Struggling With Self-Limiting Beliefs?


You will have heard the expression: “Whatever you believe you can achieve, you will; and whatever you believe you can’t do, you won’t.”

Allowing self-limiting beliefs to constrain performance, will in turn limit sales results because like everyone, salespeople hold stubbornly to private beliefs about themselves, clients, markets, competition, and even the economy, beliefs that can have an enormous impact, either positive or negative, on their sales achievement levels.

If salespeople do not see themselves as providing value for their prospects and clients, they will tend to approach customers in ways that appeal to reasons for buying other than the genuine business need of the customer. This is what sometimes leads salespeople to oversell, for example, pressing a customer to act now in order to get a low price or to be too accommodating.

It also can lead salespeople to adopt unethical behaviour, because they may try to sell a customer something that they neither need nor want. If they fail to take care of their clients best interests, salespeople will fail to build long-term relationships and lose customers.

Fear of Calling:

Recent studies have confirmed the obvious, that is to say that “fear of calling” in sales can contribute to a significant proportion of lost sales revenues. One study that I read recently found that as many as 40 per cent of established salespeople experienced periods of “fear of calling” severe enough to threaten their future in sales.

Stemming the ever-increasing costs of the “fear of calling” syndrome cannot be addressed by training alone. It requires an experienced coach or mentor to work with each salesperson’s particular set of beliefs, so that they feel truly empowered to breakthrough their self-created mental barriers. One particular statistic in the following survey should give any salesperson suffering from “fear of calling”, renewed confidence

How Customers Regard Salespeople Survey:

Salespeople who do not bother to make appointments. 45%
Salespeople who know nothing about the customer’s business 60%
Salespeople who know little about their products and services 60%
Salespeople who call too often. 39%
Salespeople who don’t call often enough. 49%
Salespeople who do not have the authority to negotiate prices. 45%
Salespeople who do not ask for the order. 40%
Salespeople who are not properly or sufficiently organised. 55%

Most desirable quality customers want to see in salespeople? –Competence!

Customers Can Smell Fear:

We must remember that a salesperson’s state of mind is instantly transferred to their prospect or customer, which means that the challenge for organisations is to constantly create a highly resourceful state in their salespeople. This is extremely important, because when salespeople lack belief in themselves, their product or their service, they unconsciously transmit their attitude to prospects in a variety of subtle and sometimes overt ways.

The Slippery Slope:

Typically, salespeople who believe that if they had lower prices, they would win more deals, tend to attract more price objections. This in turn leaves them feeling scared or reluctant to talk to prospects about what they have to offer. Their downward spiral then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Salespeople’s desire to succeed may be so dominated by a need to be liked that they’ll avoid asking prospects for information that is needed to identify the prospects’ compelling reasons to buy. When this happens, closing becomes a real issue because salespeople, fearing rejection, perceive that asking for the order might cause a breakdown in the relationship with their prospect.

The Importance of Divine Intervention From Above:

Most Sales Directors grasp the concept of activity management, skills development and knowledge development. Intuitively, Sales Directors also understand the vital importance of the right mindset. Yet far too many feel powerless to help their salespeople turn their negative beliefs into positive ones. Those few Sales Directors who do tackle such negative beliefs and are able to change their salespeople’s self-limiting beliefs into empowering ones have found an unbeatable path to success.


News: It’s changeover day at Top Sales World today, (Wedneday) which means lots of new articles, tips and recordings


  1. Chanders says

    JF, thanks for the excellent post. Sales person is often fearful before the customer. The statistics produced by you is quite correct on all scores, and mainly about the knowledge about the customer’s business, products and services. And if we can add one more – calling customer at a wrong time.

    Having said that, I also draw focus on the no. of prospects in the funnel a sales person has to follow up and lets be mindful of various stages of sales cycle. If a sales person is not organised (survey also revealed 55%), then the sales results would be a disaster.

    So the limiting beliefs, as you mentioned, stop the sales person to take the right ‘required’ steps to progress in a sales cycle and a haphazard style make it worse.

    Sales directors and the other stakeholders of the organisation, continue to chase the numbers without caring for the root causes such as you articulated and probably a basic training in organisation. Sales directors have grown up and are in position because they drew their own performance against all odds, and continue to think what they did and how they did were the ways to make the sale happen.

    An investment of time in training and grooming and mentoring individual sales people, is the key to get cracking in tough time and an extremely competitive global world.

    Thanks again for posting it…


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