Attitude Makes Altitude

Staying positive is essential for making sales

Getting someone to buy whatever you are selling can be fraught with difficulty. Sales managers and teams need to succeed or it’s game over for them.

The critical component of sales is not knowledge but, rather, attitude. Techniques, product knowledge, customer evaluation and gap analysis will all be taught to no avail if the required sales success attitude is not in place.

Intuitively, we all understand the importance of having the right attitude.

Let’s conduct a simple test. When you get up in the morning and, on opening the curtains, and finding it is dark, gloomy, cold and raining outside, does it impact your attitude for the day? If it is a beautifully clear, cool, bright and sunny day, is your attitude affected?

If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, outside and uncontrollable influences have seized hold of your future and will determine your progress in life at random.

In addition to being burdened by the climate, the rejection factor for salespeople causes even bright, sunny days to rapidly sink into gloomy oblivion: clients don’t answer your emails, never take your calls because they are permanently in meetings, and have the audacity to say what you are selling is too expensive. And it’s raining!

Attitude is a choice. However, how does one choose a sales success attitude over negative alternatives?

Try the following methods to remove random attitude selection as your modus operandi.

Believe you can
This sounds both simple and complicated. How does one build self-belief? Find a small part of your work that you do well and add to this through study and practice.

We are not 100% perfect, but neither are we 100% imperfect. We are all a work in progress. So build on what is working and study that which must be done to improve.

If you don’t believe in your firm’s products and services, get out of the firm right now and find something you can believe in.

Flee from negative people
When losers gather for a whine party, don’t accept the invitation to spiral down their negative path.

People do have influence on us, so choose to be influenced by those who are optimistic and permanently positive. Your job is not to reform whiners but, rather, to ignore and isolate the damage they can do to you.

Seek out the “beautiful” people
Move in success circles; absorb the energy and contagious positive attitude of successful people. Join organisations where they gather and the committees on which they sit, be they business or charity groups. A positive attitude is contagious—get infected ASAP and stay infected.

Embrace “change-tunity”—change and opportunity
Accept that change is normal. Everyone wants the opportunities that change brings. However, they also want everything to stay the same. Good luck, it won’t happen.

Change is a permanent fixture of life. So study how to become more flexible, adaptive and considered—ready for opportunities as they arise.

Work hard
Get up slightly earlier and think while taking a 20-minute walk. Allocate 30 minutes per day to reading something in your field of work (apart from the newspaper) that builds knowledge and stimulation of thought about your profession.

Eat less at lunchtime and spend the additional time feeding your mind instead. Go to the gym after work, especially when you don’t feel like it, as you always feel much better afterwards. Hone your mental acuity during non-sales time.

Create resilience
Mistakes and failures happen—learn from the outcomes of these.

But it is important to analyse them from only two viewpoints: what you did that was good (and keep doing it); and how you could make it even better next time, given you will be doing the same or a similar activity again.

And for your competitors, you should leave the negative approach: “let me concentrate on all the things I did wrong”.

Rejection in sales is normal, ordained, expected and unsurprising. Understand it is about the business proposition, and not about you. Learn to distinguish between the two.

If it helps to think the person who failed to make a purchase is an idiot for missing the opportunity or value that your service or product provides, then think it . . . and keep studying for the next time.

Perspire from persistence
Tattoo on your mind my iron rule of sales: “No” never actually means no! Rather, it means not now, not yet, not this offer, not this budget cycle, not this buyer.

Return in six months’ time; situations change, people move, business realities alter. Always try again.

Salute effort, not final victory
Don’t wait to celebrate success until the deal has been made, the money has been banked, and the sales champions have been announced. That is too late.

Find and celebrate the smallest advance and accumulate the advances like trophies. True success is the accumulation of small triumphs. Recognise them as they occur. This is how a magnificent success attitude is built: one success brick at a time.

Purloin the past
Steal from past victories to build a positive success attitude for today. Bask in your past glory momentarily to rekindle your self-belief and to prepare for today’s battle with yourself.

The following is useful self-motivational talk: “You did it before, you can do it again. Got it? Right. Now get on with it”.

Live in “day-tight compartments”
As a former ship’s painter, I discovered that the bottom of vessels above a certain size is full of huge and completely airtight ballast tanks.

Be like one of these. Be a “day-tight compartment” and seal off the failures, hurt, pain and humiliations of the past.

In addition, look at, but don’t dwell in, the future. You haven’t earned that right yet because you have to get through today first. Make the future today, and concentrate on what you can control.

Build your sales success attitude and establish the foundation for achievement in all aspects of your professional life.

Start with the weather and ensure you determine how your attitude to the day will be, instead of random meteorological circumstance.

Good selling!