The 80/20 Rule of Selling

Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? No, not that 80% of your production will come from 20% of your sales force. The other 80/20 rule. The rule that says sales is 80% mindset and 20% skill set. 

Allow me to explain. In your opinion, how many professional basketball players have the skill set to make a free throw? Would you say all or pretty close to 100%? If so, why do so many professionals miss free throws? Think about it! The distance (15 feet) is always the same, the goal doesn’t move and no one is guarding them! Why do they miss? It’s because of their mindset. 

Why the mindset?

Your mindset is a critical component to your success as a salesperson and your team’s success as a sales manager or CEO.  It doesn’t matter how talented a salesperson is, how many skills they have or what techniques they’ve learned, if they are not able to mentally execute that knowledge than it is as valuable as not having any knowledge at all. 

What’s stopping me?

There are a list of things that could stop a great salesperson from executing on the knowledge and skill they possess. Here are the top two:

1.) Upset or Disappointed

Many sales people carry the emotions of their last interaction into their next one. Imagine that a prospect slams the phone in your ear or slams a door in their face and you can’t seem to get over it. You know that you have a quota to meet so you continue making calls even though emotionally you are a wreck.

2.) Fear

In a commission based job you know that if you don’t sell you don’t eat! After having a rough day, week or month fear and desperation set in and normally “stupid” doesn’t follow too far behind them. You start to do things that you would never do without fear and you dig yourself into a deeper hole.

There are many other emotions that take over but it would take a while book to cover the subject. In fact, if you’d like to read the book on Sales EQ (emotional intelligence) click here to read Sales EQ by Sales Gravy CEO Jeb Blount.

What can I do?

When you find yourself executing on a level that is lower than what you know you can produce follow these steps.

1.) Take a break

I understand that you have your quota to meet but I would argue that you will sell more and earn more making your sales calls at full mental capacity. Take a break and come back stronger and sharper.

2.) Escape from your environment 

It doesn’t do you any good to take a break and spend it around the water cooler with all of the other sales people talking about how crappy their leads are or how terrible their day is. You have to change your environment to reset your mind.

3.) Find a distraction 

Escapism is a great tool, it’s also an addictive drug. While it’s great to find a way to escape and take you mind off of things, beware not to get addicted! The last thing you want to do is spend the majority of your day crushing candies instead of crushing quotas.