Top Tip #8: Have Good Intent

*Jen Wagstaff author of The Top Performer Journal.png

Is your sales message actually driving prospects away? For most salespeople, unfortunately, it is. In this blog we delve into one of the 6 mind-hacks of Top Performers: Have good intent. First we look at how your intent may be driving your prospects away. Then, we show you how, by re-framing your thoughts will boost your confidence and success when selling.

By Jen Wagstaff, Director of CreativeMind and author of the Top Performer Journal; a powerful daily planner to help you develop great sales habits for success.

To download the free Top Performer mindset pack that accompanies this blog, click here.


That every person in this world has a bank account inside their head.

You can make deposits into it.

You can make withdrawals out of it.

You can even fall into the red.

However, this internal bank is very different to your high-street bank.

You see, instead of money, gold and coins, there is a different currency.


Give something good to a person and you are making a positive deposit; you are filling their bank account with emotional currency.

Ask for something and you are making a withdrawal; you use up the emotional currency you have deposited.

Ask for too much?

Ask without giving?

Ask when the bank is empty?

You will soon fall into the red.

In sales it is easy to fall 'into the red'.

Often, we ask for stuff (time, money, commitment)  without giving anything first (value, insight, reason).

We call on the same prospects over and over again. We ask. We take.

We feel like a right pest.

Jamie couldn't understand why no-one wanted to talk to him. All he wanted to do was hit his sales targets.

Jamie couldn't understand why no-one wanted to talk to him. All he wanted to do was hit his sales targets.

What is Intent?

Intent is the purpose or reason that you enter a sales conversation.

For most salespeople their intent is clear: to make a sale.

However, there is strong evidence to suggest that this intent achieves entirely the opposite.

Sales success rates for telesales representatives fall towards the end of the month as they focus more on 'making the sale'. Call volumes are higher, but win rates are lower.

As they feel increasing pressure to 'close the deal' this thought becomes their core driver. They forget about the customer and become focused on their agenda. Their intent is  solely about making the sale and ironically they experience less success because of it.

This problem is common.

Many salespeople have 'Ego-centric' intent

They enter sales conversations driven solely by their agenda.

They want to sell*/ to make the deal/ to win/ to prove/ to impress/ to be liked/ to build a good relationship

Unfortunately this intent harms your success in three ways: 

1. It lowers your confidence

When you next feel nervous in a sales situation (phone call, meeting, presentation), it's worth checking in with your mindset. What is your intent? Is your intent to sell, to persuade, to be liked or to impress?

If so you are making it all about you, and creating a whole load of unnecessary pressure for yourself. Take the pressure off and turn the attention to them.

2. It drives your prospects away

If you have read our introduction to mindset, you will know that:

What we think becomes what we say. What we say becomes what happens.

If you make a call with the intent to make a sale, the words you choose (without knowing) will be all about you and your agenda. The prospect will feel it. They will flag you as a 'salesperson' and treat you as such.

If you start a presentation thinking all about yourself you will reel off loads of boring stuff about you, your company, your product, blah blah blah….

Does the audience care? Not one bit.

Think about it. We hate people wasting our time telling us things that are not relevant to us. Plus, we all know when we are being "sold" at. It doesn't feel good and it makes us want to get out of the conversation as quickly as we can.

3. It drains their emotional bank account

If you ask for something (time, money, commitment)  without giving anything first (value, insight, reason), you are operating from a position of negative equity and your prospect will not feel inclined to listen or care. Don't do it.


Luckily there is another way.

Good intent_gun.jpg

How to re-frame your brain for good intent

Top Performing salespeople are driven by good intent, the core thought being:

"How can I help you?"

When you enter a sales conversation with good intent your focus is to help, to inspire, to transform, to challenge, to solve, to save, to improve or to recommend something of value.

Ultimately good intent is about entering every sales conversation to better understand their needs, find value and help make their world a better place.

Good intent thoughts:

"How can I best help you"

"How can I help you make positive change?"

"How can I see if this is the right opportunity for you"

"How can I share new ideas and insight with you"

"How can I understand and resolve your concerns?"

"How can I ensure this is the right next step for you"

By thinking these thoughts before a sales conversation you will instantly be creating value in your head that you can share with the prospect. You will find insight you can share with them. You will be asking the right questions. You will be filling your message full of words that create deposits in their emotional bank account. You will be giving them a reason to listen and to care.

In return they will be far more likely to give you their time, their attention and ultimately their business.

So, if you want to feel great when you are selling and influence more positive outcomes….

Then stop thinking about "me, me, me" and start thinking about how you can help.


BUT JEN.. isn't my intent (really) to sell?

*I have loads of people say to me "But Jen, my intent IS to sell!" Yes, I agree, assertively leading the customer to the next step in your sales process is paramount to your success. In fact, assertiveness is one of the 6 mindset principles of Top Performers. 

So yes, be assertive. Let your 'ego-driven' thoughts put fire in your belly to assertively drive the sale forward. 

But before you speak to every customer, re-frame your intent from what you want to what they want and your whole sales conversation will generate far more positive outcomes.


Got a sales team? Want some ready made training material to use in your next team meeting?

1. Download the Sales Mindset success pack

2. Print off the ready made worksheets to use in your next team meeting

3. Follow the examples and coach your team to strengthen their mindset


5 Top Performer Tips for a Powerful Sales Mindset

  • Increase confidence with 6 mind-hacks of top performers

  • Build motivation through epic rewards & celebrating success

  • Strengthen influence with powerful persuasive language

Download the mindset success pack for free here

Or order your very own Top Performer Journal today.

Blog written by Jen Wagstaff, CreativeMind Sales Training

"That will be 50 quid and a slice of your amygdala please"