The Importance of Positive Attitude in Sales

It is never the prospect, but the attitude that defines the success of a sales professional. Shiv Khera, an author, educator, business consultant and entrepreneur, rightly says,

Ability teaches us how to Do. Motivation decides why we Do. Attitude determines how well we Do.

In his book You Can Sell, he cites a story that is often used by sales managers to motivate their employees – two salesmen go to Africa to sell shoes and they each visit different parts of the country. They notice that most villagers do not wear shoes. One of the salespersons sends a text to his manager saying, “There is no market here. Nobody wears shoes and hence I am coming back.”

On the other hand, the other salesperson sends a message saying, “Get ready for big sales – there is a huge market here. Nobody wears shoes and we can make everyone wear them. Gear up production.”

This can-do attitude is what makes a salesperson turn negatives into positives and close the maximum number of sales.

You do not require an expensive college degree to become a successful salesman. All you need to rise above the mediocrity is the right attitude – a mental toughness that is all pervasive and stands through the test of time.

All successful professionals who have achieved great financial milestones have one thing in common – they are all positive thinkers. Positive thinking does not only render you both physically and psychologically healthier but also boosts your performance.

Martin Seligman from the University of Pennsylvania along with researchers from Dartmouth and University of Michigan conducted a research to find a correlation between positive thinking and health. They uncovered that pessimists’ health deteriorated rapidly as they aged. Another research by the Mayo clinic found that optimists displayed lower levels of cardiovascular disease and longer life-spans. A variety of studies have proven that merely expecting a positive outcome and being hopeful can improve an individual’s immune system, keep chronic diseases at bay and enable people to better cope with difficult situations.

The buck does not stop here. In a study focusing on insurance salespeople, Seligman found that optimistic salespeople sold 37% more policies than pessimists. He found that employees with a negative attitude were twice as likely to leave the company in their first year of working.

It doesn’t take much to shift your tendency to be negative into positivity. According to Seligman, simple changes can help you transform your attitude. All you have to do is train your brain to drown out the negativity in your mind. Here are a few ways you can build an everlasting positive attitude.

1. Believe in your ability to sell

Think positively about your ability to sell. The moment you question your ability or lose confidence in yourself, you will lose as a salesperson. You need to be able to sell yourself first even before you set out to sell a product or service. To succeed at this, you need to train yourself to think positively. As Wade Boggs put it,

“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.

2. Put a full stop over negative thoughts

Most of the time, our negative thoughts are just thoughts and not facts. The moment we put a stop over negative self-talk, we can notice a tremendous change in our outlook. The next time you have negative thoughts, slow down and analyze if they are factual. Write these thoughts down and clarify their veracity with a colleague or friend. Chances are, you are over thinking things most times.

3. Identify and focus on the positives

Once you have learned to quell your negative thoughts, train your brain to focus on the positives. As with everything else, it takes a bit of time and conscious effort to think only positive things. The moment your mind begins to wander towards negative thoughts, think of one good thing that happened in your day. It may be insignificant, but it can help you divert your attention. You can even pick an event in the past and dwell on it. The goal is to have a positive thought that you can turn to when your thoughts turn negative.

4. Start your day with positive thoughts

“Your current reality or your current life is a result of the thoughts you have been thinking. All of that will totally change as you begin to change your thoughts and your feelings.” – The Secret

Positive thinking attracts positive energy. This statement is backed by science. Quantum physics states that our thoughts have frequencies and corresponding vibrations which in turn attract similar vibrations into our lives. It is said by many philosophers, including Aristotle, that our thoughts create an energy that influences our realities. If we anticipate an outcome to be negative, it most often turns out to be that way. No matter how tricky a situation may get, envisage a positive outcome.

5. Toughen up mentally

Once you have transformed your thoughts from negative to positive, work on becoming resilient. The moment you develop a mental toughness, you will gain the ability to face any adversity with ease. Having a ‘can do attitude’ along with a healthy dose of courage and faith can help you overcome all the impediments that life throws at you. Surround yourself with positive people and continue to have a positive outlook through all the adversities.