Mindset evaluations are part of every successful sales recruiting and talent sourcing. Why? Well …
Negative Salespeople and Leaders are Like Octopi
Now that I have your attention, let me explain. Thanks to their 8 long tentacles, an octopus can reach far and wide. Fixed mindsets and the accompanying pessimistic point of view will likewise spread out from one group and influence the rest of the team. It unfolds like this:
1. Leaders with fixed mindsets don’t see their team’s potential
2. They make hires who also have fixed mindsets
3. The entire team imposes self-limitations
4. They lack confidence and miss goals – a breeding ground for pessimism
5. Negativity from this team emanates to your other employees
6. In this environment, creativity diminishes and productivity drops
7. The rest of your team starts to doubt their capabilities
8. Your business growth potential is destroyed
Fixed mindsets are more prevalent than you think
Before you say, “that can’t apply to me because no one on my team has a fixed mindset,” think about this phrase: “so-and-so was born to _____.” Maybe the person was born to be an athlete, a singer, or salesperson. It doesn’t matter how you fill in the blank, the important part comes before that, where you say they were born to do it.
People with fixed mindsets don’t believe in the power of self-improvement
When someone has a fixed mindset, inherent skills and traits determine whether a person excels at an activity. Failure occurs because a person lacks natural talent.
What negative fixed mindsets sound like on your sales team
Unlike imposter syndrome, which quietly infects teams, you can hear when you have a fixed mindset problem. A salesperson might say:
- “I’m no good at cold calling.”
- “I just don’t know how to _____.”
- “No one will listen to me; I don’t have enough experience.”
Or worse, sales leaders say it about their team members:
- “[Employee] just can’t figure out how to sell this solution.”
- “[Employee] will never hit their sales goal; their cold emails aren’t compelling.”
Improve Hiring Strategies & Retain Talent with a Championship Mindset
Negativity is your biggest barrier to success
Negativity kills productivity because fixed mindsets place artificial limits on what your organization can achieve.
The fixed mindset trap is avoidable
There are two ways to free your company from the grip of fixed mindsets. Start by looking at your hiring strategy to see if you evaluate for the right mindset components.
3 Critical Mindset Components to Add to Your Sales Hiring Strategy
Here are 3 of the components you should be looking for in your next hire.
“Managers then should hire for optimism and resilience, even including tests for optimism and resilience in the interview and application process.”
This was a key takeaway from a study conducted by researchers at Baylor University.
The team reached their conclusion after evaluating 175 randomly selected salespeople from 17 different organizations. Their study revealed that psychologically resourceful salespeople were better at assessing and meeting customer needs.
What goes into being psychologically resourceful?
Optimism and resilience. Those qualities made salespeople more resourceful and better at problem-solving. Resourceful salespeople had better relationships with customers, increasing overall satisfaction.
Along with being a key part of resourcefulness, positivity makes your sales team more effective.
Optimistic salespeople outperform pessimistic salespeople by 56%
The data comes from a study by Dr. Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania and makes a strong case for evaluating mindset before hiring your next sales professional.
When you add an optimistic team player, you are gaining an employee who has a positive influence on their coworkers and your bottom line.
Call it resilience or persistence – either way, salespeople need an abundance of it to get past all the times they hear “no” during the day.
That small word carries a lot of weight.
Studies prove that negative experiences are recalled more vividly and frequently than positive ones. On your team, a salesperson is more likely to remember the “no” from a prospect, even when it came before a fantastic meeting with a satisfied client.
Inner strength to push past the stream of rejections is about more than reaching prospects. Like the Baylor study pointed out, persistence indicates an ability to creatively solve problems and have strong relationships with customers.
Hiring strategies aren’t your only option
If your current employees possess fixed mindsets, you don’t need to start from scratch with new hires. The famous athletes, singers, and business leaders we love to say were born to do something possess more than raw abilities. Plenty of equally skilled people never reach the upper echelons of their industry.
The best of the best pair talent with their determination to improve
In fact, with the right beliefs and work ethic, even the less naturally gifted can surpass inherently “better” peers.
The same holds true for every employee in your organization.
Fixed Mindsets Aren’t Permanent – You Can Change How You Think
The Baylor study highlighted that managers can help salespeople change their mindsets. It recommended separating a setback, like a failed prospecting call, from a self-limiting belief (I’m not good at cold calling).
It takes more than a conversation to loosen the tentacles of a fixed mindset
Through Peak Performance Mindset workshops, salespeople discover the framework that frees them from self-limiting thought patterns.
Peak Performance Mindset workshops positively alter how people approach work and life. During the session, participants will:
- Enhance positive attitudes, mindfulness, perseverance and behavior
- Build strength and resilience to thrive during difficult work situations
- Discover how to identify then push past obstacles
- Become more self-aware and positive
- Increase confidence
The Easiest Hiring Strategy to Follow
The 3 mindset components we shared above are a sample of what your evaluation could include. Depending on your organization, it might make more sense to evaluate for initiative and accountability, or communications. You can go through the process of creating an exhaustive list of components, and then add tailored mindset evaluations to your hiring strategy – or you can work with a talent acquisition company like ProActivate who will do it for you.