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The Sales Buzz Issue 208 - How Successful Sales People See Opportunities
August 13, 2013

How Successful Sales People See Opportunities

How successful sales people see opportunities is the key to their success.

Have you ever looked at a sales area, a market, a showroom, or your locality, and not been able to see any prospect opportunities.

When you look for new prospects what you see can be the difference between success and failure as a sales professional.

If you can see prospects and opportunities you can approach them and start the process of selling.

If you can’t then who do you sell to?

How you perceive the map of your sales area, the place where your prospects are, is key to whether or not you are successful. Let me give you a real example…

Which of the following two sales people are you most like?

A sales representative working for me complained that there were no prospects left to sell to on his area and it was impossible to meet his sales targets.

He couldn't see any opportunities, they just were not there. Events took place and a new sales person took over the area. The new seller on the area started closing sales in the first week and continued to increase the revenue generated. I asked where he was finding all the opportunities and he said that he could see them everywhere and there was plenty of business to be won on the area.

So what’s the difference between the two sales people?

They both worked the same area and had the same services available to sell.
The only difference was that one of them saw opportunities where the other saw none.

The only reason that one of them hit target and the other didn't was how successful people see opportunities.

In the example above the second seller saw doors to knock on and businesses to contact. His attitude is: Behind all doors there are potential prospects and you only find out which doors they are behind by knocking on them.

The first seller couldn't see the prospects even though they were there right in front of him. It’s all about perception and how successful sales people see opportunities and others don’t see them.

Your perception will work better if you are conscious of it

In the above real example the viewpoint of both sales people was happening sub-consciously, they were not in control of how they processed what they saw when they looked at businesses on the area they worked. It just happened as part of their psychological make-up, internal filters, and meta-programs that control their perception and build their internal map of the world around them. Two people, same sales area, and two different internal maps of what was on their area.

Imagine that, something as important as the success of your job or your business being controlled by sub-conscious processes that you are not even aware of.

Your results, your income, your future, all at the mercy of something you do unconsciously. If you’re lucky you sub-consciously use the programs and filters that the successful seller used. If you’re unlucky, you don’t see any opportunities and that can have serious consequences.

I've heard sales managers say that some people have it, and some don’t. Maybe that’s what they were talking about.

Take control and move the sub-conscious process to the conscious mind?

When something changes in your life you will notice things around you that were there all the time but you didn't see them. If you order a new car you will start to notice cars of the same model. You’ll see lots of them and think everyone must be buying the same car as you. The cars were already there, you just didn't see them.

Ordering your car has told your internal filters that this is now of interest to you and you now notice the cars.

If you put your house on the market you will suddenly notice how many other houses are for sale. They were for sales yesterday but they weren't of interest to you then so your perception filters didn't bother bringing the information to your attention.

A lot of my female colleagues tell me that they will buy an outfit and then see lots of other women wearing it. This can lead to some women thinking they are fashion setters and are ahead of the trends. Sorry, the other girls were wearing the outfit before you bought it, you just didn't see them.

An exercise to take control of what you see

One way to take control of what your perception filters make you aware of is to ask yourself some questions.

Seriously, I know it sounds crazy, but in a quiet moment while you are alone, well you don’t want people seeing you talking to yourself do you, in a quiet moment ask yourself how many prospects can you see. Describe what your prospects look like and build a description of what you are looking for.

You cannot be conscious of every piece of information that your senses perceive. It would drive you insane and you would overload your mind. So your mind has perception filters that only make you aware of what you have told it you are interested in. Asking for your mind to find sales prospects is a way to get them on the short-list of information that you want to know about.

Your mind will react. Once it knows what you are interested in and it will bring any that come into view to your attention.

If you drive as part of your job you will see prospects everywhere, once you have asked yourself to find them. Asking yourself a question tells your mind that you want to be informed when you see what you have asked for. This is how successful sales people see opportunities.

See more on changing perception, altering attitudes, and getting motivated

I'm Stephen Craine from the website

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