A Revision to Mindset, Skill Set, Tool Kit

If you haven’t changed any of your beliefs, it is proof that you are not growing. From time to time, you should revise what you believe. It’s proof that you are willing to take new ideas and new information—even when those beliefs conflict with what you believe now.

I keep a list of beliefs I have changed, and I update it every so often. This is a minor adjustment, sparked by a LinkedIn comment by one John Bradley.

I wrote sales success is Mind Set + Skill Set + Tool Kit, something I stole from Gerhard Gschwandtner (I am not sure where he picked it up). John revised this to read: (Skill Sets + Tool Kits) x Mindset.

This is a necessary revision—and improvement— to the idea sales requires a specific set of skills (8 of which I covered in The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, along with 9 mindset attributes). While the tools of the trade are essential and necessary, by themselves, they aren’t enough. Mindset comes first because it’s the foundation for the other two. Without the right mindset, the other two will suffer.

Making mindset a multiplier of skill sets and toolkits makes more sense. It increases the power of mindset from one of being additive to multiplicative. Instead of 1 + 1 + 1 = 3, you now get (1 + 1) x some number that indicates your mindset, and the higher the number, the higher the outcome. Maybe your mindset isn’t so healthy, so it’s (1 + 1) x 2, giving you a score of 4. However, perhaps you are (1 + 1) x 8, giving you the much-improved score of 16.

This equation makes more sense. Two salespeople might be equally skilled, and they might sell the same product, in the same territory, to the same clients, and even work for the same company, yet the one with the stronger mindset will produce greater results than the salesperson with a weak mentality. As much as some sales leaders and sales managers want to scale through external factors, it is still the intangibles that win—and produce the best results. Things like self-discipline (keeping the commitments one makes to oneself), optimism (positive, future-oriented and empowered), caring (empathy and EQ), competitiveness (the love of a good contest), initiative (being proactive), resourcefulness (finding a way to solve seemingly intractable problems), and determination (intestinal fortitude) make up a good part of success—especially in sales where these attributes are magnified.

The more that things that can be automated or produced through technology move in that general direction, the more that the human elements are going to be the difference (as they always have been, but now more pronounced). The skills can be taught, and the tools can be bought. However, the empowered and indomitable mindset must be intentionally developed and cultivated.

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