The Secret Weapon of All Great Salespeople


“I couldn’t do what you do” – This is something us salespeople hear all the time. “All that rejection, people being rude to you” etc. “No thank you.”

We train all our people to realise that the feedback and responses they get from people they call has absolutely nothing to do with them personally. They don’t know you, they never will. It’s not personal – this is the message we give everyone here.

That’s easy for us to say and our team do ‘get it’ on an intellectual level. They can easily understand the rationale behind this philosophy. The trouble is, try telling your emotions that!

Our emotional response to something, anything actually, is what controls much of what we think and how we feel in the moment. Our rational mind knows it’s inappropriate to feel jealous of a grown up child for example when they come round in their new sports car, but we feel the emotion none the less, if only fleetingly.

Emotional Intelligence

In her book ‘Emotional Intelligence’, Gill Hasson talks about understanding the intent of emotion. What’s going on for you and, in an exchange such as a sales call, what’s going on for them too.

Imagine someone having an awful day; their boss is on their back about a report that needs submitting ‘yesterday,’ the school have been on saying their child is ill and needs collecting immediately and someone managed to spill curry sauce all down them at lunch – then you call with your chirpy, upbeat message about cheaper stationery!!!

By reframing the responses you get from people as you work your way through your sales calling day you can start to detach yourself from the emotional crossfire you’re undoubtedly going to be subject to occasionally and completely neutralise it.

Unconditional Positive Response

Therapists often (not always) take an approach they call ‘Unconditional Positive Response’ (UPR) when responding to information being shared by a client/patient. This is true even when the information may seem to suggest that the patient is at fault to some degree. This is because they are adopting a supportive, healing role in order to make the client feel better about themselves.

What it also does is to prevent the therapist/councillor becoming embroiled in the argument. If the patient feels they are taking the side of the other person then an argument and conflict is almost certain to ensue. So the ‘there, there, never mind, nasty man’ approach will do nicely in most cases.

So then, how does that help our poor salesperson? Well, by firstly reframing the negative response (understanding that the person on the other end of the phone are probably having a bad day and we make a great target to vent their spleen) and then adopting a UPR mindset, where we completely forgive anything they say to us because we know it’s not meant for us, the exchange washes off us like water off a stone.

It does take practice of course and, without getting too ‘Zen’ about it, you do have to train yourself a bit to lose your ego. The easiest way to think of it is to make your mind up to be kind, always, no matter what.

This mindset will protect you from any negative thoughts and emotions and get you through not just a bumpy sales call but a rough meeting with your boss or partner.

The great Nelson Mandela once said that holding hate for someone was like swallowing poison and expecting them to fall ill. Staying kind, understanding, polite, patient and all other aspects of this mindset will always help you.

A word to the wise though; don’t get smug. Not only will it backfire on you (in making the person even more enraged at you) it will violate the rule you are trying to follow of not engaging with the person in their bad moment. Stay neutral, calm, and polite. Move on to the next person.

Genuinely wish them well in your head and your heart and move on. You will be amazed how easily to glide through the day, no matter what it’s trying to throw at you.

Happy Selling.