• January 28, 2021

4 Lies Salespeople Need to Stop Telling Themselves

4 Lies Salespeople Need to Stop Telling Themselves

In one of the early scenes from Martin Scorsese’s movie The Departed, Martin Sheen, playing a police captain, tells a young police recruit played by Leonardo DeCaprio that, “We deal in deception here. What we do not deal with is self-deception.” It’s a poignant line, and a reminder that many of us have stories we tell ourselves — stories that aren’t always true.

Salespeople are no exception, but the lies they tell themselves can turn even the most promising sales rep into an also-ran, the result of a self-destructive mindset that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Here are four lies salespeople need to stop telling themselves immediately:

1. This should be easier 

Sales is perhaps simple, but it’s not easy. If it was, salespeople wouldn’t be compensated as generously as they are. That’s not to say that it isn’t easy sometimes, but most of the time, it’s like pushing a giant boulder uphill. So when you find yourself overwhelmed by the task ahead of you, remember that it’s supposed to be difficult, and it’s okay to have moments when you don’t think you’ll be able to do it — you’re not the first salesperson to feel this way, and you won’t be the last. Just make sure to keep pushing.

2. I’ll put in full effort next month 

It’s easy to tell yourself that there’s always tomorrow, next week, next month, etc. But if you find yourself constantly kicking the can down the road in order to put off your best efforts, you might want to reassess whether you’re just avoiding the work. Successful salespeople are consistent, mainly because they’re consistent in their effort. So the next time it’s late morning and you’re unmotivated and decide that you’ll prospect tomorrow, check yourself and start doing it right away.

3. It’s not my fault. It’s because of ____. 

Salespeople have their gripes, and much of the time, it’s for good reason. Leads, product, competitors, managers, coworkers, the economy, etc., things are never perfect. But unless your company is truly falling apart, or unless the product has no addressable market, there’s always an opportunity to close deals, so blaming external circumstances for your failures is counterproductive. Instead, take responsibility, look for opportunities, and keep at it. Rather than reiterating the problem, try to become the solution.

4. This profession isn’t for me 

Sales has churned out millions of people who’ve dipped their toe in the water before deciding it wasn’t for them. But plenty of those people could have become excellent salespeople with long and lucrative careers if they’d just given it one more shot. It’s easy to say that it’s not for you, but it’s a lot more difficult to stay, put in the time to learn, and develop your skills and mindset. Before you tell yourself you’re not meant to do it, take a step back, think of the upsides and downsides, and actually try to become your best. Who knows, the future you might be thankful you tried one more time.