5 Steps to a Million Dollar Marketing Agency
Why do some agency owners rake in cash while others work 80 hours a week to barely break even?
This free workshop will give you the EXACT game plan to go from $0 to $1,000,000 without getting burned out.
GET ACCESS FOR FREE!
Why does selling come easily to some people, while others seem to struggle for every win? If you’re in the latter group, the good news is you can learn how to be a good seller by developing a sales mindset.
A sales mindset is foundational for working in sales, but it’s a make or break skill for business owners, freelancers, and consultants, too. Agencies that survive do so because there is a solid sales process driven forward by entrepreneurs with the right sales mentality.
While your goal may be to maintain a predictable income, meeting that goal often depends on your ability to sell. From getting your first clients to negotiating rates, business owners need to know how to sell, whether or not it comes naturally.
Read on to learn the characteristics of a sales mentality and how to develop the mindset you need to sell like it’s second nature.
What Does it Mean to Have a Sales Mindset?
A sales mindset has two components:
Internal sales mindsets are about Y-O-U. An internal sales mindset is one in which you are always aware of your unique selling proposition, with the confidence and motivation to back it up.
What sets you apart? What differentiates you from similar providers or agencies? Someone with a strong understanding of their value as a brand and provider will sell more. Knowing your strong suits will help you always be ready to answer any pain points or objections.
Internally, sales requires overcoming mental and emotional hurdles, sometimes every day. Selling isn’t easy, and everyone gets discouraged from time to time. Sometimes, you have to work at being more confident.
You don’t have to be naturally aggressive or over-confident. But you do need to stay positive, shake off rejection, and look for the next opportunity. Building this internal resilience is essential for a sales mindset.
External sales mindsets are about your interactions with others. The external aspect of a sales mindset is always being aware of potential leads and staying focused on your clients’ needs.
Not everyone is a natural salesperson. But, everyone can be attuned to the market and aware of opportunities. Since new leads and new clients may always be essential to your agency’s success, these are moments you can’t afford to miss.
Once you connect with potential customers, a sales mindset involves listening, building trust, and nurturing relationships. Don’t worry, these are all skills you can develop over time, even if you’re an introvert.
Staying aware of what sets you apart and being prepared to authentically connect with people are the dual-pronged powers of a sales mindset.
Benefits of Having a Sales Mindset
The most obvious benefit of a sales mindset is more sales, growth for your business, and money in your pocket.
Even when times are good, a proactive selling mindset keeps you focused on what your market needs, so that you don’t lose ground to the competition.
The characteristics that define highly effective sellers overlap considerably with those that define successful people in many fields.
Here are some benefits of developing a sales mindset.
You have to understand “why” you are doing what you’re doing if you want to sell effectively.
No one launches a business expecting immediate success or results. Being tuned into a mission — and actually fulfilling it — typifies entrepreneurs and convincing salespeople.
If you develop this sense of purpose, you will fuel motivation in any endeavor.
A Strong Network
You will make more personal connections as you learn to sell effectively.
People who are successful at selling aren’t out to get a quick conversion. They recognize the value of each customer or client and spend the right amount of time nurturing that lead to the point of conversion.
Bringing a personal touch and making a meaningful connection makes all of the difference in sales. Selling involves listening, understanding, and being helpful. These are the exact skills that help you build your network, grow your business, and get ahead in anything you go after.
Selling means you fully understand the goal (and keep your eye on it). You develop the skills and intuition to motivate others towards a shared vision.
Knowing what you intend to do helps clients feel like more than a means to an end. That aforementioned mission comes into play here: great selling is largely invitational. The client is in charge of buy-in, but your goal is to make a compelling case to where they can’t help themselves.
These overarching realities make it clear that any great entrepreneur can make a simple pivot into thinking differently about sales. Even if it isn’t something you always do, it’s something every agency owner must understand and be able to channel from time to time. There are several different aspects of this mindset.
Characteristics of a Sales Mentality
A sales mentality isn’t something you’re born with — it is something you can cultivate.
Even if some or most of these characteristics of a sales mentality aren’t your default worldview, you can always learn to think in ways that will strategically improve your sales skills.
Here are some traits common to people with a great sales mindset.
It goes without saying that people who sell consistently are friendly. This does not mean that introverts are excluded. It does mean that your own brand of friendliness needs to be on display.
Even if you aren’t innately outgoing, it is important that you learn to connect with people in a way that feels authentic. Simply smiling more, being a good listener, and approaching sales conversations with an attitude of helpfulness are a good start.
Sales takes time and, often, perseverance. As an agency owner, the balance between what you have and what you need is always shifting. Bottom line? You must stay ahead of selling.
Whether you have a lengthy or short client life-cycle, new business is always a part of growth. You must maintain the motivation to sell, long after the urgency of payroll has been assuaged.
Similar to staying motivated is cultivating discipline. Depending on how much a customer is worth to you, it may be very worthwhile to nurture them over time. It’s a process, and the better you stick to it, the better you’ll sell.
This can mean staying on top of email campaigns and DMs, as well as building deeper personal relationships. It’s a discipline that you have to attend to if you want to build a robust and reliable business.
Perhaps the most grievous error you can make when selling is to drop the ball. Not following up, not doing something you’ve promised, or even not sending something over quickly enough can spell the end of a promising lead.
It’s vital that you take ownership over every process in your business, from sales to client onboarding. Responsibility is key.
Salespeople have to have a thick skin, a solid spine, and whatever other metaphors you can imagine for resilience. The word, “no” can’t scare you off or devastate you. In selling anything, you will hear it from time to time, perhaps a lot more than you hear, “yes.”
Develop the ability to disassociate yourself emotionally from a negative response and continue selling. There are plenty of people who will buy from you, so building your mental toughness will keep you from being deterred by those who don’t.
Last, adaptability is a hugely important trait to accompany a sales mindset. The game is always changing in sales. New platforms are developing and new norms are being set for how to behave on those platforms. Not to mention the fact that your client base itself may change.
It’s important to be able to identify and respond to changes in a way that preserves growth.
This may have felt a little like a characteristic wishlist. To be sure, we are all works in progress. But, growth is achievable if you take the right steps in the right direction.
10 Ways to Develop a Sales Mindset
If you are looking for how to be a good seller, finding ways to increase your sales mindset is the place to start. Whether you use this list for yourself or a sales team, here are 10 meaningful ways that you can develop a sales mindset.
1. Set Your Expectations
First, set realistic goals and expectations. Part of a long-term sales strategy has to do with both short-term and long-term goals. This is especially true as you develop the primarily existential side of a sales mindset.
Expectations may be largely personal. Your goals may relate to ideological shifts and personal development work in order to sell better. You may be battling against everything from imposter syndrome to a simple lack of direction.
Whatever you are facing, call it out, address it, and set measurable growth goals for developing a sales mindset for yourself and your team.
2. Implement the Right Routines
We’ve already discussed that sales is part of the lifeblood of your agency. That means it must be part of the routine. A lot of sales can be automated — even the bits that seem personal.
Create a routine, not just for plug-and-play sales processes, but to also pay attention to sales on a regular basis. This may look like a “strategic selling” hour you schedule for yourself each day, or for your team each week.
It’s important that you keep your finger on the pulse of which leads you have, where they are in the sales funnel, and how you are inviting them closer to a point of conversion.
3. Take Initiative
In many ways, living with a sales mindset is about seizing the moment. There will be crucial junctures with each lead, in which they are suddenly ready to make a decision.
Whatever you need to do to be ready to close, it will include taking initiative. Proactive selling requires you to stay ahead of need, ready to seal the deal.
4. Learn to Listen
If selling was about how great your agency is and how superior your offerings were, you’d close a lot more deals with a lot fewer meetings.
The challenge in selling is really about customer pain points; it’s about what a customer needs and how you have the right solutions. To truly learn what clients need, you have to listen… a lot.
This may mean slowing down your sales process, even when all you want to do is rapidly close. But you can start strong with new clients when their needs are truly heard. This enhances both longevity and customer satisfaction.
5. Be Trustworthy
There’s nothing worse than a sleazy salesperson. It’s literally why the stereotype of the used car salesman exists. No one wants to deal with someone who is overly upselling or trying to trick them into buying.
https://www.timstodz.com/The benefit of starting your own agency is that you don’t have to use inherited tricks of the trade. Instead, you can practice that listening you’ve been working on and become a reliable partner for future clients.
Not only is this the stuff great testimonials are made of, it also means that you’re a good person who’s doing business in an ethical way. Win-win!
6. Learn From Your Mistakes
You know this already but let’s rehash: you won’t close every sale. And, sometimes, that will be your fault. Instead of beating yourself (or your sales team) up about it, learn from it.
What can you do better next time? Did you miss out on a follow through? Goof on a business proposal? Totally blank a meeting?
Pick yourself up, implement better protocol, and do better next time.
7. Focus On Your Long-Term Goals
The right sales mindset isn’t going to trip up on small, micro-goals (such as, converting individual leads). You can’t let a bad meeting or missed sale throw off your entire week or month.
Take the long view of how individual sales impact the whole health of your agency. As long as you are making long-term progress, that’s what counts.
This is a valuable perspective. It’s important to remind yourself, and your team, who you are and where you’re headed. Sales are just one piece of the puzzle that will ultimately get you where you want to go.
8. Stay On Task
Whether it’s designing the perfect pitch deck, crafting a slogan, or deploying an ad campaign, it’s important that you make selling a regular activity. This is partly about time management and partly about priorities.
As an agency owner, it’s easy to look at the clients you have as “enough,” but that is not a future-proof way to think. It’s vital that you make the right investments, so that you don’t run dry at a crucial moment.
9. Build a Reputation
The dream: to get to a point where you no longer have to sell anything at all. Your reputation sells the work for you!
Of course, this is elusive at best and often impractical. However, a good reputation does actually do some selling for you.
Whether in the form of social proof, great reviews, or word-of-mouth, referrals are leads who are already halfway there. Reputation building goes hand-in-hand with brand building. It should be an intentional part of your sales strategy.
10. Be Authentic
The reality is that a mindset is personal. Existing within the confines of your mind, you alone know what it means to stay motivated, be disciplined, build a reputation, and forge meaningful relationships with clients.
It doesn’t come from some gimmick or schtick. The best sales will occur when you are authentic. People can tell.
Treat them the way you want to be treated. Be patient as they need more information or more answers, and accept if they walk away the first time.
Having a sales mindset means that you see opportunities, capitalize on them, and operate in a way that makes selling a built-in process. Sign up below for more on the proven systems, processes, and minsdet to build a successful agency.