You cannot win if you have already lost in your mind. If you have given up and accepted defeat before you have even tried, you have eliminated the possibility of winning. The certainty that you cannot win becomes a self-fulling prophecy, and it becomes your reality.
You Wouldn’t Want to Meet, Would You?
When you expect your dream client to reject your request for a meeting, the contact will meet your expectations. The default answer for a request for a meeting is always “no.” People are protective of their time, and the higher their level of responsibility, the more this tends to be true. The first “no” to a request for a meeting is the response everyone receives on their first request, but that isn’t the final answer when a few things are true.
- Trading Value: The primary challenge in acquiring a meeting is trading enough value for the time you are requesting. If what you are offering isn’t beneficial for your prospective client, they will protect their time and refuse your request. The more time you are requesting, the more value you will need to deliver. If all you have is a pitch to buy from you, what you promise is inadequate.
- Deserve to be in the Room: If you don’t believe you belong in the room when your dream client makes a decision, you will hear the word “no” a lot more than someone with a different belief about themselves and the value they create for their clients and prospective clients. Maintaining the idea your client knows as much or more than you is debilitating—and is rarely ever accurate. If you don’t believe that you can help your dream client get a better result than anyone else, it will be more difficult for you to acquire meetings.
- Willingness to Persist: If you are not willing to address your dream client’s concerns and ask again for the meeting, your unwillingness to try will result in the first “no” answer being the final answer, at least in that interaction. It is difficult to believe that the value you trade is enough to agree to a meeting if you aren’t willing to defend it. If you don’t think you deserve to be in the room when your dream client makes a decision, you aren’t going to persist.
I doubt you would ever say something like, “You wouldn’t want to meet with me, would you?” Maintaining the belief that you will automatically receive a “no” to a request for a meeting produces the same outcome. You are better off believing the opposite, that everyone wants to meet with you, that you can make a difference in their results, and that need to take a meeting. If you believe this as strongly as you believe no one wants to take a meeting, you would have many more meetings.
I Can’t Compete with Lower Prices
When you expect to lose to your irrational competitor, the one with prices so low it’s difficult to understand how they’re still in business, you improve their chances of beating you. You may find what follows challenging to believe, and you may want to resist or reject it, but it is true.
There are salespeople that work for your company that sell the same thing you sell, with the same higher price required of you, competing against the very same irrational competitors, who are highly successful. Your inability to compete has less to do with your company, your pricing, and your competitor. It has more to do with your sales approach. If you believe that your higher price is an obstacle to winning, you will find that to be true. You can—and must—hold a different set of beliefs.
- Better for Your Client: If you don’t believe that you are going to produce better outcomes for your prospective client than your lower-priced competitor, you have already lost in your mind. While it’s true they are going to peel off the small percentage of people and companies who believe the primary factor in buying anything is the lowest price, those contacts and companies aren’t for you. Your offering has a higher price as a way to create differentiated value. You have to believe you and your offering are better for your dream client.
- Worth Paying More: The value you create is worth paying more to obtain. If the outcomes you help your dream client achieve are better than your competitor’s, they are worth the additional investment. You lose in your mind when you believe that you and your lower-priced competitor are equal, and you have all but surrendered completely when you think the lower price makes them a better choice. Never in the history of solutions has investing less produced better outcomes. You have to believe that good enough isn’t good enough if you want your dream client to feel the same.
- Justify the Delta: Without believing that you are better for your clients and worth paying more for, you won’t be able to justify the delta between your price and your competitor’s lower price. You won’t argue the case that your prospective client shouldn’t make the concessions that inevitably flow from the cost-cutting necessary to operate with a lower price. If you can’t name those concessions and the implications for your client, you can’t help your dream client rationalize the decision to invest a little more for the better outcomes they need.
Your Mindset Determines Your Result
If you believe you have lost before you even try, that belief will become your reality. You are better off assuming that you are going to succeed and being optimistic enough to believe that any loss is temporary, that you are playing a longer game, and that you will do better the next time. You are also better served by the belief that when you don’t achieve the outcome you need, you are solely responsible, that it is temporary, and that you can make adjustments that will help you succeed in the future.
A large part (maybe the most substantial part) of your results start first in your mind. While it’s easy to blame external forces for your challenges and failures, it does nothing to improve your results. When you change your beliefs, you free yourself to change your behaviors and actions, and you improve your outcomes.
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Filed under: Mindset