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By Kathleen Black, Founder & CEO of Kathleen Black Coaching & Consulting, Inc.

Great sales teams are made, not born. Even the most charismatic sales professionals who are gifted with a natural talent in connecting with others still must learn pace and patterns to develop and hone their sales skills. And smart managers know grace and charm alone doesn’t get their teams to the finish line. In fact, they know for their sales reps to become and remain high performers means possessing the same “take-charge” fundamentals found in successful leaders by being innovative, showing initiative, having determination, and leading with a commitment to do right by others. Quite simply, successful sales professionals who become high performers are reps who think, act and implement like the CEO.  

The secret for getting to this point is to enhance clarity and confidence to deal with stress and anxiety, which are often the two biggest barriers to fully optimizing potential.  We need to instill in every member of our sales teams that embracing a CEO mindset is how they will reach their potential and achieve business success. And, for every company with a sales team of CEO-thinking high performers, the bottom line is sure to hit new heights too!  

In today’s world with a supply chain crisis stalling deliverables and a labor shortage slowing down many services, sales professionals are seeing less frequent commission checks in lower amounts. Longer pipelines are causing frustration and disappointment but with an ambitious team – it is possible to keep morale high and well-positioned when businesses start operating on full speed again. Business can’t go on as usual when something very unusual is going on which means something has to change – and that something is us and how we approach challenges and manage solutions.

All trainers know, teaching steps to follow is the easy part. But like all defining-change, it is the execution that takes discipline and drive to make a difference. One major step forward is in time-management, but not in the traditional way. Instead, sales professionals should view it from two perspectives: time blocking and non-negotiable management

Time blocking is making sure one specific project or goal is addressed and completed without the distraction of less critical tasks. Time-blocking takes the “to do” list to the next level and if sales reps use this system they will be able to track their productivity and timing more accurately. For individuals, it is empowering and energizing to move ideas to completion in a timely manner.

Then there are the non-negotiables. These are the efforts that will advance your position in every phase of the deal whether it is to reinforce a relationship or move the sale forward.  Non-negotiables are actions that must be done (started or completed) no matter what else is going on. These might include weekly calls to clients, daily staff debriefs or standing appointments with investors, Board members or suppliers. Declaring the importance of non-negotiables in your business, helps keep us centered, in control, and on path toward our goals.  

Another step toward CEO-thinking is building capacity because that will influence how well we deal with stress, anxiety and friction. On our journey to the top, we need to expand our capacity because that will create a pathway toward solutions and ultimately create an inner calm. Self-aware CEOs and others in leadership positions, recognize that anxiety and stress are factors in becoming overwhelmed and running at too high a pace which is why we need ways to take it down a notch from time in the gym to breath control exercises right at our desks. Even placing our hands on our hearts a few times of day will help us connect with our truth and our core and remind us that to sell and achieve, we must first, be. 

No one can grow in an environment of negativity which is why visualization is so important to generate positive energy. Recommend your sales teams write a Letter from the Future. This is an opportunity to redefine and create their future to follow a path of purpose that will lead to abundance and fulfillment. Most importantly, to reach the high performance zone, our sales teams must hold character traits of integrity and understanding. Integrity in what they say and do to build respect and trust. The understanding is knowing how ego can trip us up if we don’t move it aside and recognize that there are different ways to respond to different situations. Often, the things we believe are the worst case scenarios are actually the first phase of working toward successful outcomes. And, great leaders know it’s okay to stand still and assess, and they always remember to breathe!

About Author:

Kathleen Black is Founder & CEO of Kathleen Black Coaching & Consulting, Inc. one of the world’s leading performance strategists who has become famous for guiding iconic brands and high net worth professionals through her unique approach of empowered leadership and expert mindset-training to add billions of additional sales volume annually to their bottom lines. The two-time bestselling author and global motivational speaker will present a Keynote Address and TedX Talk later this year. Follow her on Instagram and email her at

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