WHETHER you are an entrepreneur, salesman or in any position responsible for acquiring revenue for your company, you have to be mindful of numbers.

Many experts say that sales is a numbers game. So you set your sales target and then you work backwards, calculating how many prospects you need to meet before you can close a certain amount of sales.

I beg to differ.

If sales were indeed just a numbers game, how is it that there are salespeople who meet many prospects in a month yet close only a handful cases, while others meet just several potential clients but close almost every one and meet their sales quota?

You might say the former lack essential sales skills such as presenting, influencing, persuading, negotiating, and relationship-building.

But if an entrepreneur or salesperson were competent in all the necessary sales skills, is he really guaranteed success? The answer is no.

Just as golf is regarded as more of a game against self than others, sales is also more of a mind game than a numbers game. How is that possible, you ask? Let me explain, using the acronym MIND:

Mental toughness

Very few successful salespeople will tell you that they have had a very smooth sales career. Either they have had to deal with lots of rejections and objections, or they have had to learn through sweat and tears before arriving at where they are today.

You can master product knowledge and selling techniques, yet you will need a strong engine in your head to keep you going when the going gets tough.

This engine needs to continue to work in the roughest terrain and seas, even when you are hit by a negative emotional tsunami due to economic challenges or personal difficulties.

With mental toughness, a not-so-capable salesperson or entrepreneur can last the journey while acquiring the necessary competencies and get on top of his game eventually. Without it, even the most competent person will fall out of the race.

Internal congruence

Internal congruence is like a contract you have signed with yourself on what you will have, get and receive. Psychologists call this a collection of subconscious decisions you have made since childhood days. Dr Maxwell Maltz, author of Psychocybernetics, calls it “the self-image”.

When you set a sales or income goal, it is done at a conscious level. You will only achieve this goal if your sub-conscious decision or self-image supports this goal.

For example, you want to make $1 million this year from your business. Do you really feel comfortable making a million dollars a year? Do you really feel deserving of it?

A lack of internal congruence is like driving a car with a misaligned GPS; you will not get to your destination on time until you recalibrate what is within.

Neutralising emotions

The toughest part about pushing on when the odds are against you is not when you are physically tired, but when you are mentally drained by negative emotions.

For every negative emotion that you need to manage and handle, you are allocating a portion of your mental and physical energy to it. Imagine if you had a whole load of negative emotions to handle?

Of all the negative emotions that can affect an entrepreneur and salesperson, I consider fear to be a critical one. This emotion can send you into a frenzy especially when you are nowhere near your target and the deadline is near.

Learn to deal with and neutralise your fears. Draw upon your past successes to help you. When fear decreases, faith increases.

Desire with determination

Is your sales or income goal a wish or a must? A “wish” is a desire without determination. “How I wish I could have more money”, “How I wish I could multiply my business revenue”, “How I wish I could have a breakthrough in my sales performance”.

A “must” is a desire with determination. “I must double my income this year for my family”, “I must increase my business revenue by 50 per cent to expand overseas”, “I must achieve a breakthrough in my sales to inspire my team”.

Desire is easy; everyone has it. The determination to do whatever it takes to achieve your desire is the key. Are you willing to pay the price for the prize?

Article by Jensen Siaw, a performance breakthrough coach and communication expert with Richard Gavriel Speaker Management. For more information, e-mail Richard@RichardGavriel.com