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How Fit Is Your Selling Mind?
Blog / For Sales Pros / Jan 2, 2018 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 5115

How Fit Is Your Selling Mind?


To begin, I must re-emphasize what I said in my last article in this series on Salesperson Fitness. The ancient Greeks brought forth a philosophical approach of separating the mind, body and spirit so that you could, if you wished, only live for one of these–an attitude which in some quarters continues today. Even though in this article we’re focusing on the mind, I’ll point out again that concentrating on one while neglecting the others does not work. As an example, we’ve recently seen what happens when people engage in illicit or immoral activities and use the excuse, “That’s just my body.” One must always work on improving the fitness of all three.

IQ and View of Human Race

At Pipeliner we, like many today, believe that it is not only IQ–Intelligence Quotient–that makes for mental ability, but also EQ: Emotional Quotient. Emotional Quotient means the ability to empathically connect with another on an emotional level. As many experts are saying today, and as we’ll explore more in this series, this ability is vitally important for sales, and is a key part of sales fitness.

But part of IQ, mental fitness, is maintaining a view of the human race as it actually exists, which is done in anthropology–the study of humankind. This means not putting forth or using some kind of fixed “ideal human” in your thinking. An example of the “ideal human” is something called Homo Economicus, a mathematical “example” used in mainstream economics, in all of its formulas and forecasts. Homo Economicus literally means “economic man” and it portrays humans as consistently rational and narrowly self-interested, always reacting the same way to various stimuli. While this might define a robot, it certainly doesn’t define a human being, and the use of Homo Economicus is a reason modern economics often catastrophically fails, as in the economic crash of 2008.

Similarly, such idealistic models are also used in political analysis, and predictions made with them are likewise often wrong. Just remember the widespread shock when Hillary Clinton, who was totally expected to win the 2016 presidential election, soundly lost.

As long as you don’t maintain a realistic view of this “cruel, crazy, beautiful world” (in the words of Johnny Clegg), you will also have failings. Part of remaining mentally fit is realizing that there are others who are not fit and perhaps never will be and, on the other hand, there are others who are amazingly fit and able.


The way a human being behaves has much to with upbringing and many other factors. In the end there is a critical question that must be asked by anyone wishing to succeed at just about anything, including sales: “Is my past, are my thoughts, are my emotions, driving me? Or am I the driver? Do circumstances in my life motivate my actions? Or do I have control and can decide to react differently?”

Such a question is vitally important for a salesperson. Unlike just about any other profession a salesperson is constantly confronted with disappointment, rejection, accusations, wrong assumptions, and misbehavior from others in the form of anger and antagonism which is sometimes very incorrect and unfair. For example, a salesperson might sell a defective automobile that ends up causing a serious accident, and the customer comes back and blames and screams at the salesperson. The salesperson very obviously didn’t know of those defects when they sold the vehicle. Or, the salesperson just happens to rub someone the wrong way and they reject the salesperson before a sale can be made. There are endless examples.

A salesperson must be able to confront such behavior and not react to it, if they are to survive and succeed.

Becoming the Driver

How can someone change their behavior and react differently? How can one become the driver of the car and not the passenger?

To start with, the person must be aware of being that driver. As I have mentioned in previous articles, German writer Thomas Mann said that the flipside of freedom is responsibility. A salesperson has a considerable amount of freedom that must be balanced with a healthy portion of responsibility. The first responsibility a salesperson must take is, “I am the driver. I am in charge. I’m not my emotions or the reactions that can occur if someone rejects me, is upset with me, or is pushing me away.”

How can a person learn that kind of behavior? Well, if someone has a negative reaction to something you did and you’re not immediately confronted with the person face-to-face, I would advise you to do what Abraham Lincoln used to do in similar circumstances. He would write his emotional response in a letter which he wouldn’t send. He’d sleep on it, and the next day look at the letter again and ask himself if that’s the way he really wanted to respond. Often his response would be changed to something more rational.

But if you’re right in the middle of a confrontation and don’t have time for such considerations, there are techniques you can use. One of them is called “Telling yourself to stop.” You can actually command your thinking and your emotions to “stop!” This can give you instant control. In a combative situation you can say to yourself, “Is that the way I want to act right now?” and make that decision to stop yourself. You can obviously decide to engage in an argument–but you can also decide not to.

There are thoughts that will come into your mind that you don’t know the source of, that you really don’t want. In such a case, you should never feel bad or blame yourself for such things. Who knows where they came from? Just let them go. Martin Luther said that there is a difference between ravens circling your head, and allowing them to build a nest inside your head. The Talmud also speaks to what can happen when you allow an emotion to take control of you–something can begin as a thought, eventually become a matter of how you behave, then becomes a habit, and finally becomes a character trait.

Such a behavior change isn’t something that “just happens.” It’s something you have to really work at.


At the beginning of, and at the bottom of any behavior change, are principles. Any decision is guided by principles. The principles by which you live are critical for your fitness; they help you, they guide you. Principles are rules that help us to have an orderly life.

The principles that guide a person in making decisions are helping the person to build a stable and solid foundation.

Pipeliner CRM greatly empowers fitness in sales deams.Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.

About Author

CEO and partner of and the uptime ITechnologies, which I founded in 1994 and has since played a significant role in the development of the IT-environment. pipeliner is the most innovative sales CRM management solution on the market. Pipeliner was designed by sales professionals for sales professionals and helps close the gap between the requirements of C-level executives for transparency and the day-to-day operational needs of field and inside sales. I am also the founder and Initiator of the independent economic platform GO-AHEAD!, which orientates itself on the principles of a free marketplace in terms of liberal and social responsibility. Connecting people, the trust of business leadership in terms of values such as freedom, self-responsibility, and entrepreneurial spirit, and strengthening their awareness in order to create a dynamic boost within the economy triggered through spontaneity, all stand for the initial ideas surrounding GO-AHEAD! I studied in Los Angeles and Vienna and received my Masters's Degree in 1994. I am married and have 3 children My Specialties are in: Sales Management, Sales CRM Software, CRM Cloud Solutions, SAAS, Business Strategy, Software Development, "Pipeline Management", Social responsibility, outbound sales, b2b sales, inside sales, sales strategy, lead generation, sales process, entrepreneurship, coaching, mentoring, speaker, opportunity management, lead management, Austrian School of Economics

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