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Introduction to Successful SellingIntroduction to Successful Selling

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Below are some extracts from our Introduction to Successful Selling manual.

Professional Mindset of a Successful Salesperson

1. There is no failure, only feedback

Of course, there is failure. If you take a driving test or exam you either pass or fail. You will either succeed in achieving your monthly sales targets or fail to meet them.

The key is how you perceive ‘failure’. Every failure can be looked at as a learning opportunity. This is beautifully epitomised by Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb - despite more than 10,000 failures, he stood by his dream until he made it a physical reality. He said that every discarded idea took him one step closer towards finding the idea that would work. Some of the most powerful self-coaching questions salespeople can ask are “What will I do differently next time?” or “What can I learn from this?”.

Salespeople who make mistakes and learn from those mistakes tend to do better than salespeople who are scared to fail. Therefore, when you don’t achieve your targets make sure you see it as an opportunity to learn because you now have great feedback on what not to do next month.

2. Individuals are unique and their perceptions are true to them

According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, professor at the Drucker School of Management and former chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago, we each absorb 2 million bits of information unconsciously, and can only process around 7 chunks consciously.

Therefore, we each have our own unique perception of the world around us. If individuals were asked to explain beliefs, each individual would give a different explanation.

So who’s right? Everyone is right because your perceptions are true for you. That’s why the more respect we have for every individual and the more we seek to understand the viewpoints of others, the richer our communication becomes. Respecting the opinions of others doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to agree with them, we just have to acknowledge that every individual’s reality is the one based on their own unique perceptions.

3. Accepting 100% responsibility for your results gets better results

Every action you take creates a reaction that is based on the formula of cause and effect. Everything that happens is the effect of an underlying cause. Most people spend their lives operating at effect….

”It’s not my fault I always end up in bad relationships”

“Life’s so unfair, things always happen to me”

“We’re in a recession, that’s why I haven’t achieved target”

“If I could only match our competitor’s prices, I’d win more deals”

True personal power can be achieved when an individual accepts 100% responsibility for what they create in their lives. To put it another way, you get one of two things; the result/outcome you want, or the reasons why you didn’t. You may recognise these reasons as ‘excuses’! The more you focus on the reasons (excuses) and blame circumstances beyond your control, the more you push away your personal power.


Therefore, if you believe that you are in control of the situations that life ‘appears’ to throw at you, then you are in control of your thinking and emotions, and in control of your own life. This belief has given thousands of salespeople the determination to break through many barriers and overcome countless challenges when at times it was tempting to wallow in self-pity.

If something good or bad happens, ask yourself “How did I create that?”. This question enables you to tap into your brain’s infinite potential and it will give you all the answers you need. If you’re prepared to commit 100% to taking responsibility for your own results, your results can be extraordinary.


First Impressions via Telephone

When ‘meeting’ people on the telephone for the first time, they will undoubtedly leave with a first impression of you.  For a positive first impression, your voice should convey:


  Energy        Interest      Authority*             Professionalism

  Confidence   Appropriateness    Warmth*      Conviction

  Positivity      Sincerity              Humour*      Empathy

*when appropriate


The sound of the voice is heard, absorbed and assessed before the contents. It is made up of several components that both affect the expectation and alter the meaning of the words. These components should be used to create a voice that is pleasant sounding, varied to hold interest, and appropriate to the message and the situation.

The remainder of the first impression comes from the choice of words and the way they are put together.

Be sure your voicemail message also makes a good impression – it could be the first!


First Impressions via Email

When you meet someone for the first time by email they will make a first impression of you purely from your writing style – i.e. the choice of words and the way they are put together.

Email correspondents may not appreciate nuance or the English sense of humour.  The need for brevity in email means that it is often unqualified by the ‘softening’ adjectives and adverbs commonly used in speech and prose. The directness of a brief message can sound unnecessarily harsh or critical and can cause a negative reaction. 

Use a personal sign off to exit an email to create the possibility of building a more personal relationship.

First Impressions – Face to Face

First Impressions face-to-face are made within 5-7 seconds. Create a great first impression and the relationship grows from there. Create a bad first impression and your relationship with that person can be an uphill battle.

An interaction with another person is made up of:

·     55% how you look (appearance and body language)

·     38% through tone of voice

·     7% by the words you use (the content of what you say)

Based on research by Robert Birdwhistle, 1970

The words you use make up just 7% of customer interaction. Which means 93% comes from not what you say but how you say it. It’s affected by the tone of voice, speed, clarity, and inflection. The clarity defines vowels and consonants, and inflection emphasises the meaning.

Enthusiasm is also important as it is contagious – it conveys belief in what you are saying. It injects energy and interest into the conversation.


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