You know a positive attitude is essential to success in every aspect of your life, including your sales career. It helps keep your conscious mind focused on the potential instead of the past. And with each success, that focus becomes stronger, enhancing your ability to see even more potential. But how do you actually develop a sales attitude?
To develop and maintain a positive sales attitude, first you have to understand what a positive attitude actually is, then learn to how to recognize when you might not have it. Reign it in with these questions:
- What is my mental focus?
- What will I get from this line of thinking?
- What kind of action does this line of thinking justify?
- What will this line of thinking earn me from others?
- Am I misreading this situation?
3 Steps to Your Sales Attitude
You can start to develop your sales attitude in as little as three simple steps. First, focus on the potential instead of the past. Failures often come before successes. Learn from those situations so that you can grow and narrow in on your goal.
Next, monitor your self-talk. In your own voice, work on replacing the negative memories with encouragement.
Memories are incredibly important; your conscious mind constantly replays them in an effort to prevent you from repeating harmful actions. Listen. Learn. Then record over the negative messages with positive directions. When the negative records are strong, overpower them by asking yourself the positive, forward-thinking questions out loud. This reinforces the positives to both your conscious and subconscious mind.
Finally, act! Decide to move forward every day, whether or not you feel like it. This isn’t always easy, yet is well worth the effort. Forcing yourself to do something productive and positive toward your goal pushes less productive distractions out of your conscious thought and makes it easier to pursue your goals.
Push Out the Negative
Even the most positive people have times of doubt, regret or the blues. The trick is to not let those down times take control over your future. Recognize the feelings. Uncover and acknowledge the source, then take action toward achieving your goals. When just the thought of getting up and moving on seems impossible, use these seven simple tips to put yourself back in the right frame of mind.
- Keep momentum on your side and you’ll forget why you’re down or afraid. Keep the calls and appointments going!
- Have a great call list and talk to people you would be inspired to close deals with.
- Pay attention. If you are getting the same unproductive responses, try a different approach.
- Push on: one more call, one more email, one more idea. At the very least, you’ll feel good knowing you gave it your best. Sometimes the fruit just takes longer to appear.
- Dig out of the pit. Take yourself through a worst-case Q&A like this: Q: What am I worried about? A: I’m going to starve to death and die. Q: Really? You really think that will happen? A: No – but nothing is working. Q: Nothing? Have I done everything? Is there something I have forgotten to try? Who else could I call? Once you start asking how or what you could do, ideas start flowing again.
- Maintain your arsenal by keeping a chronological list of your greatest successes. Pull the list out and recall the tough times that inevitably occurred in between all those triumphant wins.
- Go back to number 1. Act now.
Of course, you are not the only source of negative attitudes. Negativity from others is often the most difficult to avoid and nearly impossible to control. What you can control is the impact others have on you. Recognizing and controlling this one aspect of attitude is critically important to your success.
Taking control of how others impact your attitude takes practice. And the more you practice, the easier it becomes. First, talk to the nay-sayer. There is no need for guilt, rudeness, or anger; rather, take him or her aside and say something like, “It’s a shame you feel that way, and I’m sure you have your reasons. I have a different perspective, and am not interested in negative opinions without some positive solutions attached – OK?”
Then ignore them. People with a constant barrage of negative are often trying to bring people to their ‘dark side.’ The larger the audience, the louder – and longer – the negativity runs. Once people lose their audience, they’ll back down or seek recruits elsewhere.
You can always walk away. Get up, leave the room, take a short walk. Take care of other business away from the space being invaded by the Negative Ned. And when all else fails, call someone who lifts you up. If you both happen to need a boost, your call will be just in time!
Don’t Just Protect Your Sales Attitude – Own it!
A positive attitude is a conscious choice – one only you can make. Remember, your actions determine how you feel, not the other way around. When those defeatist thoughts (or people) bubble up, don’t be afraid to ask those same questions of someone in a position that can help you reach your goal. If you’re struggling to develop and own your sales attitude, contact Sidehill Consulting to lift you up and guide you through the process.
Jon Anderson is President of Sidehill Consulting and provides hands-on service as an Outsourced VP of Sales. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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