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5 False beliefs holding back beginner salespeople (and how to unlearn them)

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

Like most beginners, I made many mistakes when I started my sales career.

Five false beliefs were holding me back. And through experience, time, training and mentoring, I have learned to unlearn and be better in my sales craft.

Here are the false beliefs:

False Belief #1: Sales is Creating Demand

You cannot create demand, you can only channel demand.

A problem does not exist if our client does not see the need or the value. Stop presenting a solution. Channel the demand by effectively listening, questioning, and collaborating with your client to work together.

False Belief #2: Sales is a volume game

They say do more calls, and you will have more sales.

Call a hundred people, generate 20 appointments and maybe win 1 sale. You take massive rejection and maybe win one. If this is working for you, go ahead.

How do you generate painless leads that will produce a better result?

A better way is being strategic, prioritising and personalising your calls. Get referrals, research your client and practice working on your potential questions.

Sales do not have to be painful and stressful.

False belief #3: Sales is ABC (always be closing)

Most people think successful salespeople need to be ABC (Always Be Closing).

Ironically the opposite is true.

The most successful salespeople do:

  • 10% closing

  • 90% listening, qualifying, giving value, and understanding client challenges and aspirations.

Because the penalty for poor sales qualification is severe.

When we chase low probability deals:

  • The business cost goes up

  • Our win rate goes down

  • We lose credibility with our clients and organisation

False belief #4: Sales need motivation

The real reason salespeople underperform is not for lack of motivation.

They do not have systems, structures and processes in place.

Top Performing salespeople:

  • Plan their time, day, week, and months. They know what is happening.

  • Have consistent morning routines, health routines, and life routines.

  • Have a process around calendar and customer management.

  • Have a clear sales process and follow it.

They are consistent and stick to it.

Top performers show up and do what needs to be done regardless they feel motivated or not.

False belief #5: Sales are born

This is the worst of the five. Being great in sales is not born. It’s earned.

Emotional intelligence can be learned, and everyone can learn and change.

Human connection is key to building trust, which is the foundation of having a sales conversation. A salesperson with solid self-awareness and the ability to adapt to different behavioural styles will succeed more in sales and life.


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