You’ll Win More with a Strong Leadership Mindset

By Rick Snyder

Sales is leadership. It is about leading people toward a solution. You are setting the emotional tone, building trust and rapport, and speaking to the needs, wants, and fears of your audience. There are times on the journey where your gut instinct is all you have.

Your ability to lead in sales is based on the ability to move more people from where they are to where they want to be. It’s what separates a mediocre month from an exceptional month. It is leadership in its essence. And your ability to lead the conversation, influence, and impact others makes all the difference.

If you are not persuasive and effective, this is good feedback. What are you missing? What cues are you not picking up on? How might you be getting in your own way? Where are you not trustworthy or in alignment with what you are saying to your prospect?

Developing the ability to trust your intuition and instincts allows you to lead the conversation rather than be led in unproductive directions.

Establishing a Leadership Mindset
We all know that mindset has a huge impact on performance. Yet, with all the money and time invested in the latest sales CRM integrations, tools, and training, this critical element often gets overlooked. The quickest path to building confidence in a salesperson is in helping them build and maintain a leadership mindset that comes from being present and connecting authentically with the prospect.

Having a leadership mindset in sales allows the type of resilience needed for dealing with common challenges such as buyer objections, pressure and competition, and the countless inevitable rejections. It is difficult to not take rejection personally, which is why having a leadership mindset is necessary.

The Hive Mind
Often, when sales teams aren’t getting their desired results, one of the first questions I ask is: How would you describe the mindset of your sales culture? For example, in your sales department:

  • Is sales seen as a war and everyone is a threat, including your own team?
  • Are you the expert and your job is to educate your buyer on your product or service?
  • Are you their friend and buddy and do you keep the dialogue casual?
  • Do you see yourself as a leader and a guide – really listening for the deeper needs and desires your prospect is sharing?

With all these examples, how would these mindsets affect your conversations and outcomes?

Mindsets can be overt and taught directly, but often are subtle and hidden in the background. They are the assumptions, values, and beliefs held by the executive team and sales management about people, relationships, confidence in your products and services, and ideas about your customers and sales in general.

You won’t be able to move to a leadership mindset if you don’t first identify the current mindset of your department.

The Individual Mind
To lead a team to perform at their best, you have to assess each salesperson’s current mindset and what would help them advance to their next stage of effectiveness. One-to-one meetings are a perfect time to explore:

  • Where do they have a fixed mindset that’s not flexible and open to new approaches?
  • Where do they get stuck in unproductive habits and patterns?
  • How are they sabotaging their own success, and why?
  • How do they rate themselves, and why? What would take them to the next level?

One of the most powerful mentoring tools is to identify one underlying theme that is getting in the way of your salesperson. There may be 10 themes, but start with the one that is sabotaging their success most egregiously. You can start building a personal development plan around this theme, which addresses how to shift their strategy and behavior into a more productive mindset and outcomes.

Working with you and your team’s mindset is critical to sales. Identifying each salesperson’s “superpower” – in how they can each connect more powerfully, influence their audience, and track what gets in the way – will move the needle from mediocrity to record-breaking months. And the best part? Everyone will have more fun doing it.

Rick Snyder is founder and CEO of Invisible Edge™. For more information on building intuitive skills with your sales teams, contact or check out his book, Decisive Intuition.