Becoming a sales professional can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your professional career. You have the ability to essentially choose not only how you do your job, but also, how much money you make. Your skills, work ethic, and attitude all have a direct impact on your income.
For this reason, if you close your mind to learning new things, display a bad work ethic, and have a bad attitude, you will falter and your performance will certainly decrease.
Alternatively, if you commit yourself to improving, work hard, and have a great attitude, you will almost definitely exceed your own expectations and make more money.
If you notice, one of the key elements of the above equation is your attitude. There are many different factors that go in to your attitude. In many cases, a huge key to whether you have a good attitude or not is whether you are pessimistic or optimistic. In sales, marketing, and business, it’s extremely important to be optimistic.
This isn’t saying that naturally pessimistic people won’t be successful in sales. I have known a few “glass is half-empty” folks who have killed it in sales. However, I would argue that being optimistic will make your sales career much less stressful and will allow you to earn and sustain success at a much easier rate. Here is why:
Optimistic people naturally “believe” in their company/product/service
Those who are naturally optimistic generally have a more positive view of the company they work for and the product/service that they represent.
The definition of optimism is the “hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.”
This means that those who are optimistic about what they sell are extremely hopeful and confident that it will work for that particular customer. Optimism allows for salespeople to truly believe in the product or service. This true belief will be sensed by the customer. While pessimistic people have to manufacture a feeling of belief, optimistic people enjoy having it naturally, which allows them to put more heart in to the sales pitch.
This also allows for salespeople to have the thought process of “This product is so good for this customer, how could they say no?” This is extremely beneficial for objection handling because they have the ability to easily overcome the objection mentally and communicate the appropriate response to the customer without hesitation.
One easy way to illustrate both these points is the case of Trent Kimball, who is the CEO of Texas Armoring Corporation. His company made a supposedly bulletproof windshield for cars. Being the optimistic leader that he is, he did a product demonstration test where he literally stood behind his product while someone fired an AK-47 directly at him. Not only was he optimistic enough for a successful outcome, but in his mind, how could someone say “no, I don’t want that product” when it really works!?
Optimism allows people to quickly get out of a sales rut
Being in a sales slump is no fun. It causes even the best salespeople to start to doubt their skills and their choice in careers. A sales slump essentially means a huge drop in income, which can stress out even the most financially secure salespeople.
Optimistic people believe that they will successfully come out of the slump. Because of this belief, optimistic people usually are the ones who take the steps to improve themselves. When they climb out of the rut, they take the entire experience and turn it in to a learning experience, which reduces the number of future slumps! Pessimistic people, on the other hand, have a tougher time getting out of slumps because they have a difficult time believing that they can.
Optimistic people can handle change better
Companies are constantly changing and improving their product line, compensation plan, employee structure, etc. The old adage is “innovate or die”, so naturally, many companies are extremely fluid. Those those salespeople who are optimistic can better adapt to the change because they are able to see the positive elements in the change. By focusing on what can be improved from the change, salespeople focus on the things that will enhance their work experience and their sales presentation. Pessimistic people usually focus on all the reasons why the change is bad, which leads to them focusing on all the wrong things.
Optimistic people have an easier time brushing off “no”
No matter how great of a sales presentation you give, you will certainly hear the word “no” more often than you hear “yes”. It’s not a lack of skill or a bad performance – hearing “no” is just part of the job. Hearing “no” over and over again can lead to depression and a decreased level of performance. Unless you are optimistic enough to learn and improve from this, it will be difficult to sustain yourself after hearing “no” all day long.
An optimistic salesperson believes that they will win
As mentioned above, sales is all about your mental state. Most of the time, whatever we “think” will happen, probably will. Just like Henry Ford said, ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—
It pays to be optimistic in sales & business. It allows you to have a better handle on the bad times, and a greater appreciation of the good times. While naturally pessimistic people can definitely succeed in sales, optimism seems to be the easier path to success. While it’s difficult (if not impossible) to switch yourself from naturally pessimistic to optimistic, you can take the proper steps to work on your emotional intelligence and get a greater handle on your attitude & emotions. We wrote an article a while back that discusses how top performers stay positive – feel free to read it and consider how it can help you!
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