10 Mind Traps That Freelancing SALES Professionals Believe They Are Entitled To. Find Out Now the Truths That Will Set You Free! Part 1.

– You have a very individualistic perspective, and she has a very societal perspective. You guys complete each other! You get more team spirit, and she gets …

– I don’t care what she gets.

It’s often tempting to read and agree to what disgusting problems others have that bother us, isn’t it? My mission in this series is to present some of the problems within us, the sales professionals, that might make others hate us. I will continue on the structure started here.

We live in a society where a current message seems to be: ”you are not good enough”, ”you must strive harder, be better”. Thus, self-confidence can be hard to attain and hold.

(keep reading ↓)

Sometimes, self-confidence can be justified through the superior quality of the products, services, or ideas that we offer. At the same time, too much self-confidence, even justified, can be a dangerous trap. I wonder if you’re curious to find out which are such dangerous limiting beliefs. What could some salespersons and freelancing product owners believe could self-sabotage them in the business processes? I’ll list them then go into the first 5.

1. I’m here to practice, not to learn theories.

2. I went all this way, made my best presentation, and had to return without any sales. I am so tired of walking around the city doing presentations to prospects who don’t buy anything!

3. The idiots who don’t buy because the prices seem too steep are just plain ignorants that don’t deserve what I sell!

4. My time is too *P*R*E*C*I*O*U*S* to call prospects. I don’t do telemarketing, I only deal with decided customers.

5. This guy… he called me out and now he is late/not paying/changed his mind. F… him!

6. I don’t know who I should insist with and who not to insist on.

7. I hate those nitwits throwing objections on my path to glorious sales!

8. I have a lot of trouble accepting “no” for an answer when I try to sell a big deal to a prospect.

9. Once I made my sales quota, I don’t care about anything anymore and I can go to the Bahamas!

10. I don’t need to explain myself to my customers. They might misunderstand, judge me and it’s none of their business anyway!

I will go into each of them. Here are the first 5. 

 

1. I’m here to practice, not to learn theories.

I actually used to think this myself for some time. This belief has been successfully implemented by some of my non-entrepreneurial relatives for a few years. This is accounting for the fact that most of them didn’t actually understand what I was actually doing. They kept on insisting on some concrete manufacturing activities. Such tangible products would result presented as actual proof that I worked.

My investments in most professional training have paid off. I continue by listening to audiobooks, watching tutorials, participating in webinars, getting new certifications, reading ground-breaking and life-changing books, studying relevant research, participating in professional conferences, joining mastermind and peer practice groups, being part of learning communities, subscribing for and successfully finishing MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), paying attention to documentaries, networking with competitors in different contests, opting in specialized learn & practice programs… and so on.

I sometimes remember what I was told and what might still be considered by most as impossible. I have long passed that mark in several fields. I have only succeeded in doing so because I strived to keep learning. I kept dedicating a significant part of my time to acquiring new theoretical and strategical knowledge. Some of that knowledge I applied with satisfying (or amazing) results for myself and many of my clients. Some of that knowledge I didn’t use or I forgot. That’s the way it is with knowledge: it doesn’t mean the time spent acquiring it was wasted. Just because you haven’t got the results you were hoping for, it doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Do some lateral learning and you might amaze yourself with the answers you would find! Or, even better, if you want some shortcuts and believe you are ready for big changes, come to me for consulting!

Anyway, practice instead of the theory is a choice and a respectable one… for a while. If you make a professional principle out of it, you will receive the bill for dead neurons. Don’t worry, it won’t come soon if you’re still young! It’s just that you might not be able to pay it when it comes.

 

2. I went all this way, made my best presentation, and had to return without any sales. I am so tired of walking around the city doing presentations to prospects who aren’t buying anything!

Contrary to what some might think, humanity doesn’t hate salespeople altogether. They don’t have the patience for bad sales presentations, that’s true. But the mind works in funny ways sometimes!

Let’s consider comparing two different experiences. One is the experience of a salesman who goes around the city, makes a bunch of presentations. He meets prospects who aren’t buying anything (yet). The other experience is a common one: somebody you don’t know tries to sell you something that you need convincing upon: you don’t buy, not yet. The second experience is more common.

Please keep in mind that your experience of refusing a salesman at one time is part of HIS experience of getting a rejection, let’s say the tenth in a row for that day. For you, it might just be the only rejection that you offer today, to anyone. For him, it might be one in a series. Adding rejection upon rejection might be frustrating for the one getting rejected. Still, it’s just a mix of individual assertions, not a conspiracy of the Universe against the salesperson :)!

There might be different several reasons for this, even without connection to the quality of the presentation or the product. Is the effort of getting to different places to make presentations is an issue? Then the salesperson can opt for making clear that his or her time costs money and (s)he can only deliver free presentations online (eventually automating the process). Still, some clients kinaesthetically prefer to meet people face to face, in the real world. For them, the relationship you build by going through the trouble of reaching their office might make a huge impact. It’s the difference between buying from you vs. the competition.

 

(keep reading ↓)

 

3. The idiots who don’t buy because the prices seem too steep are just plain ignorants that don’t deserve what I sell!

Marketing is an economic field that works better when approached with strategy. One of the benefits of strategy is that it focuses the attention of businessmen to target customers and potential customers (“prospects” and “suspects”, another way put). One of the inherent results of any sales and/or marketing approach is rejection, which can be hard to take for some. Having difficulty receiving a “no” is not part of the “arsenal” of a good salesperson, especially since it might trigger an inferiority complex. To compensate, some go in the opposite direction. They say: “It’s not me or the product that’s wrong, it’s this idiot who doesn’t understand the value of what I’m offering”. This is a superiority complex. 

Another correlated behavior with this kind of entitlement might be an avoidance of making calls and convincing potential clients, waiting for them to call or make the first move. Please also read issue #4 in this post. There are several reasons for which this stance doesn’t make sense and is counter-productive.

(1) Firstly, people have different strategies for getting convinced. Some need to be approached more times or in different ways. Failure to approach them considerately might take away from them their chance. Don’t you want them experiencing an awesome product/service that might contribute hugely to their interests?

(2) Secondly, there aren’t so many proactive potential customers who know they actually need a certain product, who know how to find it and who end up picking you – that’s why you need marketing. Please also see more on this topic reading issue #5 from the previous post, here. Think of marketing as the art (not the crusade) of delivering redemption for the tormented souls of your customers from the depths of problems into the heights of resolutions using your method.

(3) Thirdly, for some people it might really not make much of a difference in financial terms that it would truly justify them buying from you. Maybe they really are better off. You certainly don’t want a lot of people buying and getting dissatisfied because they chose the wrong product or the wrong moment to get proper results in their experience. Marketing is more than just about getting the right product to the right people. It is also about getting it at the right MOMENT – when they are ready and convinced to choose it. Considering this, “no” might be just a “for the moment, no”. Please also read further on this matter in this article on my blog, Analytic Vision: How Easily Do You Conform to “No”?

(4) Lastly, if a prospect doesn’t understand the correlation between value and pricing, it must be explained to him/her in such a manner that gives perspective. Also please consider issue #3 from the previous post, here

To take it all into consideration, you need time, strategy, testing. Doing all these might be frustrating because while you are in the trenches of building your brand, there is work and money, and time that keeps getting poured in and not much seemingly getting out. This is why some mediocre products might have more success than quality top products that few have ever heard of. In the end, the people who need something will buy it from the most seemingly available seller. Do you want to be that one?

 

4. My time is too *P*R*E*C*I*O*U*S* to call prospects. I don’t do telemarketing, I only deal with decided customers.

Calling prospects doesn’t only require resistance to rejection. It also needs a procedure for monitoring your process, registering the results, and being available for those who return your calls when you’re not expecting. Including telemarketing in your sales responsibilities is something that goes along with a certain lifestyle. Still, you get to choose how to customize that lifestyle. You decide if you hit the cold market or the hot market when you call if you use a separate phone number if you choose to buy/rent databases or to call people in your own lists. You decide how many calls to make every day, how many days a week, and how fast to follow up.

Bad results can make for a bad experience, but they don’t always make for a good explanation. Creating a business relationship is in favor of your selling process and calling clients and prospects is definitely a part of it, whether you want it or not. The more people think that their time is too precious to call on customers, the more chances YOU have to succeed when you choose to think differently. Imagine it not in terms of wasting your time with undecided customers or decreasing your rate of effectiveness. Instead, picture it in terms of increasing the chances of generating worthwhile revenues.

 

5. This guy… he called me out and now he is late/not paying/changed his mind. F… him!

I understand unreliable behaviors are essentially annoying for everyone. No matter how well you select your prospects, it is always possible that someone gets cold feet or becomes unable to pay. There are only a few strategies to counteract this. You may choose one of these if it seems it may work for you.

One way is to have legal-proof terms and services which clarify the limits of tolerance that you might have with such behaviors. Putting these in place might be nerve-racking and expensive in the beginning. Still, they are worth it, considering that you set it up once, and then all you need to do is enforce it. This may mean dropping clients who display bad behaviors altogether. Yes, you may fire them if you are ready to give up the relationship, but only if you are sure that you will never go back.

Another possible solution is to take this situation into consideration and always having a plan B. This way, even if some client gives you the bad news or suddenly stops answering the phone, you can be/act less affected by it. One expensive solution would be an insurance policy that gets you covered if an important client doesn’t make up his payment. Another plan would be to execute a guarantee/deposit that the client left you, in the beginning, covering such situations (considering they are willing to pay it upfront).

Another plan would be to agree to a longer period of payment. Or to ask for something in return, some sort of compensation. For example, if the client would suddenly not pay the bills anymore, maybe you can set up a barter. Another solution, only if the amount is not too big, is to ask for something valuable in return. Something like a filmed interview or testimonial or a certain number of referrals to other prospects.

A rather more drastic example is to make a case study. You can publish an article about what you learned from such an experience. You may call out the lack of professionalism of the customer. Then, you may send him/her the link to feel even more ashamed: make an example out of him/her, without giving names! But let’s just keep that last option for “Vengeance Unlimited LLC”, OK?

In any case, it’s important to stay assertive and clearly communicate your expectations. Why? So that you won’t be disappointed or let down as a salesperson. Remember, keep your eyes open for prospects! Who knows what big chance comes your way while you are waiting for a client who is late for a setup sales meeting?

 

So, there you have it. If you’ve liked this article, in two weeks I’ll publish part 2. That’s especially for sales professionals. Marketing specialists might be interested, too!

If you liked this article, I also invite you to read: 

To Manipulate Or Not to Manipulate, That Is the Question

The Ethics of Public Speaking

The Impact of Negative Feedback

Previous articles in this series:

Get Over Entitlement in Marketing, Management and Business

5 Mind Traps That Freelancing Marketing Professionals Believe They Are Entitled To But Stops Them From Making Sales. Find Out Now the Truths That Will Set You Free!

Marcus Victor Grant

Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2017-present. The Series started in 2017 and was updated for publishing in 2020. Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, all rights reserved.

The materials on this blog are subject to this disclaimer.

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