Just before Thanksgiving, I started thinking about thankfulness and gratitude, as is expected for this time of year. I started to write a post about it so I could post it for Thanksgiving. Then, the day before Thanksgiving... we lost power and it stayed out for three days.
Normally, my husband is one of the most positive and optimistic people I know. His ability to laugh at himself and find light in the darkest situations is just one of the things I love about him. But during those three days, he turned into the grumpiest person to be around. Nothing good could happen in his mind, because all he could think about was what he couldn’t do because we didn’t have power.
The Thanksgiving storm and my husband’s reaction to it reminded me about what my sales evaluation said about outlook and how it can impact us in sales.
On a coaching call last week, a client who had struggled with closing sales was finally able to make a sale. He was so excited and encouraged by that he couldn’t wait to close the next one.
“The best time to make a new sale is right after you close one.” Why? Success encourages a positive attitude because it breeds hope. But when things are down, and the power is out, how do you maintain a positive attitude? How does a positive attitude impact our success in sales?
The ROI of a Positive Attitude
A few years ago, I watched the movie “The Secret”. Positive affirmation seems a little too fluff for me and reminded me of a lot of people who are out of touch with reality. In fact, when people would accuse me of being too negative, I would reply with, “I’m not negative, I am a realist. I don’t like surprises and hate being disappointed. If I prepare for the worst, then I won’t be surprised or disappointed, but prepared.”
But according to Shawn Anchor, author of The Happiness Advantage, “...A decade of research proves that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%, as well as a myriad of health and quality of life improvements.”
If you are in sales the constant rejection can make it difficult to have a positive outlook. But a positive outlook is crucial for sales success.
6 Tips to Develop and Maintain a Positive Outlook
Changing your mindset is like changing your daily eating habits. The more consistently you do it, you will start to see progress until it becomes an unconscious habit. Some days and situations are easier than others when you first start.
The key is to start and keep starting.
Don’t believe everything you think to be true. Head trash is real. When a negative thought enters my head, I don’t ignore it. I examine it. Where did that come from? Does it have any foundation to it? How will it impact me and others around me? Is there anything I can do about it? Will it kill me or someone I love? If the first few questions don’t dispel it, the last one always does.
Exercise. Anxiety and stress are the breeding ground for negative thoughts and a bad outlook. Constant worry does nothing. I have found that daily exercise- even if only for 15 minutes helps to clear my mind of anxiety and stress. Also examine how you start your day. If you start it with email and issues- stop. Try 5 minutes of meditation or 15 minutes of yoga instead. Whatever is in the inbox can wait.
Practice daily gratitude. I write in a journal most every day in the morning or whenever I need to process through a situation. I start with the things I can recall that are positive from the day before. Sometimes the list is long, sometimes I struggle to find one thing. But there is always at least one thing. Even if it just the fact that today is a new day and a fresh start, or my husband made it home from his long commute. I also try to thank someone for something before the end of the day.
Self-inspiration. As much as sales is about relationships, it can feel lonely sometimes- especially given the rate of rejection that sales people face- especially if you are an entrepreneur. To keep yourself inspired, find a peer group or a mentoring group. Being around others who have a positive attitude will give you some much needed perspective.
Self-image. What is your true north? By that I mean, what are the guiding principles, values, and qualities that drive you? When you are true to yourself and what you stand for, then there is no one better qualified. When you stop comparing yourself to others, you will start to believe that you are good enough and it won’t matter as much what is happening around you.
Self-control. “Life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% of how you react to it.” 2 words- road rage. Control that shit. You can control how people treat you by how you react to them.
Watch less TV. More specifically- watch fewer commercials. They are designed to make you think that you are lacking something. TV shows are also not so good- When perfect people, living perfect lives who always end up living happily ever after doesn’t line up with your reality, it can lead to negativity. Negative in, negative out...
What discourages or frustrates you? How do you maintain a positive outlook?