- 1 Book Summary - A Mind for Sales: Daily Habits and Practical Strategies for Sales Success by Mark Hunter CSP
- 1.1 Key Insights
- 1.2 Key Points
- 1.2.1 The secret to success in sales can be found in the success wheel: move from motivation to momentum to confidence to success.
- 1.2.2 Focusing on customer wants and needs is key.
- 1.2.3 Sales is a mindset, and cultivating that mindset means proactively making smart choices.
- 1.2.4 Sales is a lifestyle, and good salespeople share many characteristics.
- 1.2.5 Embrace every “no.”
- 1.2.6 Learn how to love Mondays.
- 1.2.7 Don’t “close” a sale - open yourself up to new opportunities.
- 1.2.8 Take time to learn.
- 1.3 The Main Take-away
- 1.4 About the Author
Book Summary - A Mind for Sales: Daily Habits and Practical Strategies for Sales Success by Mark Hunter CSP
A Mind for Sales is all about cultivating a mindset that will drive sales and bring success. Rather than focusing on sales tips and tricks, A Mind for Sales examines a salesperson’s habits and attitudes to find the keys to success. Rather than thinking of sales as a job, the best salespeople make sales their lifestyle. Mark Hunter recommends a number of lifestyle and mindset adjustments you can make to improve your sales using the “success wheel”: motivation, momentum, confidence, and success. Other tips include leveraging old clients to make new sales and building knowledge as a way to connect with clients and become an expert in your industry.
The secret to success in sales can be found in the success wheel: move from motivation to momentum to confidence to success.
The idea behind the success wheel is that these four mutually beneficial elements come together and feed off each other. Once you get the wheel rolling, you can guarantee that you’ll find success in sales and in life.
In the success wheel metaphor, begin with motivation to get the wheel rolling. Motivation to work hard leads to momentum - once you’re rolling, it’s easy to keep moving forward. Motivation and momentum breed confidence, and confidence breeds success. This isn’t a strict cycle; instead, each piece helps the others, with success as the ultimate goal.
The wheel metaphor also works on difficult days. Some days, your motivation might be low and your wheel might spin slowly. But once you get the momentum going, you can keep rolling toward success.
Focusing on customer wants and needs is key.
There are no “tricks” to sales - the best salespeople can understand the wants and needs of their customers, and deliver. Selling is all about human interaction. The better you understand your customers, the more you can offer them. That means more sales and a network of lasting relationships.
Sales is a mindset, and cultivating that mindset means proactively making smart choices.
Your customers can tell if you love your job, especially when you’re working in sales. You have to believe in your product, and love your life in order to be a top seller. Having a “mind for sales” means embracing every element of the sales process with joy and love. It also means spreading that joy among your customers and coworkers. Your positivity is key to a successful sale.
Though positivity is key to success in sales, we all know that life will throw obstacles in our path. It can be hard to maintain optimism in the face fo these challenges, but cultivating a “mind for sales” means seeing the positive even in the worst situations. One way you can more easily maintain your positivity is by making proactive, smart choices for yourself, to sidestep challenges as they come. Rather than letting events guide your life and push you in some arbitrary direction, assert your choice for your life and head in that direction. Making these smart decisions proactively, rather than passively waiting for life to guide you, will allow you to choose success and keep a positive frame of mind.
Because the sales mindset is a lifestyle, there are many shared characteristics of top salespeople. Studying what makes great salespeople great, and adopting the habits of a top salesperson, are the first steps toward cultivating the sales mindset. These characteristics include:
- Set ambitious goals. The top salespeople set goals for themselves and work to meet them. In at least one of these goals, you should shoot for the moon - give yourself ample room to succeed.
- Respect your own time. In sales, time is money. Respecting your own time and maximizing it for your success is key.
- Don’t settle. Being average isn’t enough. Don’t settle for good enough. Strive to be excellent.
- Influence others toward success. Allow your success to be contagious. Your customers should benefit from your influence.
- Serve others. Don’t just strive to make money and maximize your income. Provide a service to your customers. Your goals should include doing good by the people you serve.
- Make room for change. Evolving and growing is not only part of being a good salesperson - it is a quality of the most successful people, period. Learn from others, and grow from your mistakes. The world is always changing, and you should be too.
- Be accountable. Own the process of selling, and be accountable in all areas to your boss, your customers, and your company. Most importantly, be sure you hold yourself accountable to your own goals.
- Work overtime. It’s true - the best salespeople usually give up personal time to work.
- Ask the right questions. If you don’t ask your customers the right questions, you’ll never know what they want or need. Learn how to get to the heart of your customers’ needs with hard-hitting questions.
- Value each day. Each day is an opportunity, and you can’t get it back. Put the most into each day, because they are precious.
- Plan your objectives. Have a plan for each of your goals, especially the big ones. Break goals down into small, accomplishable steps for best results.
- Be an optimist. This the foundation of the sales mindset. Always be excited about the future, and your success will follow.
- Make prospecting a daily ritual. You should always be looking for leads. Make prospecting new clients part of your daily routine.
Embrace every “no.”
As a salesperson, you will often hear the word “no.” The best salespeople use every “no” to their advantage - they see rejection as the road to growth and new opportunities.
When a customer says no, use it as an opportunity to be gracious, and request an explanation of their needs so you can serve them better in the future. You should always be collaborative with your customers, whether they buy from you or not. Maintain your positive attitude by seeing “no” as a detour, not a roadblock. As the saying goes, “a no is never permanent.” By being gracious, polite, and communicative, you can often turn rejection into future success.
Learn how to love Mondays.
A good salesperson doesn’t ease into their Monday - they dive in headfirst. You should be excited to wake up on Mondays because it’s the beginning of a new opportunity to meet your customers’ needs. Instead of making Monday your planning day, make a plan at the end of your work week so you can start Monday with meetings and client connections. Starting the week off with a bang not only builds your momentum, it also shows your clients you want to help them now, not later.
To start off your Monday in the right mindset, consider beginning the day with a reflection on last week’s successes. Meditate briefly on gratitude, to boost your positivity and reconnect with your larger goal to live a positive life. After your reflection and meditation, make it your mission to make three to five sales calls. Call, text, or email three current clients to thank them for their business and check-in. Beginning your day with momentum from sales calls and three regular thank yous will help you cultivate the sales mindset for the week to come.
As your start your week, you might also consider a few tricks to ensure your game plan is setting you up for success:
- Set your goals and make an action plan. This should happen on Sundays, when you are preparing for your week. Save time on Monday by making a goal-oriented game plan with action steps to boost momentum and prepare you for the week.
- Segment your calendar. Making blocks of time for your various activities will help keep you focused, and make scheduling simpler.
- Don’t forget to exercise! Getting your blood pumping is not only good for your long-term health, it can reduce stress, improve brain function, and improve your outlook on life.
- Silence social media. We all get distracted. Don’t let social media consume your days. Focus on real-time, personal connections instead.
- Get the worst tasks out of the way. Don’t put off the most unpleasant part of your week for later. Get it over with first, so you can focus on positivity for the rest of the week.
Don’t “close” a sale - open yourself up to new opportunities.
The idea of “closing” in sales is well-known - people often say the phrase “always be closing” to guide new salespeople toward success. But thinking about closing as the end-goal doesn’t allow you to consider the longevity of your relationships with clients. You shouldn’t focus on closing sales - you should see your success as the beginning of new opportunities with your clients.
Each time you make a sale and sign that final piece of paperwork, you should see it as opening a new relationship. You haven’t ended your time with that client; your time as only just begun. You should always be leveraging your sales to create new business and better serve your clients. Retailer Katherine Barchetti puts it simply: “Make a customer, not a sale.”
Remember that selling centers on people, not technology or other tools. Your bond with your client is the key to success. You are more likely to secure a sale from a current customer than any other source. Be sure that you are actively maintaining your sales network, and offering your clients a collaborative and long-term relationship. As in any relationship, don’t make promises you can’t keep. Creating a bond of mutual trust is vital to building relationships with your clients.
Take time to learn.
The best salespeople are knowledgeable, and knowledge is acquired by experience and intensive research. If you want to be an expert in your industry, pick up a book, and read about it. The more you read, the more knowledgeable you become. Billionaire Warren Buffet, for example, spends “80% of his day reading.”
Building knowledge isn’t a waste of your time - it’s vital to your growth as a salesperson. If you are an expert, your clients will want your input. You become a more valuable asset to them the more you know about your industry or product.
The Main Take-away
Being a good salesperson isn’t just a job - it’s a lifestyle and a mindset. Cultivating a mind for sales means focusing on positivity, and embodying the traits of a successful salesperson. Hunter explains the mindset of a top salesperson, and how to cultivate it in your own life. He encourages salespeople to be customer-centered, grateful, and positive. With the right mindset, success in sales is guaranteed.
About the Author
Mark Hunter founded the sales conference OutBound, and is a well-known author, speaker, and business consultant. He has written two other books: High-Profit Selling and High-Profit Prospecting. He travels the world to speak about business, and offers daily tips on his blog.