Success can be such a challenging issue! We all want to have a successful life in all of its aspects–family, career, friendship, business. How we perceive success is a highly subjective matter and it depends on everyone’s unique model of the world.
In a business environment the success of a corporation is highly related to its profits. Thus, a heavy weight is placed upon the organization’s sales and marketing functions. Most sales managers carefully design their sales strategy and adopt the concept of knowledge and skills development. They train their salesforce in order for them to acquire selling skills and to gain a competitive advantage. They also understand that it is imperative for their sales team to incorporate the mindset of success. Still, more often than not, this proves insufficient in order to achieve the results, which they seek. So, what is the problem in this case?
Self-limiting beliefs may constrain the performance of a skillful sales team. People in sales, like everyone else, hold onto their private belief system about themselves, their clients, the markets, the competition, and even the products/services they provide. This can have an enormous impact on their achievements.

“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman – not the attitude of the prospect.” - W. Clement Stone

If sales professionals do not incorporate a successful mindset of providing value to their customers, then they will take less action and will adopt problematic behavior. They may appear too pushy or too accommodating to the customer, failing to fulfill their true needs and to build a long-term relationship with them. Often this poor performance may lead to loss of customers, sales, and, eventually, revenue!
It is imperative for managers, sales teams and professionals to learn how to tackle limiting beliefs and change them into empowering ones. This is a skill which leads to an unbeatable path towards success.

What are beliefs and limiting beliefs?

Beliefs are empowering or limiting thought patterns, opinions or convictions, which we hold as true about the world around us. They are formed consciously or unconsciously as a result of our experiences and conversely they become the fabric of our current state and future experiences. We treat them as true, because we decided to do so unconsciously, sometime in the past.

More often than not, we feed our minds with thoughts such as:

  • I can’t do it.
  • I will never succeed.
  • This is a man’s world.
  • No one would be interested in me or my product/service.
  • It is impossible for me to achieve my goal.
  • I’m not asking, because he is going to refuse.
  • It’s difficult to sell to people because of the recession.
  • I must get this client or else I’m a failure.

These statements are limiting beliefs and reinforcing language patterns, which hold us back, confine our actions, and restrict us from our true potential. They interfere with our ability to move forward and succeed in any aspect of our lives. They reveal how the person holding them is in a state of hopelessness, helplessness or worthlessness.

How can we bust limiting beliefs?

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) provides a variety of linguistic tools one can use in order to get rid of limiting beliefs. These tools enrich one’s belief system with empowering beliefs. Language is a powerful weapon that can form and transform ideas, since it is an essential part of the process of understanding the world and expressing our beliefs. Replacing limiting beliefs with new empowering ones help us achieve anything we want and we can do it in four simple steps:

1. Identify the limiting belief by asking yourself:

  • Does this belief empower me?
  • Does this belief allow me to do more or less?
  • Does this belief enable me to have more or less in your life?

If the answers are “No,” “Less,” and “Less,” then we know that we have a limiting belief and we need to work on it in order to turn the tables.

2. Evaluate the limiting belief by replying to the following questions:

  • What is the cost of holding onto this belief?
  • What has this belief cost in the past?
  • What is this costing me now and how will this affect my future?

3. Challenge your limiting belief as follows:

  • How would I know if this belief was false?
  • Who else believes that this belief is not true?
  • Was there ever a time that I did not believe this was true?
  • What do I want to believe instead?
  • How do I know that this new belief is true?
  • What are the benefits of me believing this is true from now on?

4. Reframe the limiting belief in order to replace it with an empowering one. Reframing is a simple, yet powerful technique for changing an attitude or belief from negative to positive by focusing on the context and/or content of the belief. By reframing a limiting belief, we can view our experiences and the impact of our beliefs from a different perspective. In this way, a sales professional finds potential and identifies a variety of choices in how he/she will act in a similar situation in the future. For example:

  • Limiting belief: “I can’t overcome that price problem.”
  • Reframe: “I can provide a highly valuable product to my customer and describe how they will benefit from it.”
  • Limiting belief: “I must get this client or else I’m a failure.”
  • Reframe: “There is no failure, only feedback.”
  • Limiting belief: “In order to be successful in sales, you must manipulate people.”
  • Reframe: “I care for my clients’ needs and I’ll do my best to be of service.”

Like any behavior, practice makes perfect. Start by changing a couple of limiting beliefs and soon you’ll be able to recognize them more quickly and easily, and, consequently, you’ll be able to reframe more effectively. An important tip: writing down our limiting beliefs and reframing mantras helps us implement them. This is a positive, life-changing process…enjoy it! The results will compensate you with feelings of high self-esteem and confidence. We all want to associate with confident people and so do our customers. The most successful teams are comprised of people who have a positive worldview and are committed to delivering results professionally and personally. There are successful people all around us, despite the socio-economic conditions. Why shouldn’t you be one of them?

(Photo by Simple CVR)