So, I'm a bartender. I'm also in Real Estate, but as far as this forum is concerned I feel like bartending is more applicable. I've been bartending for about seven years. Long time to do anything, honestly.
It's ironic I found your particular topic because it's something I've been thinking a lot about. Sales are very hard. I've often looked towards sales books, PUA stuff, charisma training, what have you, for advice on selling and to be honest I find the mindset part pretty lacking. What's even more ironic is I am highly, highly resistant towards any kind of selling. I have a very low opinion of sales, not necessarily the people doing the selling, just sales in general. But maybe because I just deep down disagree with the vast majority of advice given in the field.
I worked for TGIFridays briefly, and if you've ever seen the movie Waiting... they have that training video scene and it's pretty much exactly what that's like. "Just that little extra". They'll kind of push this idea that sales is all about being extroverted and fake smiles and how to fake smiles, and being just knock you over enthusiastic about things. I really hate that stuff. Don't find it helpful, yet I've used it, so I can sort of see it being like when the teacher shows you long division, instead of just letting you use the shortcut.
So there's this sort of notion to approach life as if it were a scripted scene in a movie, which doesn't really make sense.
You sort of allude to this in your post when you say you think of Jason Statham. Here's the thing though Jason Statham doesn't ask himself WWJSD, he asks himself what would I do. So you can't really embody his space. You can't really just lift some phrase-ology from a book or a scene because everything Jason Statham does is underneath the surface, down deep below the subsurface. He does what he does even when he's sleeping. As you indicate it's a mindset. I can bartender even when I'm drunk, on drugs, and I could probably even do it blindfolded. So my job is reading and interacting with people and I do it without giving it much conscious thought. So to Jason Statham does all that without conscious thought.
Scripting yourself in sales has a pretty solid track record. Lots of phone sales use pre-fab scripts. Lots of people I know who end up in the MLM style companies seem to have these sort of pre-fab sales pitches. They probably practice them a lot. As a bartender I've developed routine phrases I used to customers. Finding something that worked 60% of the time, or whatever. The more I bartend though the more I just decided that stuff is for amateurs.
The biggest thing for me is to empty my head. No emotions. No thoughts. Don't wander off and start thinking about other things. Don't worry about the result of what you're about to say. I would caution against thinking what Jason Statham would do because in effect what you're really thinking is "how would this person I perceive as better than I judge my actions."
If you managed to convince Rose-Whitney Huntington (sp?), Jason's wife, to suck your dick in front of him he'd probably really hate you. Like really, really hate you. That is not a course of action Jason would approve of. But...but...his hot wife would still be sucking your dick. So...there.
For me at least a series of crushing failures really helped. Sort of gave me a nihilistic outlook on life. Incidentally I notice a lot of TV and movie characters like Don Draper, Spike from Cowboy Bebop, SPAM, James Bond, etc have a strong undercurrent of nihilism. The idea that at some point in the future they're dead anyways, so who cares. I don't know whether this is fully intentional on the part of the writers, or whether it just seems to be a common thread. And I did not adopt this because of these characters, I merely noticed it after I went through a nihilistic period of my life.
That nihilism sort of led me to the realization that I don't actually have any, even in the margins, control over the outcome of anyone else, or even myself. Whatever happens, will happen and has already happened. Time is a flat circle, after all.
The irony is once I accepted the outcome was beyond my control and effectively stopped trying to be entertaining, or sell hard, or funny, or charming, or have these canned lines I ended up being far more in control of outcomes than I ever had been.
I used to do the tried and true method of giving a few sales options (like: we have Grey Goose, Kettle One or Titos) and then the customer would choose one since I gave the illusion of choice, and wouldn't offer well or the cheap stuff. And that definitely worked, and kept my ticket prices up. After my nihilistic phase brought in part by the unmitigated annoyance that is bartending, I began simply telling people what they were having. For example today a guy ordered an Appletini, so I said "grey goose is good for that" and he went with that. By the way, Grey Goose is absolutely fucking useless for mixed drinks. That drink cost him $17. I could've made the same tasting drink for half that price. But I'm past that. I'm past selling people the -$7 I could've made, because that's what they'll choose.
Where the emptying your head comes into play, because if you actually care that you're overselling these people, it'll show on your face or come across in your voice when it wavers. You kind of have to teach yourself to stop assigning weight or judgment to things.
They talk about this thing called the internal eye. It's this part of you that you are convinced is you but really it's more a collection of these things society has trained you to think. It's a series of prejudices you have. Einstein says this is what people refer to as "common sense". What you called WWJSD. That is a very unique aspect of you, it's not what connects you to others, it's actually what separates you from others. I've noticed my Dad often struggles with this, and we're actually very alike him and I, so I understand why he thinks this way sometimes. He'll lay out sort of this very rational reason why someone "ought" to do a thing, and then when they don't do that thing he'll sort of be confused by this. I can relate to this a lot. I tend to think people are, overall, very smart and rational. I think even your WWJSD is a very smart and rational approach since you're looking at an image of what you consider to be successful and then copying that. Yet what you're really doing is calibrating that internal eye and listening to that, which is intuitive, but not, in my opinion, a good place to go. The reason for that is everyone has that internal eye, that sense of what is common, and it's all completely unique. It's not at all what binds us. My rational for why you ought to buy something needs to be tailored to the person to whom I am speaking, not the imaginary straw man of your average customer. If that makes sense?
That's why the emptiness is so vital to me, because instead of trying to control my surroundings I just react to them.
The other thing I really focus on doing, weirdly, is not really having a persona or personality. That sounds probably very, very counterintuitive if not downright stupid, but I make fairly effective use of it. I never, ever talk about myself. In fact I cultivate the mindset that there is no self. Which is demonstrably false by the way. I'm in a room surrounded by comic books and a few action figures, sports memorabilia, and photos of family members. A walk through my apartment reveals an abundance of personality. Yet that's where I leave it. One good thing I picked up from my Dad and living in the midwest is never talk about yourself.
Again that comes with the empty mindset. I will answer questions about myself, but I will never volunteer information. Sort of like when the cops arrest you and tell you that you have the right to remain silent. As a lawyer once told me "you don't have to lie, you just don't have to volunteer any information either" and that's a tight rope to walk. I usually just ask questions, and if I can I'll try to turn questions about me back around to them.
"Where are you from?"
"What makes you think I'm not from here?"
There's a answer both baked into the response (that you're not from here) and you're also probing that person's reason for asking you in the first place - that they sense you're not from here.
Yesterday a woman was over and she met my cat, who is sick, unfortunately, with some serious stuff. He's a trooper though. Now I could've said "him being sick makes me sad," which certainly would've been opening up, and a perfectly reasonable thing to discuss. Instead I asked her "does the cat make you sad?" because she knows the cat is sick (from me) and it did make her sad. Instead of talking about my sadness I allowed my subtle emotions to display my sadness. Instead of inserting myself I'm leveraging my surroundings to build rapport with people.
I think to sum it up it's really that you need to get out of your own head.