Tal Keshet, Vice President of Sales, BI Worldwide
Recently, we had an opportunity to connect with Tal Keshet, Vice President of Sales at BI Worldwide. and listen to his thinking on what makes top performing salespeople different, what gives them their competitive edge and what sales leaders can do to train and support them. He shared a number of unique ideas focused around:
- The Fixed Vs Growth Mindsets
- How Internal Motivation and Mindset Interact
- Developing Motivation and Confidence Takes Work
Early in the interview, Tal said something impactful that caught our attention and really spoke to what we have seen as an organization,
“When you get too comfortable and you start believing that you’re that good and it will continue to come even if you start taking it easy and becoming more and more comfortable, before you know it you are taking shortcuts. You stop setting those goals. You stop thinking big and you’re no longer passionate about your clients’ business or your team’s business or your company’s business or your own business. Before you know it, it becomes habitual. All of a sudden you’ve fallen into the fixed mindset bucket versus the growth mindset.”
The Fixed Vs Growth Mindsets
Successful selling requires a diverse collection of interconnected skills, which doesn’t happen on accident. This comes from developing a habit of continuous learning, as Tal explains,
“I would look at the two mindsets of fixed versus growth. Successful salespeople think big. They’re passionate about their business and their clients’ business. They set goals. They have a results mindset versus effort mindset. They don’t try, They don’t hope and they don’t use the word “If” that much and they certainly don’t put a lid above themselves.”
This is something most of us have observed in both ourselves and in coworkers throughout the years. We often like to believe it’s as simple as being aware of what type of mindset we want to have, but in reality it takes an intentional focus on the right things. Tal pointed out some of the most important elements of success when he said,
“The folks that had a growth mindset for years and all of a sudden fell into the fixed mindset are maybe getting too comfortable. Maybe they’re getting too comfortable with their own successes and they’re no longer humble and they’re no longer taking risks and setting goals and thinking strategy and stopping the practices that help them year-over-year drive above baseline results.”
A desire to continually strive towards new milestones is integral to the long-term sustainability of a growth mindset, but how do leaders develop and maintain that internal drive in their teams? Tal addressed this when discussing where true behavioral change originates,
“What’s driving those behaviors? Is it coming from within or is it coming from my manager who’s directing me to do it for him or for her?”
How Internal Motivation and Mindset Interact
While it is intuitively obvious that internal motivations are the key to maintaining a growth mindset in each individual, the needs of different people can vary greatly as Tal observed,
“If I were to one day write a book of my own, the name of the book would be ‘Always Deliver Above Baseline Results’. When you think about that very first word ‘Always’, that’s exhausting for the wrong individual.”
Thinking big and focusing on continuing to grow and improve can either be an exciting journey or a struggle depending on your mindset, as Tall explains,
“Are you sleeping with one eye open or two eyes shut? Do you need Melatonin because you’re really excited about going into work or are you taking a couple of Advils the night before?”
Some people have fully embraced the demands of high standards, and they embody the title of Tal’s ideal book, while others feel exhausted by the very thought of it. Though it may be true that stress levels and work capacities can vary, Tal has observed that often those stress levels and corresponding decreases in motivation can be related to preparation and a fundamental understanding of the task at hand,
“Lead by example, tell a story versus sell something and make sure that you understand the why. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Why am I here today? If you don’t have a clear answer to that then you’re probably taking Advil on a Sunday night versus taking Melatonin.”
Developing Motivation and Confidence Takes Work
We asked Tal what it looked like to lead by example, and ensure that the nights would be Advil free, and he gave us an example of what he expects from himself and his team when giving a presentation,
“When you give a stand-up presentation leading to that first presentation, I would sit down with you and go through a playbook where we outline, based on a timeline, where we are today and how far we are from that stand-up presentation date and what needs to happen between now and then. We want to make sure that the “I” and “T” are dotted and crossed. We want to be on point and on message and bring value to those meetings. That can only happen if we’re prepared.”
Tal added a powerful insight into how preparation leads to celebration,
“We work really hard. We play really hard. When we’re doing a stand-up presentation, we put a lot of effort into the practice and into the rehearsals to ensure that we are playing hard to win. And when you win, I think it’s really important to celebrate. Take a minute and recognize the work that led to the win.”
This focus on practice and preparation is something that has emerged as the single biggest fundamental principle to success across the top performers we have worked with over the years, and Tal’s description of the process from the outline through the celebration are in line with our experiences. He finished the interview by turning the conversation back to the foundation of a growth mindset, and summed it up by saying,
“Think big, to set goals and be passionate.”
Thanks to Tal for the interview and solid tips on how to generate stronger sales teams!
For videos on how to increase sales utilizing the SalesGym’s “Compete Selling” approaches, check out our SalesGym YouTube Channel!
SalesGym is a research, consulting, and training company that works with and learns from sales teams all over the world and has refined a coaching and training process that trains sales teams the way elite athletes are trained. More insights and articles from us can be found on our RESOURCES PAGE.
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