SalesHack #108: How not why?

The power of your mindset.

As salespeople, we all have many skills in our toolbelt that we use on a daily basis to be successful. Some rely on their strong communication skills over the phone and others find that face-to-face discussions are best. For me, and how I coach my teams, I bring it back to the basics of one’s mindset. I specifically focus on this task with three little words that have changed not only my sales/personal life, but others that I’ve coached as well… “How NOT Why.”

Imagine a sales rep who came to a brand-new company never having any knowledge or experience in the tech space, let alone selling a product dealing with VOIP. This can be intimidating itself and tough to learn all the new terminology at the same time. Now add in the fact that this person moved roles three times in six months on top of everything else. You would probably think this rep is saying in their head, “WHY the hell do I keep getting moved around every two months after I’m just starting to find my groove in this position? WHY do I have to change my process? WHY does my quota keep going all over the place?” Well, that person was me and it was exactly the thoughts going through my head.

Although I found myself hitting quota each month and doing well, it took me a minute to realize that I was the guinea pig for these new roles we were creating. SDR to hotline rep, hotline rep to hybrid SDR/BDR, hybrid to first outbound BDR. After my third role change, “How NOT Why” was born for me. As I sat in my cube one day, I told myself, “It’s time to approach everything with a positive mindset and figure out HOW to be the best sales rep possible! Enough with the negativity and questioning WHY every little move or decision gets made around here.” So, I did just that. While other reps were busy complaining about a higher quota, new tools, or new processes, I was embracing all this change and figuring HOW I succeed. My quota got raised 15%. No problem! How many more calls and emails do I need to make to get to my new quota. Use this new tool. Great. HOW do I implement this tool into my daily process and make sure I’m hitting my quota and KPI’s. HOW, HOW, HOW! No matter what was thrown my way, I was going to succeed. This approach led me to smash my quarterly quotas at 150% or better, big commission checks, winner of multiple contests, and even a trip to Hawaii for president’s club. Life was good, but I felt like this I was sitting on a gold mine that needed to be shared with others, so I did.

As I got into SDR/BDR leadership roles, this was my story I preached. Approach each day with these three words in mind and watch greatness unfold. I’m not saying you can’t question certain directives that people hand down because we all know this can be beneficial in certain scenarios. I’m saying that when a boss, loved one, friend, colleague or whomever it may be has a task, comment or suggestion for you, approach it with positive thinking and a can-do attitude. Especially inside of the sales world, this is key!

When you think, HOW, you are being proactive, forward-thinking and doing what is necessary to succeed. When you think, WHY, this is setting yourself back and approaching certain situations in a more negative light in my opinion. For most, this type of thinking is not going to happen overnight, and it may be hard to re-wire our brain this way. We are all human at the end of the day and when faced with something we don’t like or want to do; our brains tend to go to WHY before they go to HOW. I can tell you with 100% confidence that the more you think, preach and practice this mindset, the more success you will have. My greatest satisfaction from these three words is not the personal success I have seen, but rather the positive impact it has had from those I’ve coached/mentored along the way. When a rep comes to you and says, “thank you for teaching me about, How NOT Why,” because it helped them close a deal, settle a personal argument or even help them get promoted, those are the most satisfying results I could ever hope for!

At the end of the day, we all look at life differently through our own lens and have our own mindset beliefs. Mine just happens to be the one of sheer positivity each day. I don’t question WHY I’m here on this earth, I say, “HOW can I make each day given to me memorable and impact others positively along the way!” My challenge to you all reading this is when you wake up tomorrow morning, approach your day with a, “How NOT Why” mindset! Greatness awaits you.

Contributed by Mark Chambers, Business Development Manager, Venminder.

Good selling,


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