|Prospecting, a key sales aspect, demands tenacity, resilience, and a deep understanding of human psychology. One fundamental concept that holds tremendous power is the “locus of control.” This concept refers to how salespeople perceive their ability to influence the events that impact their lives. Those with an internal locus of control believe they can shape their outcomes through their efforts and actions. Conversely, those with an external locus of control feel their outcomes are influenced more by external factors, such as luck or fate.
The Influence of Locus of Control on Prospecting
Identifying and initiating contact with potential clients is a critical activity that many salespeople find daunting. A salesperson’s attitude towards prospecting can often be traced back to their locus of control.
1. Internal Locus of Control: The Proactive Prospector Salespeople with a strong internal locus of control believe their success directly results from their actions. They are typically proactive prospectors, comfortable in taking consistent action because they feel in control. They perceive prospecting as an adventure they can enter with dedication, skill and perseverance. These salespeople tend not to be discouraged by “rejection” or failure, viewing them as opportunities to learn and improve their techniques. If you find yourself feeling rejected by responses like “not interested” or “we already have a vendor,” take a moment to reflect on the story you tell yourself about the “rejection.” By recognizing that suffering begins with our own narrative, you can choose to let go, move forward, or adopt better strategies to engage prospects effectively.
2. External Locus of Control: The Reluctant Prospector Salespeople with an external locus of control may feel their success depends on external factors beyond their control. This perception can lead to a reluctance to prospect. They see the process as an uphill battle dictated by luck or market conditions, making them hesitant to invest time and energy in prospecting. Consequently, they might passively wait for leads to come their way instead of proactively seeking them out. They hide, deny and suppress their reluctance and stay busy with administrative tasks, attending webinars, watching YouTube videos and scrolling through LinkedIn.
Shifting the Locus of Control for Better Prospecting As an experienced coach specializing in Overcoming Sales Call Reluctance coach, I aim to empower salespeople to harness the power of an internal locus of control, transforming even the most hesitant into confident, proactive sales generators. Sales Call Reluctance extends beyond mere phone call anxiety – it encompasses the barriers that hinder proactive prospecting in any form. It affects asking for referrals, initiating conversations, networking and more.Recognizing the broader impact of Sales Call Reluctance is vital to unlock your true sales growth potential, regardless of the communication medium.
Strategies to encourage a shift towards an internal locus of control:
Take Ownership: Take responsibility for your sales outcomes. View your outcomes as a product of your approach and effort.
Focus on Skill Development: Prospecting is a learned and refined skill. Practice, Practice, Practice. Have you ever attained mastery over anything that did not take practice?
Celebrate Effort, Not Just Results: The Hyper-Achiever salespeople live to hug the trophy, and they don’t stop to enjoy the process. This is a toughie!I know! Remember I’m a salesperson too! As Hyper-Achievers, we limit ourselves because if we can’t be sure we’ll achieve something, we rationalize and discount it and don’t challenge ourselves to step into the unknown.
Measure Your Progress. I have a simple children’s abacus on my desk, and every Monday, I start with a fresh abacus, and with every outreach, everything I do to promote my business, I move a bead. It is motivating, and we cannot manage what we do not measure.
Get Mentally Fit: A negative mind will never give you a positive life. View challenges as gifts or opportunities rather than obstacles. A positive mindset helps you feel empowered. Contrast is the differentiation between what you want and what you currently experience. It is a natural and vital part of our existence. It serves as a powerful catalyst for growth. Embrace obstacles because they help us recognize what we truly want. The clearer we get on what we want, the more we focus our energy and achieve our goals.
Celebrate the small victories along the way. When we focus on the positives and gratitude, we feel good emotionally. The more positive you feel, the more successful you’ll be.
What if you experience prospecting as an adventure and an act of service? When you genuinely believe in the value you offer, it becomes easier to prospect with confidence and conviction. Remember, 80% of the sales is centered around engagement and discovering the prospect’s needs. Embrace the power of locus of control, master your prospecting potential, and unlock new opportunities for success consistently and confidently.