MarkHolmesGroup  Consultant Board, Inc.  P.O. Box 3175  Springfield, MO 65808-3175 USA International: 417.883.7434  Toll-free USA:  800.841.8540 © 2016 Consultant Board, Inc. All rights reserved. Designed by Pro Blog Hub - Professional Blog and Website Creative Specialists

MARK’S INSIGHTS

The Magnitude of Attitude On

Selling

Attitude involves how you look at life. It impacts your physical and emotional well-being and affects your personal relationships and career. Most sales professionals would agree that it contributes to their potential success – or failure. Consider the degree of influence that a negative attitude has on a salesperson’s attempt to hit an aggressive goal or quota. One study reported that negative attitudes can cost the American economy a staggering $300 billion dollars annually. While some may question the methods used to arrive at that figure, it raises an important question – how much does negativity hurt your performance?  Success In Sales Success in sales most often comes down to three factors: Sales Skill, Product Knowledge and Attitude. Most people realize that the greatest determinant of success in sales is Attitude! If a salesperson possesses experience, product knowledge and sales skill but projects a negative attitude, their success will be limited at best. The only remedy to a negative attitude is to choose a healthy outlook instead.   Sadly, experienced and capable salespeople will spend great amounts of time and effort trying to achieve success while leaving a healthy, positive attitude out of the equation. It is both shortsighted and unfortunate when we allow ourselves to slip into persistent negativity or pessimism. A few years ago a client company of mine had a very talented salesperson with a very negative, critical attitude. He was one of the most knowledgeable and intelligent salespeople on the salesforce. Unfortunately however, his co-workers hated working with him because he complained relentlessly. He also made it known that everyone in the company was an idiot – except for him, of course. Worse still, the salesman’s expressions of displeasure even reached beyond the company water cooler, as he began badmouthing his employer to customers. When sales started to slip, he blamed these results on fellow employees or the company’s product. Predictably, this inexcusable behavior made it back to his sales manager, and he was eventually fired. Every Buyer Has An Attitude Detector People are attracted to others who carry themselves confidently, are enthusiastic and happy. The opposite is also true – people tend to avoid those who are chronically negative, unhappy or critical. If someone lacks enthusiasm or passion it is easy to write him or her off. Buyers can sense, feel and see your attitude, and they don’t have to be around you long to get a read. Because you carry your “weather” with you in your attitude – and it can be read like a book. Your tone of voice, energy level, voice inflection, eye contact, enthusiasm, energy, confidence, and even your choice of words contribute to your vibe. One insurance industry study researched which attributes most strongly contributed to an agent’s sales production. You might imagine that factors such as intelligence and experience made the list, but it was attitude and liking people that were the two most accurate predictors of sales success. Salespeople who go to the top think and act differently than their counterparts. Where Does Attitude Come From? Where does attitude originate? Your thoughts! The thoughts you consistently dwell on determine your attitude. The way to change your attitude is to change your thoughts. The ancient-times apostle Paul noted that we should think about things that are noble, pure, and lovely, and to think on that which is positive and true. Og Mandino reinforced this notion: “Strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.” Your attitude is a real-time picture of your thoughts and emotions. While you can mask your emotions to some extent and for a time, it is far more healthy and productive to get control of your attitude by taking control of your thoughts. To achieve success in landing lucrative accounts, you must make sure your attitude is one to which the buyer will be attracted. An Embarrassing Life-Lesson The vice president of retail sales for a company client called me one afternoon. I had an okay attitude, but not a great one. I was tired from travel, and a little down in the dumps about business at that time. I recall being slumped down in my chair, and the phone barely hanging on my ear as I was talking with him. My attitude must have been obvious even over the phone, because he said “Boy, it doesn’t sound like you’re too enthused to talk to me today!” I shot out of my chair like a rocket, scrambling to recover by insisting that it had nothing to do with him, and offering the lame excuse that I was tired from travel. But the damage had been done – he didn’t even need to be in the room with me to see my sorry state of mind, he could hear it in my voice over the phone. It is true, every customer has an attitude detector that constantly reads our energy and enthusiasm levels, or our sincerity and confidence. But it is also accurate to say that we have the power to choose our own attitude, and that we can stir up the energy or enthusiasm for anything we want. Perspective Is The Difference Maker Maybe you have heard the fable of the shoe salesman assigned a new territory in a foreign land. After just a few weeks, he is discouraged by the fact that no one in this territory wears shoes, and quits. Another salesman replaces him, and can’t believe his good fortune. “This is great! No one here has shoes!” He sells shoes like there’s no tomorrow. What a difference our perspective makes! A bad attitude can blind you to the world of sales possibilities that exist right in front of your nose. A negative expectation produces a negative attitude, and a negative attitude puts the brakes on action.
business leader M H M ARK S HOLME
Some salespeople have yet another attitude malady – the “If Only” disease.  These salespeople dwell on “If only we had their product line to sell…” or “If only I could cut my prices…” or “If only the economy would get better…” An “If Only” attitude can paralyze action, and it can annihilate your enthusiasm. An attitude can be a friend or foe. Your attitude is your choice. Case In Point: When I left a Fortune 500 company in the early 1980s to go to work in the energy industry, I was given over 400 accounts for my initial six month training period. I soon discovered from the in-place account manager for the Oklahoma region, that those accounts were considered losers, the idea being that if I screwed up or couldn’t cut it, nothing would be lost in the process.  In fact, he advised me that those accounts had never bought anything from the company—and never would because he and others had tried. While it was tempting to use that information as an excuse for not closing on business, I chose to ignore that negativity and focus on the possibilities. In the first six months I landed several million dollars in new sales, enough to make me the number two salesman in the company. My attitude made all the difference and proved the negativists wrong. The Role of Self-Discipline In his book, Failing Forward, author John Maxwell wrote “You can act your way into feeling long before you can feel your way into action.”  Action is the accelerant to get our inner fire going, particularly when we don’t feel like doing what we know we should do. An early 1990s Harvard University study revealed that self- discipline was the number one differentiator separating peak performers from average sales producers.   What is self-discipline? Self-discipline is doing what we know deep down we need to do, even when we don’t feel like doing it. Every job, sales included, has certain tasks that you will never enjoy doing. However, those activities are necessary, and shortcuts to avoid them will lead to results that fall short. The very best salespeople are able to cultivate and draw on their self-discipline in order to get important, even tedious things done. The Cure for Fear Action cures fear and propels you toward success.  The fear of failure or embarrassment is remedied only by forward momentum. Take one step at a time. Fear of personal rejection, not having a voicemail returned or losing a sale to a competitor can be paralyzing. The only solution is timely action. Action engages your mind and inspires you to tackle tough situations with greater ease and confidence. Action destroys procrastination. Once you get in the rhythm of the activity you are trying to avoid, you will feel better. The sense of accomplishment is invigorating. The key is to act instead of waiting until you feel like it.   Don’t wait for it to get easier to sell. It won’t. Do whatever you can to develop the skills and attitude necessary for selling in today’s business environment. The best salespeople recognize that discipline and disappointment run on parallel tracks – it is impossible to achieve success in sales without experiencing the pain that both conditions bring. Sustaining A Healthy Attitude Author James Allen in his classic book As a Man Thinketh, makes the point that “Anything worth achieving is not of chance, but is the result of continued effort and right thinking.” Selling is a hard profession, and not one for the timid. Turbulent economic conditions, difficult buyers and demanding quotas just add to the pressure. It takes concerted effort to keep one’s attitude positive and healthy, but we can only be victim of our circumstances to the extent we allow. If you want to sustain a healthy attitude you cannot permit outside circumstances to negatively impact your actions. Mark Holmes helps companies increase sales, service and employee performance and strengthen leadership effectiveness. Call Mark at 417-883-7434 if you’d like to visit about this article or have a question about his services. Or, drop an email to: Copyright 2011, 2015 All rights reserved
Mark@markholmesgroup.com
MarkHolmesGroup  Consultant Board, Inc. P.O. Box 3175  Springfield, MO 65808-3175 USA International: 417.883.7434  Toll-free USA:  800.841.8540 © 2016 Consultant Board, Inc. All rights reserved. Designed by Pro Blog Hub - Professional Blog and Website Creative Specialists

MARK’S INSIGHTS

The Magnitude of

Attitude On Selling

Attitude involves how you look at life. It impacts your physical and emotional well-being and affects your personal relationships and career. Most sales professionals would agree that it contributes to their potential success – or failure. Consider the degree of influence that a negative attitude has on a salesperson’s attempt to hit an aggressive goal or quota. One study reported that negative attitudes can cost the American economy a staggering $300 billion dollars annually. While some may question the methods used to arrive at that figure, it raises an important question – how much does negativity hurt your performance?  Success In Sales Success in sales most often comes down to three factors: Sales Skill, Product Knowledge and Attitude. Most people realize that the greatest determinant of success in sales is Attitude! If a salesperson possesses experience, product knowledge and sales skill but projects a negative attitude, their success will be limited at best. The only remedy to a negative attitude is to choose a healthy outlook instead.   Sadly, experienced and capable salespeople will spend great amounts of time and effort trying to achieve success while leaving a healthy, positive attitude out of the equation. It is both shortsighted and unfortunate when we allow ourselves to slip into persistent negativity or pessimism. A few years ago a client company of mine had a very talented salesperson with a very negative, critical attitude. He was one of the most knowledgeable and intelligent salespeople on the salesforce. Unfortunately however, his co-workers hated working with him because he complained relentlessly. He also made it known that everyone in the company was an idiot – except for him, of course. Worse still, the salesman’s expressions of displeasure even reached beyond the company water cooler, as he began badmouthing his employer to customers. When sales started to slip, he blamed these results on fellow employees or the company’s product. Predictably, this inexcusable behavior made it back to his sales manager, and he was eventually fired. Every Buyer Has An Attitude Detector People are attracted to others who carry themselves confidently, are enthusiastic and happy. The opposite is also true – people tend to avoid those who are chronically negative, unhappy or critical. If someone lacks enthusiasm or passion it is easy to write him or her off. Buyers can sense, feel and see your attitude, and they don’t have to be around you long to get a read. Because you carry your “weather” with you in your attitude – and it can be read like a book. Your tone of voice, energy level, voice inflection, eye contact, enthusiasm, energy, confidence, and even your choice of words contribute to your vibe. One insurance industry study researched which attributes most strongly contributed to an agent’s sales production. You might imagine that factors such as intelligence and experience made the list, but it was attitude and liking people that were the two most accurate predictors of sales success. Salespeople who go to the top think and act differently than their counterparts. Where Does Attitude Come From? Where does attitude originate? Your thoughts! The thoughts you consistently dwell on determine your attitude. The way to change your attitude is to change your thoughts. The ancient-times apostle Paul noted that we should think about things that are noble, pure, and lovely, and to think on that which is positive and true. Og Mandino reinforced this notion: “Strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.” Your attitude is a real-time picture of your thoughts and emotions. While you can mask your emotions to some extent and for a time, it is far more healthy and productive to get control of your attitude by taking control of your thoughts. To achieve success in landing lucrative accounts, you must make sure your attitude is one to which the buyer will be attracted. An Embarrassing Life-Lesson The vice president of retail sales for a company client called me one afternoon. I had an okay attitude, but not a great one. I was tired from travel, and a little down in the dumps about business at that time. I recall being slumped down in my chair, and the phone barely hanging on my ear as I was talking with him. My attitude must have been obvious even over the phone, because he said “Boy, it doesn’t sound like you’re too enthused to talk to me today!” I shot out of my chair like a rocket, scrambling to recover by insisting that it had nothing to do with him, and offering the lame excuse that I was tired from travel. But the damage had been done – he didn’t even need to be in the room with me to see my sorry state of mind, he could hear it in my voice over the phone. It is true, every customer has an attitude detector that constantly reads our energy and enthusiasm levels, or our sincerity and confidence. But it is also accurate to say that we have the power to choose our own attitude, and that we can stir up the energy or enthusiasm for anything we want. Perspective Is The Difference Maker Maybe you have heard the fable of the shoe salesman assigned a new territory in a foreign land. After just a few weeks, he is discouraged by the fact that no one in this territory wears shoes, and quits. Another salesman replaces him, and can’t believe his good fortune. “This is great! No one here has shoes!” He sells shoes like there’s no tomorrow. What a difference our perspective makes! A bad attitude can blind you to the world of sales possibilities that exist right in front of your nose. A negative expectation produces a negative attitude, and a negative attitude puts the brakes on action. Some salespeople have yet another attitude malady – the “If Only” disease.  These salespeople dwell on “If only we had their product line to sell…” or “If only I could cut my prices…” or “If only the economy would get better…” An “If Only” attitude can paralyze action, and it can annihilate your enthusiasm. An attitude can be a friend or foe. Your attitude is your choice. Case In Point: When I left a Fortune 500 company in the early 1980s to go to work in the energy industry, I was given over 400 accounts for my initial six month training period. I soon discovered from the in-place account manager for the Oklahoma region, that those accounts were considered losers, the idea being that if I screwed up or couldn’t cut it, nothing would be lost in the process.  In fact, he advised me that those accounts had never bought anything from the company—and never would because he and others had tried. While it was tempting to use that information as an excuse for not closing on business, I chose to ignore that negativity and focus on the possibilities. In the first six months I landed several million dollars in new sales, enough to make me the number two salesman in the company. My attitude made all the difference and proved the negativists wrong. The Role of Self-Discipline In his book, Failing Forward, author John Maxwell wrote “You can act your way into feeling long before you can feel your way into action.”  Action is the accelerant to get our inner fire going, particularly when we don’t feel like doing what we know we should do. An early 1990s Harvard University study revealed that self-discipline was the number one differentiator separating peak performers from average sales producers.   What is self-discipline? Self-discipline is doing what we know deep down we need to do, even when we don’t feel like doing it. Every job, sales included, has certain tasks that you will never enjoy doing. However, those activities are necessary, and shortcuts to avoid them will lead to results that fall short. The very best salespeople are able to cultivate and draw on their self-discipline in order to get important, even tedious things done. The Cure for Fear Action cures fear and propels you toward success.  The fear of failure or embarrassment is remedied only by forward momentum. Take one step at a time. Fear of personal rejection, not having a voicemail returned or losing a sale to a competitor can be paralyzing. The only solution is timely action. Action engages your mind and inspires you to tackle tough situations with greater ease and confidence. Action destroys procrastination. Once you get in the rhythm of the activity you are trying to avoid, you will feel better. The sense of accomplishment is invigorating. The key is to act instead of waiting until you feel like it.   Don’t wait for it to get easier to sell. It won’t. Do whatever you can to develop the skills and attitude necessary for selling in today’s business environment. The best salespeople recognize that discipline and disappointment run on parallel tracks – it is impossible to achieve success in sales without experiencing the pain that both conditions bring. Sustaining A Healthy Attitude Author James Allen in his classic book As a Man Thinketh, makes the point that “Anything worth achieving is not of chance, but is the result of continued effort and right thinking.” Selling is a hard profession, and not one for the timid. Turbulent economic conditions, difficult buyers and demanding quotas just add to the pressure. It takes concerted effort to keep one’s attitude positive and healthy, but we can only be victim of our circumstances to the extent we allow. If you want to sustain a healthy attitude you cannot permit outside circumstances to negatively impact your actions. Mark Holmes helps companies increase sales, service and employee performance and strengthen leadership effectiveness. Call Mark at 417-883-7434 if you’d like to visit about this article or have a question about his services. Or, drop an email to: Copyright 2011, 2015 All rights reserved
business leader M H M ARK S HOLME
Mark@markholmesgroup.com