How The Best Salespeople Sabotage Their Own Potential

by Chris Young

The_best_salespeople_can_sabotage_their_own_potentialThe best salespeople often sabotage their own potential.

If you are like me, you play to win.  It is hard-coded in your DNA.  Losing is not something you take lightly.  

Do you use your word against yourself?  Do you say things like, "Sometimes I am so stupid" or "I suck"?

Sounds insignificant, doesn't it?  I often hear people proclaim, "I am hardest on myself."  It is almost like a badge of honor. 

Negative self talk should not be a badge of honor.  

The potential of top salespeople is gorgeous like a Porsche 911 Turbo.

Ever since the first time I saw a Porsche 911 Turbo, I have wanted one oh so badly.  I am working hard to attract one soon - Guards Red

Go ahead.  Take a look.  You know you want to...  Choose your preferred color and then print it.  Then come back and finish reading this.  

A Porsche 911 Turbo is designed to outperform most everything else in its class.  A Porsche 911 Turbo is anything but average.  A Porsche 911 Turbo is a timeless classic beauty built for speed.  

When I get my Guards Red Porsche 911 Turbo, I will take care of it.  I will love and protect it.  I will drive it proudly and I will drive it the way it is meant to be driven.

If you had a Porsche 911 Turbo, how would you take care of it?

You wouldn't put cheap fuel in your Porsche 911 Turbo, would you?  Nor would I.  Would you drive with under-inflated tires?  No!  It is a Porsche.

Your "fuel" - your "tire pressure" - is how you talk to yourself.  The way you think, what you believe and what you say - all matter.  When you use negative self-talk - your fuel quality is poor and your tire pressure is low.

You cannot do your best work with negative self-talk.


The best salespeople often flatten their own tires through negative self-talk.

Over the last decade, I have studied what separates good sales performance and great sales performance using advanced psychometric testing and old-fashioned statistical analysis.  The best salespeople hate losing.  They "feedback loop" their experiences, carefully scrutinizing what works and does not work to continuously improve their win ratio.

I have observed two patterns that are essential for you to know.  

  1. Top salespeople have a very distinct sales personality test pattern.  Extremely distinct.  If you are curious about your sales personality, go here to complete a sample assessment and we will forward your results upon completion.  
  2. Top salespeople sabotage their own potential by being overly hard on themselves.

Too much of a good thing can turn into trouble.  Too much feedback looping can often turn into overly critical self analysis... and often, to negative self talk.  The key is to stop it before it begins by creating a better habit.  

After studying thousands of salespeople, I have come to understand the value of scrutinizing outliers.  A salesperson "wired" like a sales wolf is going to outperform over 80 percent of all other salespeople.  When they do not, it is due to one or a combination of the following three reasons.  The_best_salespeople_often_flatten_their_own_tires

  • They have a poor sales manager.
  • The product / service / brand has a problem.
  • Negative self-talk.

After debriefing many, many sales wolves - I have found a common "Achilles heel" in the Acumen section of their sales personality testing that shows the potential for negative self-talk.  This area of their reporting illustrates how well they understand their potential as well as and how hard they are on themselves.  When I address this concern area, I share the following...


Your word is all powerful. 

What you think about - you bring about.  I highly recommend you watch the video and read Rhonda Byrne's The Secret

What you say matters.  What you think matters.  What you say to yourself...  It matters more than you know.  Choose thoughts and words carefully.

I used to use negative self-talk. I no longer do because I know what happens when I do.  I slow down my potential. I hobble myself.  I lower my "tire pressure" and rob myself of potential.  Winning does not include using negative self-talk.  

Two powerful books that I have read several times is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz as well as follow-up book The Fifth Agreement coauthored with his son. Both have the power to change your life.

The biggest thing I learned from Don Miguel Ruiz and his son is how powerful my word is.  My word is all powerful and should be used very carefully - particularly when talking to myself.  


I did not say, "Let yourself off the hook".

Let's be clear here.  I did not just hand you a get out of jail free card.  I said, "Choose your words carefully."  Never use your word against yourself.  Hold yourself accountable.  But do so carefully and purposefully.  Never use your word against yourself.


A helpful general rule about how to hold yourself accountable.

I have two rules that I follow.

  1. If I would not say it to a four year old, I always avoid saying it to myself.  
  2. Develop the habit of asking, "What could I have done better?" or "How will I improve next time?" or "What lesson can I take away from this to make next time even better?"


The decision is yours.

It took several weeks to break my negative self-talk habit.  I made a decision to break this bad habit because it was not serving me the way I had thought.  I was on auto-pilot.  

I have avoided negative self-talk for the most part for almost a decade.  Occasionally I get off track, but when I do, I notice what went wrong and improve from there.  

The decision is yours.  How to Identify Don Draper Salespeople Webinar


Have a story to share?  Drop me a line.  

If you have an "ah ha moment" or a tip - share it in the comments below.