We all know someone who takes everything personally and complains the world is against them. They don’t grasp that outcomes are in large part a result of our efforts and mindset; they see their abilities as unchangeable. Don’t waste your breath getting them to understand because it will go in one ear and out the other. OR they’ll contradict everything. This is known as a fixed mindset.

I’m sure you’ve also encountered those who are curious about how they can improve and typically see the opportunities in every situation—even the ones where they didn’t see the desired outcome. These folks aren’t wearing rose-colored glasses, they understand we can all improve with focus and practice. This is known as a growth mindset.

Mindset Makes an Impact

The fixed mindset is very common in most sales organizations because most salespeople have weak Sales DNA. Sales DNA relates directly to a fixed or growth mindset.  Salespeople with a fixed mindset will resist coaching and learning new skills and processes. They equate these with micromanagement and fluff that’s a waste of their time.  Salespeople with a growth mindset will do a debrief of a meeting and wonder how they could have done things differently. 

Do you know what fixed-minded salespeople WILL do? Make every excuse in the book and put the blame on pricing, the competition, the economy, and anything but their own sales skills. Growth-minded salespeople don’t make excuses because they’re too busy finding opportunities to grow! They usually recognize obstacles in real-time and test out new skills to either get the sale back on track or learn even more. 

Sales Leadership’s Role

“Should we just fire the fix-minded people and start from scratch?” No, help the current team first. It’s important for sales leaders to show they care while extending the invitation to improve.  But individuals must be willing to do the work.  Even if a salesperson is trying and struggling, give them an opportunity. Leaders need to provide clear expectations, provide the WHY, and help the team see how this benefits them while allowing enough time to get traction and demonstrate progress.

Leaders should not hire someone new with a closed mindset, but if they are already there…let’s do our job and try to help.  Salespeople fire themselves with their decisions. 

What’s the Big Deal?

Mindset is very difficult to change, and a weak salesperson takes too many resources from their growth-minded teammates which costs everyone money and sales. The bar to entry is very low and it takes time and effort to improve so hiring candidates with a growth mindset is key to getting out of the gate quickly. Bonus: a growth-minded salesperson almost always has a long, successful career. 

Corporate America has done a terrible job of selecting, coaching, and developing salespeople. What worse is they are often the model for smaller and mid-size businesses. Salespeople have done an equally terrible job of working on their craft—read a damn book, take a class, find a mentor! Smaller organizations can get their sales team-oriented to a growth mindset far more quickly than a corporate conglomerate.

 Sales DNA is the talk that goes on in the mind. The difference between asking the right question or sticking with a bias is a growth or fixed mindset. Helix Sales Development has powerful tools to help you measure it and hire for it. Here’s a quick overview video on what we look at and how it helps Sales Teams!