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In sales, it’s all about your beliefs

Rick Davis sales brand

Let me get this straight. Your market is one of the toughest in the country. You can’t pin down builders and contractors to meet you at specific times. Your market is the most price sensitive market in the country. The home office doesn’t “get it.”

Welcome to my world. As a speaker, trainer, and consultant, I’ve been privileged to work in almost every state in the country along with six Canadian provinces and, with certainty, can tell you that the toughest market of them all is…wait for it…the one I am in on any given day. I know because everyone tells me so while attempting to convince me of their unique victimization. The reality is not that markets are different, but instead that you behave what you believe.

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If you believe your price will be too high, you deliver a starting point with fear instead of expected consideration. If you believe buyers won’t meet, you instead spend a career driving to jobsites hoping to “catch” prospects and customers at the right time. Conversely, if you believe you can truly help your customers succeed and are worth every penny you charge, then you perform with confidence.

My career has taken me down many learning paths, perhaps the most important of which is the power of training the brain. In “The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force”, Jeffrey Schwartz highlights his work with OCD patients and demonstrates how intentional thought literally rewired the brains of his patients and disabled a flawed signal emanating from the limbic system to the cortex. In “Train Your Mind: Change Your Brain”, Sharon Begley (who co-authored Schwartz’s book) shares the remarkable study of Buddhist monks who produced elevated gamma brain waves during meditative states. A later study with a test group of students from the University of Wisconsin proved that similar meditation could induce the same gamma brain wave function. The story gets even better when the PhDs conducting the study realized that the gamma brain wave function of monks became a permanent state of their being.

We live in a world of 24/7 news that feeds the brain a steady dose of garbage. Allowing oneself to be exposed to this constant brain deluge is akin to binging on cupcakes, Twinkies, and McRib’s as “nourishment” for your body.

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So where does this leave us relative to sales performance and mindset?

– Turn off the news because it’s not news. It’s a TV show with performers who pose as experts while being fed the slant dictated by their employers.

– Check your beliefs at the door. In fact, buyers make appointments with doctors, dentists, building inspectors, and other valued professionals; they will make appointments with you given the right incentive. In fact, nearly every competitor of yours in the market buys commodities at nearly the exact level as you and, consequently, sells at very similar prices; the difference between vendors is not price, but is instead the value and total cost of doing business that the salesperson creates. In fact, bad stuff happens like lost orders, delayed shipments, and clerical errors; great sales leadership is the ability to calmly cope without escalating customer anxiety.

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– Practice mental toughness. Crap happens. Expect it and cope. Listen to the interviews of top performing athletes between periods. They never complain, and instead emphasize the game plan they will persistently pursue.

Your market is not different. The “differences” in your market are the perceptions of the various competitors on your playing field. The only victimization one can feel is the perception proactively chosen in one’s own mind. The confidence, power, and belief in your future success, however, begins with the vision to achieve every goal you put into your brain.


Rick Davis is the Sales Education Leader for ABC Supply and the President of Building Leaders. You can buy his books or learn more about his online sales training platform at

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