If you want to start converting prospects to customers, maximize your value, and increase your potential customer base by a factor of six, you need to develop a winning mindset.
A winning mindset drives better success as it always has the customer in mind. It gets into their shoes — which can be difficult to accomplish. We’ve been conditioned from birth to look at the world through our own point of view. But if you want to sell well, you need to ditch that focus and start looking at — and appealing to — your potential customers.
Here are three simple but effective ways to cultivate that winning mindset:
1. Change your phrasing. One powerful way to make the shift from your point of view to the customers’ is to stop using self-centric words, such as “I” or “We.” Swap them out for “you” and let that drive a change in your language. Here’s an example: it’s typical to say something like, “I’m going to show you how amazing our services are.” Instead, say it this way: “You’re going to quickly see why our customers think our services are amazing”.
Using “you” and “you’re” it engages the other person’s listening and memory: their brain is registering that you are talking about them, not you. When you first start making this shift, it’s not going to be easy. You’ll likely feel the tension in your speech. But eventually, with practice it will become second nature.
2. Focus on the meaning first. Any time you’re talking about your product or service, imagine a cartoon bubble is over the head of your prospect, asking “But how will this benefit me?” or “What will this mean to me?” That’s what customers are always thinking, regardless of whether they ever ask that question out loud.
Before you go into any detail on what it is your product or service does, you first need to convey what it means to your prospect, which means how it will benefit them. True meaning lies in the benefit of the product to an individual. The person you’re building a relationship with has to understand how they will be better off.
The passion that sales professionals often have for their product — which is a good thing — has a downside. It can lead to a false belief that the features and capabilities of the product will sell themselves. But they won’t. Your product won’t sell itself based on those features and capabilities, either. The prospect will not actively listen to what your product is and does until they understand what it means to them — which also indicates why they should listen to you.
3. Address emotions, not logic. We all understand that human beings make decisions based on meaning and emotion, but we justify our decisions with logic and reason. Sales professionals tend to understand that better than nearly anyone. Still, too many selling conversations are focused on building a logical business case and overlook an appeal to emotions.
When you do a good job of building meaning into your conversations, your prospect will experience a corresponding emotion. When they understand the meaning of not being able to solve a problem, they experience frustration and pain. But on the other side of the equation, when a prospects understands what their world would look like because your product or service would be able to solve their problem, they’re going to experience relief — and interest in what you have to offer.
A winning mindset understands this reality about decision making, and knows what questions will evoke emotions, helping a prospect more easily make a decision to buy.
How it works in real life
I’ve had the opportunity to train over 100 franchise owners as part of my work with a large floor covering franchise. I teach workshops and run follow-up coaching sessions, and I’m always inspired by the mindset shifts I see.
At the end of each workshop, I always ask the same question: “What do you think about what you’ve experienced today?” Most of the audience will take a minute. When they’re pressed to be specific and identify one single thing that will equip them with a winning mindset, they nearly always answer “You phrasing — because it makes it easier to see the world from a prospect’s point of view, and be more focused on solving their problems.”
In a recent follow-up coaching session, one franchise owner shared a story about how her approach changed. Previously, she would show up to a meeting and talk all about her amazing business. But instead, as she explained, she put the focus on the other business owner. She mentioned a conversation with a restoration business owner in which she described the positives that would come about if that owner was partnering with her. Specifically, it would free up time, introduce more peace of mind, and ultimately serve the restoration business’ customers better. By putting the focus on the other business owner, she was able to start building a successful partnership.short url: