The Five Habits of Highly Effective Salespeople - Habit #3

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Posted: September 5, 2013
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Here is the third habit of highly effective salespeople. Thanks for tuning into what top sales performers do to win business consistently and profitably.

Habit #3:  Positive Thinking 

Positive mental attitude can sound rather rah-rah in a hard charging sales world.  However, when you examine the root cause for lack of sales results, it often goes back to a salesperson’s mindset about prospects, sales activity and sales results.  There is endless proof of whatever you think, you become and do. 

Let’s talk about optimism, an emotional intelligence skill, and positive thinking. After working with salespeople for over 25 years, I have noted that optimistic salespeople have a different mindset, a different habit of thinking.  They proudly wear rose colored glasses and view the world through a positive filter, one that helps them continue to persist and succeed. 

  • They view adversity as an ally not a foe.  The optimistic salesperson knows adversity is part of life.  Rather than get defeated by challenges, they embrace the adversity as they know failures are where the greatest lessons are learned. 

For example, when they lose a piece of business, the optimistic salesperson immediately thinks, “What’s the lesson learned?  How will this lesson help me going forward in winning even larger deals?”  This perspective helps them get back in the sales saddle quicker and not lose days and weeks to moping about a deal gone bad. 

  • They view adversity as temporary not permanent.  Dr. Paul Stolz, author of the Adversity Quotient, noted in his research that highly resilient salespeople are optimistic.  And they are optimistic because they view adversity as temporary not permanent. 

Their self-talk about a tough selling situation is forward focused.  They say things like, “This is temporary not permanent.  This too will pass.  This is tough but I have seen tougher.”  What you say to yourself affects what you say and do.  And this self-talk creates hope not defeat. 

  • They view adversity with humor.  Optimistic salespeople are similar to great comedians.  Comedians take adversity and turn it into a very funny script or show.  Optimistic salespeople are the same.  When adversity hits, they ask themselves, “What’s funny about this?  Where is the humor in this situation?” 

In my early years of sales training, my colleagues and I would share ‘war stories’ about the dumb stuff we did to grow our sales training businesses.  There were many a story that left me laughing so hard my sides hurt.  Instead of feeling defeated, we poked fun at ourselves and kept a positive attitude.  We knew, “this too would pass.” 

How about you?  Have you developed the emotional intelligence skill of optimism?  Hard sales skill training is great.  Just make sure you pay attention to mindset training. 

Click here for a chart on the art and science of sales. 

Good Selling,

Colleen Stanley

Chief Selling Officer