How To Begin Selling: Your Necessary Mindset Shift

How to begin selling is a key question, because people shut themselves down before they begin if they don't understand what's going on.

The future you think you see now isn't real.

Military planners had this problem: they'd be planning for the last war. They assumed things would bop along pretty much the same as they had until now—and then Whammo! You get watercooled machineguns, trench systems, tanks, and airplanes that all add up to suddenly making everything you think you know obsolete.

We are doing this all the time.

Our vision extends out in a straight line from our point of view at this moment. We figure things are going to continue as they have until now.

Yet reality is that we are moving along a curve.

Things change. Sometimes very slowly, sometimes very quickly.

And we have much more control over the speed of that change than you may have realized until now.

The Reality of How To Begin Selling

Have a look at this handy little sketch I've put together for you:

how to begin selling - point of view

We imagine things are going to proceed as the red arrow shows.

But actually, we're on a path that is going to take us where the blue arc is heading.

There's no “good” or “bad” here. Look at the difference in where the arrowheads end up, though.

Look at the gap!

Now you can creep along the blue arc, so slowly you won't even have the sensation that anything is moving.

Or you can rocket along it so fast you panic and wonder when this roller coaster ride is going to end.

And you can change your speed deliberately.

Now why am I sharing this observation with you?

What relevance does it have to how to begin selling?

Let's imagine you're new to a marketplace. Plop. You just got dropped in there. You don't know anybody. You don't know where to go. You don't know what to say.

Things from the orange dot, your current Point of View, look pretty bleak, right?

So here you have a choice.

You can look out into the red line future. A perceived vision path of closed doors, failure, and shame.

And what effect will that have on you?

You'll shut yourself down. Beaten before you start.


The Mindset Shift of How To Begin Selling

Or you can understand that reality changes. Your perception of it changes. After a period of time, and you putting in the effort, your situation will change. You'll have moved up further along the blue arc. And your tangential Point of View will have changed, too: you'll think of possibilities with certainty that you can't even imagine in your current state.

So my advice to you is, when you start something, don't look into the future.

What you see will be a lie.

It's a future that will never exist, because by then you'll have moved along the blue arc to a different Point of View.

This is Mindset Shift.

This is how you change your reality.

Get to work. Begin moving down the path. Don't look up. Not for three months of sustained effort, at least. That's how to begin selling.

To start to get known as “The guy or gal to talk to about X” it takes about 90 days.

And by then, your reality will have changed. Possibilities you believe are closed to you now and that you would never consider will be open.

Then look up.

Then review your progress, and make your plans.

In the meantime, don't be too hard on yourself. Ignore the fear of failure. It's based on an inaccurate and very-soon-to-be-outdated Point of View.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist and trainer. Book a call with Jason to discuss your mindset questions with this link. <<


Change Management And The Unexpected

Change Management is a field of study that has been around for over sixty years. Yet most people outside of corporate executive roles at large companies have never heard of it.

Managing change is hard. Let's get that point out of the way right now. This is why government is so easy to screw up: you're involving and affecting a lot of people, and in most cases the decision makers don't even know what they're deciding. Not completely. There are always unintended consequences.

change management unexpected consequences angry customer

Let me give you an example from the corporate world. We'll do this through a peek into a late night conversation with a European client.

Change Management And Unintended Consequences

Imagine we have an old school financial firm that is making the jump to having its data online.

Until now, customers have received paper statements mailed at the end of the month. If they see a potential issue, they call customer service.

Customer service reps haven't had instant access to the data, either; and even if they did, they get a time gap here.

"Thanks for your call," they've been saying to the customer; "We'll look into this and get back to you."

And they do. They are good problem solvers. Look at the tone of the interaction: polite, a response to a friendly inquiry, with time to figure it out.

Now the company is moving to a self-service model. The data is going online, and customers have access to their up-to-date account information. Some customer service reps have been reassigned or let go. What happens next?

The customer sees the same data the rep does. They observe what they believe is a problem, and it's their money we're talking about here. They get mad!

Now they call customer service, and their tone is different than before the change. They're upset! And does the customer service rep have the time to dig into the problem and figure out what to do, like they used to? No!

They're expected to have an instant solution.

This is completely unexpected, both to the front line reps and the executives in charge of managing the change.

The surviving customer service reps may not even fully understand what is going on. "We got hit with all these upset customer calls!" they say. Some may even leave—why should they put up with the abuse?

The fact is the customer service reps need an entirely different skill set because of the change in tone resulting from the instant access to information brought on by the well-meaning change.

The tone of the calls has changed from inquiry to confrontation.

More training on "the system" is not what will help here, yet that is what many managers would prescribe.

Are you starting to see the challenge with making change?

Why it's so easy to make mistakes when making change?

How Experienced Suppliers Can Help With Client Change Management Initiatives

This is precisely the situation where an experienced solution provider can step in with their experience. If the customer allows them, they can share the benefit of their experience. "We've been through this twenty times," the supplier can tell the customer, who is going through it their first and perhaps only time. "Let us tell you about typical issues we've encountered."

Contrast with the Gung-Ho, "We're Perfect" sales approach of most pushy solution providers.

Will the mature and helpful supplier catch every possible thing that could go wrong with a change initiative? Of course not. The map is not the territory. But they can advise the customer, and get the customer into the mindset that the unexpected will be encountered.

How can you apply this mindset in your own organization?

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist. To book a call to discuss Change Management initiatives in your firm, click here. <<