For those of you who know me, you know that I’m not a fan of simple, binary, “this versus that” kind of questions.
But the one in the subject line of this post – Attitude versus Technique – came to me from an unexpected place, and it really resonated. So please allow me to dig into this overly simple question to see if we can explore it in a way that it can be useful for us in sales.
Where did this idea come from?
Believe it or not, it came from a meditation app.
I started meditating just over a year ago using an app called Headspace. It’s pretty popular, maybe you know it. If not – give it a try – they have a free trial, and it’s been really great for me.
Anyways, one of the meditations available is a daily meditation that starts with a one-minute mini-lecture (or dharma talk for those of you who like the original Buddhist language).
So one day last week, this daily mini-dharma talk was called: Attitude versus Technique.
How does this relate to meditation – let alone sales?
As the instructor explained, in meditation, it seems, there is an obsession with technique – just like there often is in sales, no? But to make the point he wanted to make, the instructor suggested that it is only with the right attitude, that the correct technique is most likely to evolve.
It struck me that the same is probably true for sales.
I’ve written several articles in the past about some examples of attitude based elements of sales success, for example:
- I’ve written in the past about the sales philosophy that will lead to success (i.e. a subject matter expert who is oriented to helping a prospect solve a problem)
- I’ve written about how the only personality type required for sales success is one that comes with an ability to listen and to learn
- And I’ve written about how a process orientation is an essential attribute of sales success
All of these ideas relate to the attitude of a salesperson, and as you can see from my past articles, I believe these attitudes are among the truly essential elements of sales success.
…but the meditation instructor really brought the point home – “technique is important, but it is only with the right attitude that the proper technique will evolve.”
So does technique matter? Absolutely – make no mistake about it – it absolutely matters – a lot.
Of course, so does process, and skills, and so many other things….
But the point of the meditation mini-lecture, and the point of this article is this.
Technique matters, but it is the attitude of a salesperson that will lead them to seek the best techniques, refine them, test them, explore them and execute them in the right way.
There are many ingredients needed for sales success. Starting with the right attitude is the best way to make sure to stay focused on the ones that matter most.