The Absolute Necessity of an Equality Mindset

Robert Terson

I’m often asked what I think the most important aspect is to becoming a master salesperson. Not an easy question to answer, because, of course, there are so many things that make a salesperson successful, let alone a master; we could create a list a few pages long, covering every point of all three sides of the selling Triangle—Mental Attitude, Work Habits, Salesmanship. Still, it’s a fair question and it deserves an answer.

In my opinion the most important point is an Equality Mindset. What do I mean by that? An Equality Mindset means the salesperson has no fear of the prospect/customer. He sees himself as the prospect’s equal and approaches him in that frame of mind. He’s bold. He knows that he must have the prospect’s respect in order to do business with him, and the only way to obtain the prospect’s respect is to be his equal, not his fearful lackey

The sad truth is, most salespeople are, to some degree, afraid of their prospects/customers; and because of that, they approach them (again, this is in various degrees) from a subservient position, which, trust me, does not engender respect. On the contrary, it begets a lack of respect, in many cases a complete turnoff.

Think about it: Do you want to do business with someone who appears to be afraid of you? Who fawns all over you, jumps at the chance to agree with you? Who wants your business so badly that he’ll say anything, do anything, to obtain it?  I didn’t think so.

When you possess an Equality Mindset you approach the sales process from a position of strength. When you don’t, when you’re subservient to your prospects/customers, you approach the sales process from a position of weakness. You’re behind the eight ball from start to finish

Here’s a list of things to keep in mind:

  • The worst thing that can happen is that you won’t make a sale. So what? You knew going in that you weren’t going to sell them all, right? So why be fearful? There’s nothing to be fearful of.
  • An Equality Mindset leads to what I call the Voice of Authority. A Voice of Authority will cause your prospect/customer to have faith in you, give credence to what you’re telling him, r-e-s-p-e-c-t you.
  • Eye Contact: You must always look the prospect/customer directly in the eye to gain his respect. A salesperson who avoids eye contact is going to be seen as shifty, untrustworthy.
  • You’re there to serve the prospect/customer, better his life. That’s a pretty terrific thing, isn’t it? It’s something you can be proud of, isn’t it? It’s something your prospect/customer should appreciate. He will, too, if you’re dealing with him from a position of equality

In his foreword for my book, Selling Fearlessly, Dr. Tony Alessandra tackled this issue as well as I’ve ever seen. I’m adding it to this blog because it’s apropos, not because it’s a great plug for my book (although…if it influences you to buy the book, I think you’ll be glad you did):

These are questions few people have asked before:

• Are salespeople afraid of some or all of their prospects?

• Do they see themselves as subservient to their prospects?

• Do they suffer from acute fear of failure?

• Is fear the number one reason for their lack of success?

Are these questions especially pertinent to the 80% of salespeople who only do 20% of the business?

If you were to do a survey asking 500 salespeople what their greatest fears are, chances are you would get a lot of surprised looks and statements along the lines of “I’m not afraid of anything.”  Chances are, too, the salespeople may not be lying to you; they may really believe to be true what they said.  The reason for that is “fear” is not an emotion most of us are consciously in touch with or, even if we are, we hate to admit it.  It’s just too painful and embarrassing and, too often, an invitation to ridicule from one’s peers.  It is a vast conspiracy really—a king-sized barrier to successful selling—to even discuss it, let alone confront it, is a taboo most refuse to confront.

In Selling Fearlessly, Bob Terson confronts this mighty taboo for all of us and we are all the better off for it; for to be successful in selling requires challenging our fears and forever banishing them to a locked closet and throwing away the key.

Those of us who are true professionals call on people to help them, serve them, better their business lives. We are not there to manipulate or exploit them for our own benefit.  To perform at the highest levels, we cannot be afraid of them. Why should we?  To perform at the highest levels, we must be the equal of our prospects and customers and why shouldn’t we?  Again, we are professionals, are we not?  Do we not deserve their respect and even gratitude for the excellent work we do on their behalf?  Absolutely!  Fear, like all emotions, is simply a state of mind—a temporary state of mind.  If you are willing to look deep within yourself, confront and challenge your fears, slash your way through them, success beyond your wildest imagination awaits you.

Selling Fearlessly is not only a hands-on tool to get you past your fears, it will show you how to sell from the perspective of a master salesperson who spent 43 years in the field selling to the same tough customers you deal with every day of your life.  This book covers it all—mental attitude, work habits, salesmanship.  There are elements of selling Terson brings to your attention that you have never even thought about.  This is a book of stories, a book of solid, subtle technique, not a book of abstract theory. This is the real world of selling, a life changer, and after you’ve read this book, you’ll never be the same or think about the sales process the same.  Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned professional, you’ll find ideas in this book that will take your sales to new levels.  As you put these ideas into practice, you’ll see your success with customers soar.  Enjoy! Greatness awaits you.


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