For good or bad, attitude is contagious. Upbeat salespeople close more sales — period. So do the salespeople representing your company have the right attitude?
I’ve spent much of my career as a successful salesperson, always in the top three in my company, often number one. I’d like to say it was all sophisticated sales techniques, but what it really came down to was my ability to consistently maintain a positive attitude. This seemingly small thing created an environment that made selling easier. Buyers felt comfortable taking my advice about what and how much to purchase, and it helped me develop devoted customers who bought more from me than from my competitors.
I’m sure you’ve sent your salespeople on courses to learn about prospecting, presentation skills, closing and other techniques to improve their sales figures.
But all the technique in the world won’t help a salesperson with a poor attitude. Imagine a member of your sales team meeting a buyer and looking as if he’d rather be anywhere than with the buyer. Picture slumped shoulders, an air of resignation hanging over them. How do you think the prospect feels? They’re certainly not thinking, “Great, here comes Jane. She always cheers me up. I wonder what she has for me today?”
If we emanate bad vibes, then bad vibes are what we’ll get back from prospects and customers. If we’re full of positivity, people will feed off that energy and be positive too.
And buyers who feel good buy more. This may seem obvious, but I come across salespeople all the time who exude negativity. It’s not that they’re miserable, although some are, but that they lack confidence in themselves and perhaps their product, and it shows. If it was a physical thing, and sometimes it is, it would manifest itself in a weak handshake and sweaty armpits.
Do Lucky Streaks exist?
You’ll often hear salespeople talking about lucky streaks, but are these runs of success about luck or attitude? I’d argue the latter.
Ask yourself, “Do I see sales coming in batches from individual salespeople? Do they have a run of good days followed by a run of bad ones?” This is a common pattern and has far more to do with attitude than with the quality of a prospecting list, or anything else. This is the power of positive energy at work.
I don’t want to get terribly scientific, but the theory of noetics centres on the idea that beliefs, thoughts and intentions are capable of affecting the physical world. I’m not making this up; this field of science is fascinating and indicates that the power of thought may be a whole lot stronger than we imagine.
I have no doubt sales success is linked to whether salespeople feel positive or negative during the complete sales process, and even beyond it into day-to-day life. This may be as much the result of body language as it is positive energy being transferred via thought; no matter, something occurs. It can be measured in the revenue your sales team brings in.
How to Increase Sales Success
Helping your sales reps become more positive and confident is the biggest thing you can do to immediately increase sales revenue. There are several things you and your sales team can do today to pump up your positivity quotient. This may sound hokey, but I assure you I’ve had this work with cynical 40-year sales veterans. Give it a try.
1. First thing in the morning, ask yourself, “How do I feel today? Is this a 9-out-of-10-day, when I feel totally confident and up for whatever life throws at me? Or is the weight of the world on my shoulders and my attitude hovering around a three?” If it’s the latter, remind yourself, “Today is a fresh start and whether I’m successful or not is completely dependent on how I approach the day.”
2. On days when you score low, remind yourself that the power to have a good day or a bad one is completely in your hands. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” Then rescore yourself — hopefully, you will have been able to raise yourself up to a pretty decent seven or more.
If you can’t budge your attitude, adjust your workload if possible. If your score is very low, it may not be the best day to try to close that important deal, or to try and sell to a difficult prospect. It might be more productive to reconnect with favourite customers and get a little upbeat energy from them!
3. Every day for a month, grade yourself on a 1-to-10 scale, with 1 being “I just want to go back to bed” and 10 being “Today I’m unstoppable!” If the number is a little low, talk yourself up a few notches if you can. Note both figures in your daybook.
4. At the end of each day, note the number of sales you’ve made and their value (or any other success indicators that work for you) on a spreadsheet.
5. Then, at the end of the month, mark down your attitude rating (from your daybook) above each day’s sales in your spreadsheet. It’s important to not combine the figures until the end of the month.
6. Finally, once your month’s chart is complete, look at the relationship between sales figures on days where your attitude rating is six or higher to those when it is five or under.
Extending Positive Thinking
When you go into sales situations with high energy and enthusiasm, and a positive attitude, you are far more likely to not only make a sale, but to begin to create a long-term and high-performing customer.