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I’ve been a speaker, author, and coach on sales and mental toughness for many years now, and in my experience, most people are not honest. They’re not honest with themselves. They don’t admit to themselves the truth of their situations. They don’t admit to themselves that they are where they are because of the decisions that they have made and the actions that they have taken.

They don’t accept that they and they alone are responsible for the sales that they have made and the sales that they have lost.

I meet business people every day who have lost sales, and they say things like “Well, the client was never really into us,” or “The client took us on a merry dance,” or “It was the economy,” or “We were too expensive.”

They very rarely say, “You know what, maybe I didn’t engage that client correctly. Maybe I didn’t ask the right questions. Perhaps I did not add enough value.” It sounds harsh, but most people are just not honest with themselves.

I meet people who say to me, “I’m snowed under. I just haven’t got the time to do the things that you’re talking about.” And the reality is, they’re lying to themselves because we all have the time. People say, “I haven’t got the time to get fit. I haven’t got the time to spend with my family. I haven’t got the time to study.” And yet other people manage to do it.You need to be honest with yourself.

You decided not to make that time. You decided not to ask those questions of that client. You decided not to put time aside for prospecting. You decided not to spend time reading and improving your sales skills. You decided not to spend time preparing for that client presentation.

You decided to do something else with that time instead.

In my talks on mental toughness, many people come in wanting “the magic pixie dust.” They want a pill to take away their pain—a simple, unfailing strategy that will change their sales and their business.

They do not want the truth.

They don’t want to know that they are responsible for where they are and the results that they are getting. They don’t want to consider that they were not motivated enough, not persistent enough, not skilled enough, or not client focused enough. They don’t want to know that, despite all of those long client conversations and proposals, they never actually got to the root cause of their client’s situation, and they never touched them emotionally.

Many people cannot handle the truth. They’re not ready for the truth. They don’t have the mental toughness to be honest with themselves. They don’t have the mental toughness to critically think about what it is that they do and how they are responsible for their own results.

And, here’s the thing – that’s okay.

If you don’t want to improve your sales, you don’t have to ask yourself difficult questions. But if you want to get amazing results, if you want to be a sales rock star and drive yourself in the direction of your dreams, then you need to be more honest with yourself about how your beliefs, attitudes, and habitual behaviours con-tribute to your success or lack of it.

So my question to you is, can you be honest? Do you want to be honest? Are you ready to be honest?

Is it time that you made some changes in your life and got the results that you deserve? Is it time that you looked more closely at how your actions have got you where you are and what you can do to get you where you want and deserve to be? Is it time you committed to what you can do to get you where you want and deserve to be?

Here are 7 areas that I have found can make a huge difference to your business and your sales:-

1. Focus on your skills.

Improving your sales skills even slightly can make a massive difference to the results that you get.

2. Be an expert.

Put the time in to being the best, and it will pay dividends. Transform yourself into a resource that your competition cannot compete with and that your clients cannot do without.

3. Take responsibility for your sales.

Stop abrogating responsibility and apportioning blame, and start asking what you can do to make more sales. Make yourself the captain of your own ship and set your own destination.

4. Add value.

Turn selling on its head. Stop worrying about persuading, influencing, and presenting, and start concentrating instead on understanding, caring, and adding value. The best salespeople care and it shows.

5. Be honest about the effort that you put in.

If you want to crush it, you need to get things moving. Step up, and put your back into it.

6. Activity is the real deal.

Everything you do defines you. Your consistent actions create your habits. And your habits define your results—good or bad. You need to measure and monitor your habitual activity.

7. Be entrepreneurial.

Banish the employee mindset. Focus on making things happen. Encourage your staff to treat their area of the business like they are running and small business and they are the CEO.

And, finally, be your best. Be the best version of you and constantly seek to up your game.

Life is more complicated than it used to be. Business is more challenging. Reaching out to, connecting with, engaging and selling to clients is hard. Good enough is not good enough any more. If you want to succeed, you need to be the best that you can be. That is the ultimate differentiator.

What area of your business could you do with looking at more honestly?

For more from Gavin Ingham, you can find him in the Plenary Keynotes at the Customer Engagement Summit. Tickets are still available, so do make sure you claim yours soon. You can also visit

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