CONTRIBUTORSElite AgentMindset and Personal Development

Pancho Mehrotra: Why adaptability is a winning strategy

In today’s environment, sales professionals face a different challenge with the advent of new technology.

Technology, while streamlining processes and offering new avenues for customer engagement, also brings a significant shift in the role of the sales agent. 

The traditional face-to-face interactions are increasingly being supplemented or even replaced by digital platforms, changing the dynamics of decision-making and customer relationships.

Psychological adaptation: The key to thriving

The essence of psychological adaptation in this context lies in the ability to understand and embrace these technological changes.

This involves a shift in mindset from viewing technology as a threat, to recognising it as an opportunity.

Salespeople need to develop new skills and strategies that align with these technological advancements, ensuring that they remain relevant and effective in their roles. 

We all know the demise of lines people in tennis who call the lines if the ball is in or out, which led to many arguments between players and umpires.

New technology made the linespeople redundant, no arguments with the umpire and a speeding up of the game.

The only tournament where lines people are relevant is the French Open, because the technology does not work on the clay surface. 

The lesson here is, if the salesperson does not develop new skills to use technology and use it effectively, then the number of clients that they can sell to reduces by more than 75 per cent.

A lesson for the real estate sector is to understand that the rate of change is accelerating in all sectors and technology allows companies to have direct access to their clients, which is the ultimate game-changer – remove the middleman.

The real estate platforms present this possibility in the real estate sector too.

In the automotive sector, Tesla is forcing change in the existing dealership model and fast becoming the biggest producer of cars in the world, with no retail premises.

It’s suddenly a huge cost saving plus all the innovative processes being created by Elon Musk.

One of the contributing reasons why change is so difficult for salespeople, and people in general, is that everyone runs their own internal scripts, an internal program of automatic behaviours, which their environment has created.

It’s a short cut to minimise thinking so you doesn’t have to think about doing something but just do it automatically.

To a certain extent, it’s brainwashing, but we are willing subjects.

Scripted behaviour is fine for certain situations, but when facing challenges in the environment, existing thoughts and processes fail to adapt and change.

Think about how difficult it is to avoid that piece of chocolate or drink when offered to you on a tray, regardless of resolutions! 

Adaptability as a winning strategy

Think about tennis players having to play on different surfaces – hard court, clay or grass.

It’s the same sport, adapted to different surfaces.

Players who excel on different surfaces do so by adjusting their playing style, strategy, and even their psychological approach.

Similarly, sales professionals must learn to ‘play’ on the new ‘surfaces’ presented by technological advancements.

This means not only learning new tools and platforms, but also understanding how these changes affect customer expectations and decision-making processes.

Tesla and the social technology platforms have now taken behavioural profiling and customer connection to another level using technology.

Sales agents, in order to stay relevant, will now need to develop these skill sets and develop their communication skills to another level.

At the heart of this is a person’s attitude to change.

One person says, “I am just the way I am” – a fixed mindset; whereas the other is open to the possibility of thinking and changing – a growth mindset.

One hinders progress and most of the time does not know they are this way inclined, the other explores possibility and is self-aware.

Which one are you?

Strategies for psychological adaptation

Embrace lifelong learning: Continuously update skills and knowledge to stay abreast of technological trends and tools in sales.

Flexibility in approach: Be willing to experiment with new techniques and strategies that align with evolving technologies and customer preferences.

Psychological resilience: Cultivate a mindset that is open to change and capable of handling the challenges and uncertainties that come with technological evolution.

Customer-centric adaptation: Understand how technology affects customers’ expectations and behaviours, and adapt sales approaches accordingly.

Collaboration and networking: Engage with peers, experts, and cross-functional teams to share insights and learn about best practices in integrating technology into sales strategies.

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Pancho Mehrotra

Pancho Mehrota is the CEO of Frontier Performance and a recognised leading expert in the area of communication, influence and the psychology of selling.