What Science Says Creates Sales Success

In the past, the factors that underlined sales success were thought to be a mixture of innate talent, timing and luck.  However, because of modern breakthroughs in behavioral science, there has been a codification of the causal behaviors that empower heightened levels of performance.  These behaviors are learnable and anyone who adopts them will significantly increase the likelihood of achieving their goals.

The following are 3 scientifically proven principles of sales success:

1.  Growth Mindset

Research shows that highly successful sales people have a growth mindset.  Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford has conducted studies on how mindsets influence one’s level of success.  Her research shows that those who have a growth mindset, who believe that they can develop their skills through hard work, are far more likely to be successful. 

What’s more, behavioral scientist K. Anders Ericsson led a meta-study which analyzed the findings of decades of research focused on identifying what enables people to attain extraordinary levels of success.  One of the conclusions of the meta-study was that those who become top performers relentlessly strive to increase their abilities. These individuals never become seduced by their own competence.  They believe that their skills are like a muscle, which must be continually strengthened.

One of the primary reasons that a growth mindset drives high achievement is because of how it causes the brain to perceive failure.  Those who do not have a growth mindset often regard failure as a declaration about themselves.  They feel like a failure.  In contrast, those with a growth mindset view failure as the feedback that guides them in knowing how to adapt and take their abilities to the next level. 

2.  Delay Gratification

The Marshmallow Test, which was conducted by behavioral scientist Walter Michel, is a legendary research study.  The experiment consists of showing children a marshmallow and telling them they could eat it now, but if they waited for a short period they could have two marshmallows.  Many of the children would scoop up the marshmallow, while others would resist the temptation. 

When Michel analyzed the lives of the children once they were adults, he found that those who had exhibited self-control and resisted the temptation to eat the marshmallow performed better in school, earned more money and were generally healthier and happier than those who had not resisted the allure of the single marshmallow.

The implications of the Marshmallow Test are vast and extremely relevant to the topic of sales success.  The research shows that the willingness to delay gratification matters a great deal in life.  Those who choose to focus on instant gratification often sabotage their long-term success because they choose what is easy instead of holding out for what they truly want.

Most worthwhile goals require sacrifice.  You must give up something good now and put in the hard work to achieve something great later.  This requires fixing your eyes on the goal and delaying the urge to settle.  This is no small feat for children or adults.  Yet, research shows that the ability to delay gratification is a hallmark of those who attain extraordinary levels of success. 

3.  Grit

There are an abundance of scientific studies which have proven that grit is an essential component of success.  The research defines grit as the resilient perseverance of long-term goals.  Gritty people do not let set-backs, plateaus or failures deter them.  They push though obstacles and this significantly increases their likelihood of realizing long-term success.

Researchers first noticed the correlation between grit and performance back in 1892 when Francis Galton examined the lives of successful people and noticed that they each had, what he deemed, “zeal with capacity for hard labor.”   Since that time, behavioral scientists have conducted extensive research which has identified that high achievers continuously work towards their goals.  In fact, because of its importance, behavioral scientists contend that grit is more of a driver of success then IQ or natural ability.

Everyone encounters hardships when striving to accomplish a large goal.  Those who relentlessly pursue what they want have an advantage over others who quit chasing the goal when it becomes difficult. 

Attaining and maintaining heightened levels of success is challenging.  By using the principles that science has confirmed drive high achievement you will have the ingredients to improve your level of sales success and the quality of your life.

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