Ever play with rubber bands?  At first they can be so rigid and tough to stretch.  Yet the more we use them and flex them, the more pliable they become.  It’s the same with our beliefs about our sales.  When we flex our sales paradigm (belief) and stretch it, we become more flexible and successful.red-rubber-band

Do you know what a paradigm is?  No, it isn’t twenty cents 🙂  Paradigm is a word used a lot in the last 20 years and it seems that many don’t really understand how knowing what a paradigm is AND how paradigms impact their own personal performance can be helpful. Let’s start with the definition:

 From dictionary.com:  A paradigm is “an example; a model; a pattern”.

And we have paradigms or models/paterns for most everything we do, including how we think and what we believe about sales and our performance.  This paradigm can be visualized as a boundary around our beliefs.  The key is whether that boundary is helpful or a barrier.

Relating this to sales performance – each of us has a belief paradigm about about our sales and possibilities  We have a pattern of belief and action around who we can call on, what level of sales we believe possible, the types of “deals” we believe we are capable of, the likelihood of closing sales, etc.  And some of these beliefs can help us focus on the right opportunities.  The caution is to ensure that these beliefs don’t limit our selling and results.

An example:  the media frenzy about how bad the economy is has reduced a LOT of people’s beliefs in opportunity and possibility.  And this limiting belief is playing out across the world in the psyche of sales people and sales managers.  Or rather SOME sales professionals…because there are sales pros experiencing their best year ever right now.  They have not given in to the hype of what “should be happening” (someone else’s beliefs) and are outselling those around them.

Sales may be taking longer in some cases, buyers amay be more stressed and trying to do more with less and the value provided needs to be stronger than ever.  These new rules of sales are shrinking people’s paradigms/beliefs in possibilities like never before.  The question becomes what can we do to stretch our own paradigms to ensure we aren’t the barrier to capturing more sales?

First, Explore your own paradigms about sales possibilities. Are they accurate?  How are they helping?  How are they holding you back?

Then stretch your thoughts as you find examples of success all around you.  Who is selling now? What are they doing to sell within today’s realities?

Once your thoughts are stretched, take action.  We can expand our paradigm by first taking action because our beliefs will expand when we see the success that comes with the action.

If you want to increase your sales results this year, start flexing your paradigm.  Just like a rubber band – the more you flex it and stretch it, the more pliable it will become.  And the more success you will find in your sales!