“Success begins with a fellow’s will, it’s all in the state of mind.”
These are powerful words by Vince Lombardi in his poem “It’s Worth Repeating”. A poem which was gifted to me the first day of my career, many, many years ago.
These days, with my work across many different businesses I talk to company owners and senior management about the challenges faced by their frontline sales teams. I can quickly get a sense of their mindset from the language they use. This usually correlates directly with their results, or more often than not - lack of them.
I hear constant talk about their industry being different, their competition doing this and that, lower prices, lack of loyalty, the good old days, more discounts, cheaper labour rates overseas….etc. etc.. You can talk yourself into anything and out of everything but ultimately it's all about state of mind.
Good organisations know and respect their competitors but are not beaten up by them or the landscape in which they play. They own it and don’t outsource the responsibility of staying in it. They continually develop their products AND their people to be the best and think the best.
The word Mindset is often used but can still be illusive and is mostly misunderstood. This is the reason that the great companies hire on attitude rather than skills.
What do your team talk about – the competition or the opportunities?
How would you describe their language – defeatist or constructive?
What is your team’s mindset – positive or negative?
Burt Lancaster said many years ago “Sell yourself first if you want to sell anything” and more recently (2012) Peter Cook said, “The first sale is always to yourself”.
If you have a person on your team who wouldn’t buy your product (or service) – think about it, they probably shouldn’t sell it for you.
Success begins with the acknowledgement that results are the result of a hundred small decisions and can take many years.
Take a look at this video, I believe that there are no silver bullets; just a bucket load of bitter pills that one needs to take on their journey to making the ping pong balls easier to digest. And make sure you avoid any more pineapples than is absolutely necessary.