Want to sell more? Start telling yourself that you don’t need the business. Simple as that.
Over all these years, this one mental shift has help me win more sales, build stronger relationships, and especially get me in the best head space.
(click here or on the play button below to hear this post)
There is a powerful psychological shift when you adopt this mindset. Think about your life for a moment. Not just business. How often do we tell ourselves that “I will be happy when…” and we look towards the external to make us satisfied internally? We say things like, “When I am making $____, then I will feel better.” Or “Once we just get through these few months, things will turn around.” or “If I can just meet an amazing partner, I will feel so much better about myself.”
These are all life discussions we have with ourselves while we look for answers to our happiness. The power lies in our ability to do three things:
- Live in the moment
- Have a core set of values
- Work on you first
Apply these ideas to your business as well.
I see far too often that business owners and salespeople sacrifice their values and vision to try and make that sale. They are willing to take on business that doesn’t resonate with them. They accept crap from customers because they are afraid that they will lose the business. So what happens? Well, they fall into a downward spiral of trying to please all the wrong people “for now” and end up building a business that controls their lives.
Now I am not saying that you should be turning away money and business as part of my weird, altruistic master plan. Keep in mind, I am a capitalist at heart. What I am saying is that there is a better way to build success. I work with my clients on getting more done, making more money, and most importantly – HAVING MORE JOY.
In order to do that, they need to stand for something, be true to their business, and create value for their customers and communities.
The mindset of “I don’t need the business”
Remember that this is a mindset, not a business practice. haha. Going into all sales situations being able to completely walk away if it is not a good fit will do something special to you. It will empower you to take your business seriously, it will help you project the right kind of confidence and energy, and it will allow your conversations to have much less of a feeling of “agenda.”
I was helping a new client with this a few weeks ago, and he told me the lesson actually helped him with his dating life too. He was having much better dates with women! He thought to himself that he didn’t “need” this person, but instead was working on being the best version of himself, enjoying the moment, and seeing if they were a good fit. The conversations became much more free-flowing and he said that it was so much more enjoyable. No pressure. And he was having much more success in connecting than he had previously.
Think about the psychology of this. We make decisions based on emotions all the time. We sense where other people are emotionally. We can “feel” when something is just not right.
I like to say that “we can smell when someone is trying to sell to us.” We have programmed ourselves to be wary of sales messages and salespeople.
When you set in your mind that you don’t need the business, you drop all guards and you are able to look at each opportunity objectively.
This can be scary, I know.
Fear is a powerful driver of decisions. It is easy to say to yourself you don’t need the business, until you have quotas to meet and a family to take care of. And especially if there is some potential cash on the table. I get that.
Here’s the deal I will make with you. I never want to see you suffer, so sometimes you may need to do a few things that don’t 100% meet your values. Go ahead, but don’t make that a long term strategy.
Your long term strategy should be something you think about NOW and an ongoing discussion you have with yourself. What kind of business do you want to run? How do you want to be known by others? What are you willing to do to make that happen?
One thing I know is that most people have a very weird relationship with money and they are afraid of all sorts of consequences. That is why they make silly decisions about themselves, simply because money was involved. Fear does that to us.
So switch your thinking from fear to desire. Imagine what your business would feel like with all the RIGHT clients and customers. What do you have to do to make that happen?
I don’t need the business will get you more business.
Set the tone with everyone you speak with. Your reputation will be built on your consistency, conviction, and character. Everyone you speak with, let them know what you believe, the kinds of people you are looking to work with, and the way you do business. They will either self-select themselves into your business or out of. Likewise, if they are not a good fit, but still believe in you, they may just pass their contacts on to you that ARE a good fit.When people believe in what you believe, they will do business with you. When they don’t know what you stand for, you always have to sell.
By having a clear definition of who you are looking for and the way you do business, you will more easily tap into your ideal customer segments and your business will flourish.
Say goodbye to discounting and chasing
I say in almost every presentation I give, “The two words that kill me a little inside are DISCOUNTING and CHASING.”
Every time I hear them, it tells me that you are not true to your business.
- “I had to discount that price to get the business,”
- “I can’t get a hold of that customer. I constantly have to chase them.”
Even writing those words made me feel a bit more dead inside. I need a moment. …
Okay, I’m back.
When you apply the right mindset of “I don’t need the business,” you can start to prime your customers and show them what it would be like to do business with you. What you will or won’t stand for, what you believe, what your process might be like, etc. You begin to have REAL dialogues and build solid business relationships.
My example: Uncle Candy
I get asked a lot to do workshops for organizations in sales, leadership, and change. I love doing them and we always have fun while getting people to see more opportunities.
But here is one part of the conversation I have EVERY TIME.
I tell my potential client:
“I have been to countless workshops in my time where someone comes in with the latest new way to improve things. Everyone gets riled up and leaves excited. But then what happens when the training is over? Right, NOTHING. It’s like an uncle coming in, giving your kids candy, and then leaving.
So the one thing I ask is that, since we both know these things happen, we look at your situation a bit deeper. Let’s identify what we need to do to prepare your teams ahead of the session and more importantly, what systems need to be in place afterwards to reinforce and anchor the topics we cover.
Let me ask you a few more questions.”
Now, as you can see, that opens up a myriad of wonderful talking points and synergy between me and my clients. The real power in this, however, lies in the fact that if someone replies to me and says, “We are not really interested in anything other than the training,” I tell them that this is probably not a good fit then. It does not help my brand to do consulting and not have it be sustainable. I have simply seen it happen too many times and it’s not the way I work.
That doesn’t mean that everyone becomes a long term client, but it does create possibilities. And I feel much better when I work this way.