Mindset is defined as a set of beliefs or a way of thinking that determines one’s behaviour, outlook and mental attitude.
Carol Dweck’s research into the difference between a “Fixed” and “Growth” Mindset is definitely worth reading up on here.
I like to look at it in a different way with resilience, empathy and motivation as the key ingredients.
The ability to deal with the inevitable setbacks of life is even more omnipresent in sales – when it’s going well, it’s like being a rock star on stage, and when it’s not, it’s like being a thief caught red handed.
Resilience is the ability to recover from life’s challenges; one of my first bosses was from the old school, he used to talk about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and walking into the 10th sales call of the day like it was your first despite being knocked back in the previous 9 times.
Resilience can be learned as described by Martin Seligman in the Harvard Business Review here.
Being able to feel or understand from another person’s perspective is a critical skill when trying to influence someone to do something. Sales people never know what they are going to be walking into so the ability to quickly assess what is going on and how to handle themselves is crucial.
Many, many years ago, in a new role, I mentioned to a prospect that we had dealt with his father who unbeknownst to me had very recently passed away which made a very difficult situation even worse. We eventually won some of his business back but he seemed to associate this difficult period of his life with me for a number of years afterwards and it still sits with me poorly over 25 years later.
“All sunshine makes a desert” my father always said and to be fair, I never really understood how profound it was until the last few years. In sales, you need to be able to motivate yourself and find motivation in others; always surrounding yourself with people who inspire you, may they be friends, family or other, will ensure you find and keep your operating rhythm.
Harvard Professor and Philosopher Oliver Wendell Holmes sums it up fairly well when he said:
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.