4 Simple Steps to Stay Above the Fray


Terrible Salespeople Frayed Rope

Everyone wants to “win” the deal.

Everyone wants to make a sale.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a rookie in your first sales position or if you’re a battle hardened veteran that’s been successful for 20 years.  Both ends of the experience spectrum deal with the same initial paradox when they begin a new sales cycle with a prospect.

The paradox is this: if you increase the emotional energy that you invest in the outcome of the deal, the probability of success begins to decrease!  The deal begins to unravel.

Isn’t that weird?  You’d think that the more you care, the better chance you have at a positive outcome right?   After all….you REALLY want (need?) this deal to happen!

The trouble is this: as you ramp up the emotional intensity and attachment, your behaviors begin to change, if ever so subtly.  Your speech begins to change.  If the buyer is paying attention you may begin to look just a tinge desperate.    That “just following up” email or voicemail becomes a transparent display of your desire.

If you’ve spent any time studying human nature, you know that generally, we have a base tendency to look out primarily for our own interests first, and all others second.  This is a survival mechanism that served us well when every day presented a fight or flight opportunity…maybe it still does when dealing with your typical salesperson ;p

We know that the secret to sales is simply to find out what others want, and show them how to get it.   So, why do so many salespeople ignore this simple rule?  They abandon the search for what the buyer wants.

The moment you make it more about what YOU want and the buyer begins to suspect that making the sale is more important to you than making sure they have bought the correct solution, their internal alarm will trigger:



If you are perceived to be acting in your own interest, the implication is that you couldn’t possibly be acting in their interest as well.  Even if the idea or solution IS right for them, they HAVE to safeguard themselves.

So what do we do?  How do we overcome the innate desire to “win/close/make the deal” and instead act as an unbiased, trustworthy advisor that doesn’t care about the outcome?

What follows are 4 strategies that when used AT THE SAME TIME, will propel you out of the desperation zone and into the safe zone of trusted partner.   They are interconnected.  If you decide to neglect one of the following elements, this whole magical construct begins to collapse in on itself.

Don’t leave any of them out.  You need them all.  You can’t forget any of them.  All 4 are critical.  Are you reading this?  Good.

1.) Mentally decide in advance that the outcome of ANY DEAL is completely unimportant.

This is not to say you are going to perform your work poorly.  You’re still going to be a competent, skilled professional.   It simply means the less the deal “matters” the more authoritative/unbiased advice you can give, thereby becoming more helpful to your client and increasing the odds of success.

Instead of getting caught up in the singular opportunity, you are keeping the larger picture of your total business in mind.  When you have a lot of opportunity, its much easier to grip each of them more loosely.  More on that to come.

2.) Cultivate an attitude of gratitude and cheerfulness.

This is not hocus pocus, touchy feely BS.  It’s absolutely the right way to carry yourself.  Grateful people are happy.  Happy people are more attractive than bitter people.  You need to be grateful for whatever you already have.  Being excited about all of the great things in your life now will make you more likely to achieve great things in the future.

3.) BE expectant.

You need to EXPECT great things are coming.  Expectancy is the result of your gratitude.  If you are grateful for what you have, and you’re sold on the future, you will work with high intensity and enthusiasm to GET TO that future.  Intensity and enthusiasm are drivers of quality work….and you’re going to need a ton of intensity and enthusiasm to accomplish the 4th step.

4.) Do a MASSIVE amount of work.

You need to do so much work that you can almost mentally rest easy in this fact alone that there is practically no way you won’t succeed in the long term.  Numbers game, Law of Averages, etc.  If you aren’t putting in the time, you blow up this whole deal.  It doesn’t matter how cheerful you are in front of 5 prospects a day if you could be seeing 18.

Lots of salespeople are willing to be happy and grateful but won’t put in the time and effort that are required to make the whole pursuit a success.   How many people do you know that may be failing, but they still start after 9am or cut out at 3pm?  Still wonder why they’re failing?  Think about it: there are people sacrificing nearly 2 days (40%!!!) of their selling time per week and they still can’t figure out why they aren’t more successful.

How many people do you know that listen to motivational tapes, attend seminars, and read personal development books….but they seem to spend more time getting excited about the idea of working successfully, than PERFORMING THE WORK ITSELF!

Do the work.  Do a LOT of work.  Do more work than any competitor.

So what happens when you combine a grateful, expectant, cheerful, (yet unattached to the outcome) attitude with a mountain of personal effort?

Meteoric growth in sales and profits.


Get after it.



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.