh three days. E-mail me when you have successfully completed the task, but keep in mind my life expectancy.

Blame can be split into two categories: guilt or shame. You suffer guilt when you cause an action. Shame occurs when you begin to believe you are a bad person because of some action you took. Shame has nothing to do with attaining sales quotas and is a destructive force. Guilt can be controlled by taking charge of your life. Act responsibly and you will be perceived as a responsible person. You will then evolve into a responsible rep or entrepreneur and accept blame.

When you sell, you always have to be thinking, you may have a better solution than what you are faced with. How can you negotiate like an entrepreneur so you can close more deals? I have many examples of this type of thinking but one of my favorites includes a hobby of mine. I have raced sailboats since I was eight years old. My present sailboat has a roller furling jib and mains’l. The outhaul unfurls the sail while a sheet or reef line furls it and vice versa. So every time I utilize a sail by unfurling it, one sheet retracts and one line elongates.

This is how you should visualize a close. If a prospect wants your firm to give a discount or throw in extras, answer yes, but first explain what you mean. For example, a prospect wants money off on a maintenance contract. Okay, but explain there are two types of contracts that you offer. Full price gives the prospect onsite response within four hours. The discounted contract offers a slower response so a technician will show up by the end of the next day. This means the firm’s mail or packages will not be sent or shipped out for one or two days. I never once had anyone choose the slow response discounted plan.

Write It down!

Isn’t that my glass? Every time you think to blame someone, turn it into a positive. Create a Franklin “T” inside your head and when a negative idea surfaces like the dread you may feel about possibly losing a deal, simply look on the positive side of the “T” and read off the counterbalance, I will succeed and win the deal. Will yourself to think in a positive format. You do not gain any advantage by thinking negatively.

If you feel someone messed up you should create a constructive series of questions to pose to the individual. “When can we expect __________ to occur in your department?” Do not dwell on mistakes. As Warren Buffett says, “If you don’t make mistakes, you can’t make decisions. You can’t dwell on them.”
Pat Evans is the author of SalesBURST!! World’s Fastest (entrepreneurial) Sales Training (Wiley; October 2007), past national spokesperson for NODMA, and was founder of EVCOR, a small business that eventually grew to $40 million in annual revenue and sold for $60 million. Visit www.EvanSales.com.

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