Written by Ari Greenbaum, co-founder of conXpros
I have rarely met a successful sales pro that doesn’t have an ego. An ego can be positive, as it is all about the desire to be the absolute best. However, ego is often a massive stumbling block for sales people. Ego fuels the inability to listen, act or take direction because of pride. I have personally witnessed many sales people climb the mountain of success, only to reach the top and never reach the same heights again. I attribute this spike and decline most commonly to ego. An unchecked ego can and often is catastrophic.
Why ego kills sales
An ego is all about you. However, to be successful in sales, you need to make the focus your prospect and their needs. If your ego is front and center in every sales interaction, it means you’re constantly trying to sell in an all-about-me bubble. Presentations are delivered, questions are asked and answered, and concerns are addressed with one common goal: getting the sale, making a commission, being the best. Are you thinking about your prospect? Are you tuned into their needs? Are you showing them that you genuinely care? Your ego makes you think about you and only you.
We must also recognize that the prospective client is a person too. A person that also likely has an ego. Just like your ego can make everything about you, their ego tells them that everything should be about them. As a result, if they are not getting the attention, respect, and care they deserve, they will do everything to shut you down and likely get rid of you.
It is not personal
“No” from a prospect is not a challenge to you or your sales talent. They are typically not saying “no” to you, rather they are saying no to your product or service. Often the ego makes you wrongly interpret the “no” and react to it. The alternative to taking this as a challenge to you as a person, is to use it to fuel your success. Learn from the “no”. Get tuned in and ask yourself “what led them to say no?”, “what could I have done differently to get the yes?” Every time you get no from a prospect, it is an opportunity!
Protecting the ego
When you typically find high rates of success with your sales approach, presentation & process, it can be a shock when the prospect doesn’t become another win for your tally. The ego gets in the way and we act to defend our “greatness”. Being defensive (or offensive) in sales is never a formula for success. People do not like to “fight” with the people they will do business with. The simplest way to avoid the desire to protect and defend your ego…. leave it at the door! Remove the ego from the equation by shifting your focus from the self-centered, egocentric, it’s about me thoughts. Re-focus on what really matters when we want someone to do business with us… the client. Make a conscious choice BEFORE you enter into a sales encounter to focus on the prospect and leave yourself out of it.
Gary Vaynerchuk summarized the concept of letting go of the ego exceptionally well at the Sales Kickoff Summit 2016 where he said “When you are about the other person more than you care about hitting your quota, when you make that shift, you go into the jedi-ness of becoming a salesperson.” Sales is about who you serve. Stop serving your ego and focus on the prospect. Let the ego go!