Belief is fundamental to the achievement of all things, particularly making a sale. Human nature suggests we believe what we can see clearly.
Missouri proudly displays the motto on their license plates, “The Show Me State”. Unfortunately, our beliefs are deeply rooted in our culture and past experiences. When you don’t believe, you won’t take action, and action is a fundamental measurement of success. You need to take time to discover what you believe is possible and then challenge yourself to do it. You can control your world by reprogramming the way you think. By changing your operating system you can discover the truth about your beliefs and then alter those beliefs to achieve what you want. If you want to make a sale, you must believe you can make that sale. Henry Ford, the great industrialist of the 19th century said, “If you believe you can, or believe you can’t, you are right”.
Napoleon Hill, through his great insight into human psychology, said “Any definite chief aim that is deliberately fixed in the mind and held there with determination to realize it, finally saturates the entire subconscious mind until it automatically influences the physical action of the body toward the attainment of the purpose”. Your belief now becomes the foundation of your sales success. Too many salespeople are handicapped by the many reasons they believe they can’t make a sale, when all they need is one reason why they can. Cherie Carter-Scott said, “Ordinary people believe only in the possible. Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible”. Our beliefs create the vision necessary to take the action necessary to achieve those things that were previously deemed to be impossible.
Pete Rose, arguably one of the greatest baseball players of all time, was interviewed at Spring Training Camp for the Cincinnati Reds in 1985. It was anticipated that year Pete would break Ty Cobb's all-time hits record. One reporter blurted out, "Pete, you only need 78 hits to break the record. How many at-bats do you think you'll need to get the 78 hits?" Without hesitation, Pete stared at the reporter and very matter-of-factly said, "78". The reporter yelled back, "Ah, come on Pete, you don't expect to get 78 hits in 78 at bats do you?"
Mr. Rose calmly shared his philosophy with the throngs of reporters who were anxiously awaiting his reply to this seemingly boastful claim. "Every time I step up to the plate, I expect to get a hit! If I don't expect to get a hit, I have no right to step in the batter's box in the first place!" “If I go up hoping to get a hit," he continued, "then I probably don't have a prayer to get a hit. It is a positive expectation that has gotten me all of the hits in the first place." On September 11, 1985, Rose broke Ty Cobb’s all-time hits record with his 4,192nd hit, a single to left-center field off San Diego Padres pitcher Eric Show.
Muhammad Ali said, “It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen”. Ali clearly understood the power contained in one’s beliefs. And so it is with each of us, when we believe, we put into action our inner most convictions and it is those convictions that move us towards the realization of achieving what was initially just a belief. Referring to the great recession, Steve Jobs said the following: “A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets”. That same belief held in the minds of the executives of the Apple Corporation, has become the driving force for one of the greatest companies in the history of commerce.
Every salesperson in pursuit of their quest for sales excellence should embrace the words of Henry Ford, Napoleon Hill, Cherie Carter-Scott, Pete Rose, Muhammad Ali, and Steve Jobs. They should act on the power of their beliefs, then take the actions necessary to achieve the results that others will never experience in the absence of personal belief.