Team of salespeople running across the finish line

How to Achieve Peak Performance Mindset in Sales

by Chris Young
"Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all the time thing. You don't win once in a while; you don't do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing." - Vince T. Lombardi

Coach Vincent T. Lombardi's words are burned into my soul. The key to Achieving Peak Performance Mindset in Sales.jpg

If you truly intend to achieve a peak performance mindset in sales...

Then do the following without compromise:

  • Hire only those salespeople who possess a winning mindset for a particular sales role.
  • Coach, encourage, inspire, motivate and honor the greatness in your salespeople to help them maximize their potential.

But first...

Winning is a mindset.

So is losing.

Repeat after me.

Losing. Is. A. Mindset.

There is no "in-between" between winning and losing. One plays to win or they do not. One either wins or they lose.

Unfortunately identifying that grey area between winning and losing seems challenging. (Actually it is not challenging at all.)

Unfortunately, we live in a painfully politically correct period where candor is becoming more and more unacceptable. By the way... Your Sales Wolves LOVE candor. So do your shareholders.

We live in a world stuck in short-run decision-making where CEOs and sales management alike are terrified of losing a mediocre salesperson who instead of being shown the door holds management (and the Customer) hostage demanding their trophy as well as 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th... 12th place ribbons (for trying).

We live in a world of low accountability where salespeople get to decide whether or not they want to prospect, use CRM, scripting, best practices, etc.

The real losers are, unfortunately, shareholders. Oh, so many are not winning as much as they could and should. Most don't realize how much they are missing out.

Winning is a mindset. Winning and losing is very black and white. One either wins. Or they do not.

Second place isn't a place that should ever be acceptable. Second place gets NOTHING in the sale.

For the record, playing to win without regard for morality is not winning. A win is not a win unless it is done correctly.

The tell of a winning (or losing) mindset.

According to Wikipedia, a "tell" in poker is a change in a player's behavior or demeanor that is claimed by some to give clues to that player's assessment of their hand.

I can "tell" a lot about how a CEO, VP of sales, or sales manager handles losing by what they do or do not do after losing a sale. I can also "tell" by how lose their sales systems appear to be in terms of existence and accountability.

"Show me a good loser and I will show you a loser." - Vince Lombardi"


Those committed to winning will do whatever it morally takes to win. They will study BOTH wins and losses. They refuse to accept losing as a part of sales. They refuse to accept the status quo and they apply constant gentle pressure to themselves first and those around them.

Those committed to winning measure every single element of their sales program (talent, systems, and culture) possible and make incremental improvements without fail.

Those committed to winning do not lose sales due to simple, avoidable recurring problems. defines mindset as "a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations."

I love this definition. It is tight and full of meaning.

  • Habitual = it will repeat itself.
  • Attitude = beliefs and feelings.

One's mindset repeats itself in a loop of interpretation defined through habitual beliefs and feelings.

One's mindset is POWERFUL!

Use a sales personality test to identify salespeople with a winning mindset.jpg

Some mindset elements can be objectively-measured.

There is good news. Some elements of mindset can be objectively-measured.

There is one powerful psychometric assessment instrument that QUANTIFIES key elements of one's mindset with a high degree of accuracy.   

What gets measured gets improved.

One can actually assess key mindset elements using a multi-science sales personality test and then comparing assessment results to the job benchmark. A strong prediction can be made regarding future sales performance.

AND! One can use the same assessment information to customize coaching plans to improve existing sales performance.

The key is to use the only sales personality testing with validity backed by brain research. There is just one that meets this important criteria. Contact us and we will share a sample assessment with you.

Two primary elements of mindset applied to sales.

I believe there are two primary elements of mindset:

Hard-Coded Mindset

The "Hard-Coded Mindset is a result of a person's habits and prior experiences coupled with Behaviors, Motivations, Skills, Competencies and Emotional Intelligence (EQ). By "hard-coded" I mean this element of one's mindset will not change very much over time. The "Hard-Coded Mindset" is a reflection of who a person is "wired" to be in combination with one's life experiences, influences, and habits. No sales manager is going to materially-change the "Hard-Coded Mindset" nor should they.  

Developed or Enhanced Mindset

The Developed or Enhanced Mindset is the Mindset element that can be improved upon through solid management, training, coaching, mentoring, accountability, and intense belief by management (honor the greatness). 

Metaphorically think of the "Hard-Coded Mindset" as the vehicle and the "Developed or Enhanced Mindset" as the turbocharger, traction control, and driver of the vehicle. 

An illustration: Consider the Porsche 911. The base model (hard-coded mindset) is a fine automobile. There are less expensive Porsche 911s and there are others that cost 3-5x that of the base model (developed or enhanced mindset). The Porsche GT2 RS is the base model Porsche with additional features and hopefully a competent driver (sales manager) who is capable of harnessing the full performance potential of this fine automobile.

By-the-way... If you are inclined to go to the Porsche website link I shared, please keep two things in mind.

  1. Do come back here and finish reading. I am about to share ideas on how to get your own dream Porsche 911.
  2. Do avoid the top of the web page (the top of the Porsche website illustrates the Porsche 911s dentists drive). Be sure to scroll to the bottom to the 911 GT2 RS that highly-successful professionals drive. Go big or go home.

The mindset rubber meets the road.

Following is intentional repetition from the beginning of this piece.

If you truly want to achieve peak performance mindset your sales team...

  • Hire only those salespeople who possess a winning mindset for a particular sales role.
  • Coach, encourage, inspire, motivate and honor the greatness in your salespeople to help them maximize their potential.

Hire ONLY those salespeople who possess a winning mindset for a particular sales role.

Yes, you can identify and onboard salespeople who possess a winning mindset for a particular sales role. In other words, you can hire salespeople with the "Hard-Coded Mindset" who through proper Onboarding and Coaching, their "Developed or Enhanced Mindset" can be channeled for enhanced sales performance.  

Conversely, you can also avoid those with the mindset associated with low-performing sales. I highly recommend you consider doing so. This strategy alone will add a zero to your income very quickly as well as reduce your level of frustration.

If you are not using a multi-science sales personality test as part of your hiring program, you are missing a significant opportunity to create a profound upside in sales performance.

Coach, encourage, inspire, motivate and honor the greatness in your salespeople to help them maximize their potential.

The late Bill Bonnstetter said, "Coaching without assessments should be considered malpractice."

I couldn't agree more.

You cannot possibly coach the unique greatness each salesperson can unleash unless you are aware of the key ways of unlocking that greatness.

It is absolutely essential to use a valid multi-science sales personality test to develop an accurate, customized sales coaching plan.

About your mindset.

Whether you are the CEO, VP of Sales, or the sales manager, your mindset is the most important mindset of your sales team.

Shape and improve your mindset to shape and improve that of your sales team.

Following are three powerful mindset-shaping phrases that have added significantly to my net worth and can do the same for you.

  • Interested people do what is convenient. Committed people do whatever it takes to succeed.

Which are you?

Which are each of your sales team members?

Do you habitually do what it takes to win? Or not?

Do your salespeople habitually do what it takes to win? Ethically?

Your salespeople will do what you do or do not do.  

Two more mindset shapes:

  • All problems start at the head. If your commitment to winning is weak, so will your sales team's collective mindset.
  • All problems walk on two feet. If your sales team's collective commitment to winning is weak, so will be your bottom line.

Additional resources

If you haven't read Carol Dweck's book, Mindset - The New Psychology of Success, I highly recommend doing so.

Dweck's TED talk - The power of believing you can improve is also a good resource.

Request a sample sales personality aptitude test