If you’re in the investment sales industry, then you already know that getting a meeting, building a relationship, and getting a deal closed is no easy feat.
In fact, you probably know without being told that sales is a very, very difficult job.
Why? Because it deals with human emotion and rejection: things that are completely outside of your control. You can't control the person who you're calling on, right? If you send someone an email asking for a meeting and they don't respond, that’s out of your control.
On any given day, you probably have 50 different things in your brain aside from just that one unanswered email, which means that your mindset is critical.
Often in sales — and, really, any profession — when you’re scared of something, it becomes emotional, and chances are you’re going to try to avoid doing that thing. You're going to avoid that place of pain, even if it hinders you in the long run. If you’re scared of getting ignored, you're going to avoid sending an email for fear of rejection, which means you don't take any action because you're scared of getting rejected.
However, to be an effective salesperson, you have to be asking for something all the time.
You have to be asking for a face-to-face meeting, an introductory meeting, or asking for next steps. At Dakota, we call it the A-word. You have to be asking for something all the time, and then you need to track your asks.
Continually asking, tracking, and snapping out of that place of fear is what will drive results for your sales team. But in order to get there, everyone on your team needs to embrace a growth mindset.
In this article, we're outlining the two keys to a growth mindset: focus and structure.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of the importance of growth mindset, and the two things to optimize that will lead to success for you and your sales team.
1. Focus on what matters most
Mindset is important, but it's almost important to realize that you are only human.
Having that concern about being rejected or somebody not returning your phone call is normal. Consider this: it might just be that they're busy or it might be the time that they're not interested in your strategy. You can't take it personally. This is where your mindset becomes so important.
At Dakota, we call this focusing on what you can control. This is the key to having a growth mindset. If you're focusing on things that are out of your control, getting angry when there's an obstacle, making excuses or assigning blame, chances are you aren't doing the things that matter most, and you’re wasting your time.
The second key to a growth mindset mindset is focusing on what matters most.
Ultimately, the only thing that matters in sales is if you're asking for meetings with your qualified buyers.
You have to train your mind to think that way. You can do other things, but don't sit there and lie to yourself and say, "Oh no, I really have to clean up my desk," or "I really have to tackle this to-do list before I reach out," or even, "I have to write this other long email."
The reality is, you're making up reasons to avoid what matters most. You don't really need to do any of those things.
Instead, you need to be spending your time either doing meetings with qualified buyers, finding new qualified buyers to call on, or calling on them to try to get a face to face meeting. Then, of course, begins your follow-up.
As we’ve stated prior, mindset is focusing on what matters most. In this case, what matters most is calling on qualified buyers. You must believe at the end of the day, in your heart of hearts, that every day is a great day to sell.
2. Add structure
We're not here to tell you that it's easy, but the more focus and structure that you have within your organization will make everything simpler.
If you don't have focus as a salesperson, you can get really lost.
Let’s use city scheduling for this example. You walk into your office knowing that you've picked five cities to go visit, and in each city you’ve outlined times; your day now has focus and structure.
Now that you have dates and times, your job is to go into the database, look at all the qualified buyers, and try to plug the holes — where are there times throughout your trip that you can fill with meetings? Find those gaps and continue to do outreach and schedule more meetings.
From a mindset perspective, you want to make sure that you're setting yourself up for success to win — avoid coming in every day and winging it. The mindset of a great salesperson is to focus on what matters most, and then add structure.
At Dakota, we believe that this structure all comes down to city scheduling, which allows you to have focus to set up meetings with your qualified buyers.
The growth mindset is that every day is a great day to sell, focus on what matters most, and then adding structure.
At the end of the day, you will slide into your structure. It gives you purpose. It gives you focus to do what's most important and what matters most.
3. Use technology to track your team's growth
Now that you've conquered your fears, started setting meetings, and added structure with city scheduling, it's time to use technology to bring it all together and track your progress.
First, you'll need to get all the meetings that you schedule into your CRM. At Dakota this happens to be Salesforce.
Salesforce allows you to track where you've been; as soon as you enter one meeting that you scheduled, it can now go into a report because you've set up other reports of your past 14 days of meetings, you pass 30, and you pass 90. The reports are dynamically updated as you update the database, and you're able to go in and do your follow-up without even having to think.
This is the whole job of success in sales, unless you're calling on one or two accounts, and it's a huge elephant hunter for most of us — don't do that. We must call on a lot of firms, and set a lot of meetings.
You want to make it effortless and mindless to know who you should be following up with after you've met with them.
This will also allow you to cover more ground. If all your information is in yellow pads and the back of business cards, you're only going to be more disorganized. You can't sit down and hammer through a list that's sitting right in front of you.
Leverage all the available tools to make yourself more efficient, which allows you to end up becoming more effective.
Bring it all together for sales success
We can't promise that establishing a growth mindset across your sales team is going to be easy — but we can promise that it will be worth it. Once there is complete buy-in, and you start working as a team to establish the building blocks outlined above, you're going to see an increase in meetings as well as efficiency.
To get started means committing to focus. Pick one thing per day that scares you and do it. Whether it's asking for a meeting, following up on what you thought was a cold lead, or something else entirely. The more you do this, the more natural it'll become.
Next, you'll want to add structure to those behaviors, and start tracking them with something like Salesforce so that you can effectively follow-up.
This leads to more growth, more closed deals, and more efficiency all around.