"Good sales people are problem solvers.” Or, so the illusion goes. That belief ranks high on my all time list of the beliefs that most limit a sales person's performance. This one is especially insidious because it is so commonly held, without reservation, by such a large percentage of sales managers and sales people. And it sounds so reasonable.

The world is full of sales managers who gravely proclaim that good sales people are good problem solvers. Sales people who use that belief to give direction to their jobs are to be found in every sales force.

The problem with this self-limiting belief, as in many such ideas, is that there is a grain of truth in it. Yes, good sales people are good problem solvers. However, they are so much more than just problem solvers. And, when a sales person or manager focuses on just that small piece of a sales person's job, it eclipses all the other more pertinent ideas and limits the sales person's effectiveness.

It's just human nature to live up to the visions we carry about ourselves. We allow our beliefs to dictate our actions. And when our beliefs are out of touch with reality, our actions are not nearly as effective as they could be. We see what we look for and we don't see nearly as much of what we don't look for.

Sales people, then, who see themselves as "good problem solvers” naturally look around for problems to solve. In so doing, they miss huge opportunities to assist their customers in ways other than problem solving. In fact, many of the best sales people don't look for problems to solve, they create contentment in their customers by showing them better ways to do things.

Dave Kahle is one of the world's leading sales authorities. He's written twelve books, presented in 47 states and ten countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine, His book, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime, has been recognized by three international entities as "one of the five best English language business books.” Check out his latest book, The Heart of a Christian Sales Person.”