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Good or bad: What's the right sales attitude to have to become a high sales achiever?

What Sales Attitude Should You Have?

Read almost any book about sales and you'll see some reference to, "you need to have a good attitude." So what does that mean? Sometimes my most effective selling is when I have a "bad attitude" -- when I'm more discerning and skeptical about whether a prospect has money or is willing to make the change. I get tougher then and force the prospect to fit into my procedure. So for the purpose of this article, I'd like to redefine attitude and not talk about it in terms of good or bad, but instead "what attitudes to have."

1. My value can be found nowhere else.
Most high-income sellers are in the business-to-business environment. And in that atmosphere, you must bring value with your knowledge, experience, and observations in a market. So even though you may sell the same type of solution that another company sells, your solution is enriched by you being in the process. High achievers understand that their products or services are better because of their expertise and wisdom. The elite high-income seller has the attitude of "my total solution brings value because the prospect won't be able to find my value from anyone else."

2. If I want more, I contribute more.
The highest achievers realize something that the average performers don't. If you want to earn more money, you have to contribute more value and solve more problems for your customer. We say in our training, "if you want to make more money, solve bigger problems." So when you work on your quarterly goals, stop working on what you can get out of the market and start working on what you can contribute to the market in terms of value and solutions to problems. Then, when you make a sales call or attend a sales prospect meeting, you won't be a needy, begging sales person. You'll be a contributor at a higher value.

3. There is a never-ending supply of client pain.
The elite sellers--the top one percent--know that even when a market is soft (no budgets) it doesn't mean there's no pain in the customer base. So the high achiever is always focused on the problems that he or she can solve and not focused on the budgets that aren't there. Budgets follow beliefs. If the prospect believes he has a problem and believes it's worth solving, budgets have a way of making an appearance.

4. My baggage doesn't matter.
Let's face the fact that we all have unwanted baggage. That little tinge of fear when we get ready to ask a question that we know we should ask, but some how it just doesn't roll off our tongue. The average performer decides he will wait to ask the question later. The high sales performer doesn't let his baggage get in the way of the right question to ask (or the right comment to make). In a sick sort of way, your baggage gets in the way of your customer getting his problem solved. You don't want to have that on your mind when you go to bed tonight, do you?

5. I am hyper-discerning about my time.
It's easy to say, "be discerning," but with all the distractions and demands on our time, it's hard to execute that attitude. So what do high sales achievers do with their time? In the sales environment they create standards of conduct that they demand from the prospect. If on the first phone call, the prospect doesn't want to share any of the problems they're trying to fix then they have broken the first code of conduct and the high achieving sales executive should move on. If, on the first face-to-face meeting, the prospect refuses to tell how much money this problem costs them to have, then again, they've broken a rule of conduct. The sales executive must move on. Set your code of conduct on what you expect from prospects and don't deviate. That makes it easier for you to 'let go' at the appropriate time.

During his 19+ years of experience as a leader, experimenter and coach for hundreds of B2B sales teams, Bill Caskey doesn't blame prospects for how they treat most sales organizations - for not seeing their value, for treating them like servants, and for sucking up their expertise and taking it somewhere else and getting a lower price. Sales organizations play a part in this game too! Our sales behavior is the problem not our clients. Learn how to play the high-income seller's new rules at The Elite Seller Blog.

Read all advice by Bill Caskey ; Find more Sales Techniques experts

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