The Right Mindset for Sales with Donald Kelly | Competitiveness In Sales

In this episode of the Selling in Asia podcast, Tom Abbott sits down with Donald Kelly, Founder and Chief Sales Evangelist at The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm, to discuss how to get the right mindset for sales. Join them as they discuss competitiveness in sales, the most common problems sales reps face, what sales reps can do right now to increase sales, and how to beat the top players strategically.

Mindset | Competitiveness In Sales

The first thing that a sales rep needs to do is believe. Belief is your set of attitudes and your outlook on life. Suppose you believe that you will succeed and that people want or need what you have. It will translate into your action, whether that’s phone calls, videos or maybe just LinkedIn. Ultimately, you will be creative and will get opportunities over someone who does not have that mindset

” I feel like it’s kids who have been slapped on the hand one too many times, so now they’re afraid to go and ask for anything.

The premise now is like, “Well, I want to go reach out to people. Nobody’s going to answer their phone. Nobody’s going to do this.” If you believe that, that’s so true. It’s not going to happen. I think Henry Ford said it where if you believe you can or believe you can’t, then you’re right. “

Donald Kelly

In the pandemic environment, sales reps are harming themselves by getting up in the morning, rolling out of bed, putting on a t-shirt and then making the calls or sending emails. Just think about that for a second. However, let’s consider how the brain operates in neuroscience. You’re going to go into this sluggish, energy-less, depressing mindset.

The best way to negate this is to encourage sales reps to get up each morning, shower, work out, or listen to a podcast. The same things you would do on a regular day. Your brain doesn’t know any different than it’s a regular day versus a non-regular day. Your brain is going to then propel you to act based on that belief that you already have. Don’t focus on people not answering, people not replying, people not using LinkedIn, people not buying. Who cares about that? Focus on the sales that are going to happen. And have the belief that they’re there.

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The Biggest Challenge Facing Sales Reps | Competitiveness In Sales

The first challenge for Sales Reps is their inability to get enough people to speak with. They simply don’t put enough in the top of the funnel. It’s this continual running back to that part of the game. They’ll work that deal and take it down to the pipeline. However, you have to set aside time to find a new business.

The second biggest challenge is that they jump too quickly when they do get those individuals. Suppose we consider the analogy of running a race, such as the 400m or 800m – two of the most grueling races. In the 400, you’re running pretty much a whole sprint around the track. The energy you give at the very beginning and throughout that race must be consistent to some degree. However, at the very end, you must also provide a lot.

Regarding the sales process, sometimes sales reps want to focus on that trophy at the end. Which ultimately means they skip vital steps in that process! Such as not applying themselves to discovery, demo, or giving it their all to get the right people in the process. In Donald Kelly’s organisation, they consider the close starts or happens at the discovery stage. If the discovery is weak, it will likely be a detriment again later; It’s like baking a cake, too. You might say, “Well, I’m just going to put the butter in when I feel like it. Good luck.”

Qualities Leaders Should Look For In Sales Reps | Competitiveness in Sales

Sellers of all levels need to have stamina – This job is one of the most challenging in the organization. However, many salespeople already naturally have this tenacity and passion. Therefore, the most significant sales reps don’t fight for the money. They fight for a win. They’re just super competitive individuals, and I think that’s one of those qualities that makes them compete against themselves. They always want to beat their yesterday.

However, Donald advises that belief is the very first thing he looks for in sales reps. What have they accomplished? How did they achieve this?

I want to find somebody that has a belief, but I also want to find somebody that’s also competitive. Competitive against themself, and also just helping competition amongst the team. It shows that they have done some things that challenge their norm or challenge their way of thinking or the way of performance. Those are some of the qualities that I would look for. We can train them on the rest, but you can’t come with that. It’s going to be in your detriment.

Donald Kelly

Loving To Win Vs. Hating To Lose | Competitiveness in Sales

People who hate to lose have a reason. Sometimes it feels like the worst thing in the world because you know your potential, where you could have been, and where you have performed better.

Let’s say I’m a sales rep. I’ve done so well over the past three quarters, and I hit my target, and then now, in the fourth quarter, I am missing my mark. That will feel – it just gives me a pain in my pit, in my stomach, or my chest that makes my heart and my brain make me feel or know that I performed less than where I was capable of achieving. One of the biggest disappointments we can have in life is knowing that you have regrets or knowing that you didn’t do your all to get there.

However, Donald warns that this idea of hating to lose because you know you are the best causes personal tension. Who does not want to win? Who does not want to hit their target? Who does not want to be able to go to the president’s club? Who does not want to take care of their family? Who does not want to earn that extra commission? Who doesn’t want to win at those things? Who doesn’t want to feel that they did their very best? And that love to win, again, it becomes contagious.

It gives you this propellant, energy and excitement, and these endorphins when you win – so it becomes addictive. Donald advises that sales reps who embody this usually say, “Yeah, the money is good. I got the money, but it’s not the money that I want right now. I just like to win. I want to land those opportunities.”

What EVERY Sales Rep Should Focus On Over The Next 6 Months | Competitiveness in Sales

Regarding what sales rep should be doing right now, there are a couple of thoughts that come to mind. The first one is that the sales rep must be willing to look at the area that needs improvement. Look at the areas that you’re weak at. Perhaps even encouraging a company-wide open dialogue. Whether that’s with your manager in a one-on-one meeting, your teammates, or some of your clients, and asking these tough questions:

  1. Where do you feel that I could personally improve? 
  2. What do you think that I do better? 

Being willing to invest your time in social and being willing to invest your time in the video, I think those are places I would recommend sales reps to go.


The next step is taking advantage of social media, mainly through LinkedIn and video. It’s our nature to connect with other people who are like us. For instance, when you send a text email, only one sense is used: sight. However, sending a video engages your audience’s sight and sound while forcing them to comprehend your facial expressions. Those things help us to connect with an individual on a different level.

More About Donald Kelly

Connect with Donald Kelly on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook and visit The Sales Evangelist Podcast to hear more from Donald Kelly and his guests.

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