Can your mindset change the way you run a small business? We’ve been trying to examine this over the last few weeks, with our focus on what the RAS is, and how it can help your structure your sales pipelines. This week, we’re rounding out the psychology theme with a look at our mindsets, and how the way we approach challenges has a transformative effect on our lead management process. Ultimately, to have a successful mindset that boosts your lead management process, the question is: how can we help ourselves respond positively to challenges?
Why is Mindset Important for the Lead Management Process?
Mindset is important because businesses are run by humans—you!—and in order to look after your lead management process, you have to rely on the people running it. Therefore the business owner, the employees, and all the people involved, benefit from having a mindset that improves their productivity. This in turn lets you focus on, refine and duplicate a lead management process that works. By encouraging growth, problem-solving, and creativity, you’ll be much more attentive to what’s working and what isn’t, and stave off the professional burnout in the process.
Having a Successful Mindset in Business: Self-Reflection
I’ll wager none of us have avoided any lessons about the importance of reflecting on your work, whether that has been through schooling or the seemingly infinite behavioural tips and guides online. Truthfully, it’s a lesson worth repeating, worth reminding ourselves of every now and then. Self-reflection is a modest yet powerful tool we have in our arsenals, a chance to press pause on a situation and recalibrate ourselves, ready for the next step.
After all, if we want to get to the next step, we want to do so with our best foot forward. Self-reflection, as a concept and as a habit, gives us that chance, and is therefore an important step towards having a successful mindset in business.
Self-Reflection: For Ourselves and Others
So self-reflection gives us an opportunity to pause. It asks us why we do what we do and what we can do better next time. Incorporating time for self-reflection, personally and professionally, can help us slow down time in a busy world. When we slow down, we give ourselves space to grow, self-inspire and self-motivate.
It is also about acknowledging difficult and failure. This is not the easiest thing to do—it’s never fun to see your activities and behaviours as unsuccessful, especially if you put effort into them. But it is impossible to avoid them. Taking the opportunity to be honest and acknowledge them makes your position stronger when it comes to improvement. Personally, and for the relationships with other people in your lives, honesty in regards to your difficulties is appreciated, and difficulties can be shared.
This has the effect of improving your listening skills. If you can acknowledge failures and successes in yourself, then you are more likely to have time for those in other people’s lives. This benefits you in your personal life, of course, but it benefits you in terms of a mindset for business too; your communication skills—which include listening—are important across the board.
Ultimately, difficulties are part of life like anything else, and avoiding the subject only delays the inevitable. You will have to deal with them eventually. It is better, then, to prepare yourself: acknowledging them now will give you direction so you can face the challenge head on, knowing what you need to do.
Self-Reflection Benefits Your Lead Management Process
Incorporating self-reflection as a habit benefits your work and your colleagues. Honesty with yourself and others at work ensures communication stays smooth, so deadlines are met, tasks completed, and professional relationships maintained. Displaying such a habit also sets a good example for everyone else; if they, too, take on board the benefits of self-reflective behaviours, it is likely their output will improve too, and the business will work better across the board.
As for your own tasks—what can self-reflection do? Firstly, it can be a nice book-end, a way to document your progress through a period of time. It can also serve as a refresher for what you’ve achieve in this time; a moment to recall other work you’ve forgotten.
Most importantly—for this is a word you’ll be reading a lot—it can help you figure out where you need to improve, as well as what you need to do for it. Noticed a job’s taking you a long time to complete? You can consider what’s slowing you down and tackle that bit specifically. Is it time-keeping? Is it motivation? Or is it a particular skill you need to pay extra attention to? You can make it a priority for the future.
After a while of building up a habit of self-reflection, you’ll be looking for chances for self-improvement naturally. When these pay off, you’ll be feeling the satisfaction of it—more and more as time goes on—and the quality of your work will steadily increase. This is why having a successful business mindset is so important: your goals will be clearer, and you’ll feel more rewarded with your progress.
With the lead management process, there are plenty of avenues that require your attention. Keeping an eye on your leads, where they’re going and what they’re interested in, asks for you to be there for the long haul, with lots of activities (such as lead capture, scoring and nurturing) to act on before you close the sale. These are all opportunities for self-reflection and learning, all of which will eventually inform how you can approach the next lead. Testing and measuring also plays a big part in how we respond to the processes we’re using. All of these work towards refining your process, and self-reflection is a formative way to document and implement this.
Accountability vs Negativity: Accepting Changes to the Lead Management Process
This is not an invitation to dwell on the negatives. Finding that balance is difficult—we’re only human, after all—but the idea is not to lick your wounds; it’s to stitch them up.
Accountability is about two things: acknowledgment, and action. Responsibility is a powerful resource, and in this context, a gracious behaviour. If you were’t successful and the responsibility lies with you, admitting as such shows honesty, which will be appreciated. The action you take to rectify the situation will put you and your business in a stronger position, improve your work, and boost your company’s reputation as a business that walks the walk.
Self-reflection doesn’t mean you should kick yourself, if you’re responsible or not. Allow yourself to feel whatever you need to feel in response to the situation—but don’t short-circuit yourself. Having a positive mindset is about being action-orientated; you move towards making the outcome better. Movement towards rectifying a situation, however small it is, scares off paralysis.
A Different Mindset in Business: Growth vs Fixed Mindsets
Dr Carol Dweck proposed the theory of the growth mindset, which was conducted and aimed primarily at teaching. She questioned how it is we see our achievements, whether we should rely on talent (innate ability) or should be driven through effort, and building upon progress. After conducting a study, Dweck found that children with this fixed mindset struggled to bounce back from failures. However, those encouraged to have a growth mindset were able to accept failure quicker, to appreciate progress, and put more effort into the long-term reward. Failure, for them, was not an end point, but a stepping stone.
These are two very different mindsets, with two very different outcomes. What’s more, we haven’t missed the boat on them—anyone can learn to have a growth mindset. It requires a behaviour change, but the growth mindset clearly has numerous benefits, and will go a long way towards cultivating a successful mindset in business.
How Does a Growth Mindset Help Refine Your Lead Management Process?
Fixed mindsets assume that success is the standard: if you cannot do it once, you cannot do it at all. This prevents you from straying from your routine, from taking risks, and finding opportunities that exist outside of the norm. You work on autopilot and never stray from fear of failure.
For the growth mindset, no difficulty is set in stone. There exists in you a power to change the situation: to reflect, regroup, reconsider, and retry. Success will be there eventually; it’s something tor each, instead of something to expect. The reward from success therefore feels well-earned.
To achieve a successful mindset in business, this perseverance is vital. It discourages that fear of failure—instead, it is a learning opportunity. You’re more likely to take risks, because they may pay off.
If failure is a learning opportunity, then it doesn’t matter how many leads fall through: you take it as a way to improve your management next time. It gives you the opportunity to review and focus on improvement. Thinking in terms of your lead management process, you can zoom in on the weaker parts of the process and figure out how to approach it more successfully. Even small tweaks like these can improve the health of your process overall, which in turn makes your business more likely to turn leads into customers.
The Growth Mindset and Self-Reflection
Take, for example, a failed sales call. You didn’t get what you wanted out of the conversation—and come to think of it, neither did the prospect.
Self-reflection asks you to look over what happened. Divide it up into four parts; Better, Worse, More and Less:
- What was Better
- What was Worse
- What you need to do More
- What you need to do Less
The first two should inform the latter. This is then divided into two parts: what you did well, and what you can concentrate on to improve, and get some success from in your next call.
In the growth mindset, the ‘Worse’ or ‘Less’ sections are not reflections on you or your intellect, but an instruction of what to work on; an arrow on the path to a better sales call. Similarly, the ‘Better’ section is not the standard, but something to genuinely celebrate.
Combining Your Mindset With Your Lead Management Process: Growth, Self-Reflection and the RAS
We’ve mentioned the RAS before in the context of work—it’s a filter of all the information you receive in the world. It can inform your motivations and perspective, so working with your RAS can positively affect your productivity.
If you’ve gone to the effort of pointing out what you need to do next time, you’re engaging with your RAS by zeroing in on information you can deem as ‘important’.
For the example of the sales call, we can say one of the things that went wrong was a subject the prospect mentioned but you never talked about yourself. On the next sales call, you’ll be listening out for it naturally, so when it comes up, it’ll be easier for you to spot, to recall any information you might have on it, and deliver to your prospect. You’ve successfully worked on your own feedback—and that’s always something to celebrate! Even if that sales call doesn’t end the way you want it to, you still have tangible evidence of your progress.
It also becomes something you can put in your self-reflection notes: genuine progress. That’s always going to feel good.
Using your RAS to filter the information you need will sharpen the time you spend on your lead management process. By working with your brain, it opens up the opportunity to streamline your process.
Making a habit out of cultivating self-reflection; cultivating a growth mindset; and equipping your RAS: together, these are a powerful combination that can transform your mindset in business. They frame that work as progress: you can always find the time and space to improve—as long as you’re being honest about it. From then on, all the rewards are yours: for your productivity, for your lead management process, and for your company.