Attitude – the master aptitude
You need a positive attitude to win more business
By David Tovey
It might seem brutal to point this out but there are too many well-qualified ‘experts’ in their field who don’t have enough business to allow them to practise what they love to do. There are too many salespeople falling below target and too many great companies under-performing. The one thing they have in common is that they all need more customers to exchange money for their products or services.
If you are in business you are in sales. Sales = the exchange of good and services for money.
If selling is your full time role then you will no doubt have recognised that the way customers buy has significantly changed in recent years and the traditional approach to sales simply isn’t effective anymore. Having being trained in an outdated approach to sales and honed your skills over the years you are now faced with learning new ‘social selling’ skills and have an appreciation of content marketing. It’s a new world out there, we are in a buyer led era and there is a lot to learn for some salespeople (and their managers).
Some sales teams continue to hide their head in the sand and pretend nothing is changing whilst the attitude of others is that there is too much to learn and you can’t teach and old dog new tricks.
Even if winning business is never going to be your full-time role or your favourite way of spending your time, the best way to be successful and enjoy it is to be personally committed to learning how to sell. Selling is a noble, honourable, human and normal business activity that got itself a bad name with many people who need to win more business. Sadly that bad name is too often used as an excuse not to learn how to sell in a way that feels comfortable for seller and buyer alike.
Whether you are a full time sales person or need to win business as part of your responsibilities your attitude to learning how to sell in a new era is key to your success.
If you think you can you will be right; if you think you can’t you will be right. – Henry Ford
Everyone can be better at selling and enjoy it more if they decide that they can.
Pygmalion in the Classroom, based on the research by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson, came to the conclusion that student achievement mirrors teacher expectations more than it does actual student ability. When others believe images of how things should be, they become self-fulfilling prophecies – the tendency of people to perform in accordance with what is expected of them as well as their own expectations of success or failure.
Believable, positive expectations result in positive results. Unbelievable or negative expectations create the opposite. This phenomenon is called the Pygmalion Effect.
It’s about how you think
There really isn’t any mystique about what is happening with self-fulfilling prophecies. It boils down to the fact that what we think and say is followed by actions and behaviours which become habits that determine outcomes.
If you go into something deciding it won’t work for you then everything becomes a negative. No matter what evidence is provided, no matter how much support is offered if you decide something is not going to work, you will be right.
For instance, to be successful at social selling a self-fulfilling prophesy you might start by thinking ‘I’m not 100% sure how to make it happen yet but this looks like it could help us win more business’. You then take some of the actions to learn about content marketing and social media. You might go on a course, get some coaching or read a book and introduce some colleagues to what you have learned. You start to implement what you have learned and start to see some positive results which make you want to repeat your newly learned skills. You think social selling can help you win business, action and behaviours follow and you do win more business.
The power of words
Words can also affect your own performance. Your ability to win more business is affected by the words others use and more importantly the words you say to yourself.
Three C’s: condemning, criticising and complaining can have a really negative effect on the ability of an individual to succeed. Constructive criticism is essential but so little criticism is constructive, it is destructive.
Negative words are always stronger than positive. If someone says to you ‘You are a really nice person but you will never make a great salesperson@ which will you remember, the negative or the positive? You can receive dozens of compliments but you will always remember the negative criticism.
Top athletes train their minds just as much as they train their bodies because they know that what is going on in their head can make the difference between a gold medal and no medal. Sport coaches talk about the inner game, others talk about the inner voice or self talk. Your inner voice has a lot to do with whether you will be good at and enjoy that part of your business life that involves selling.
Whether you are an athlete or business person who needs to win business, what you rehearse in your head will affect your performance. The words you speak will affect how others interact with you and influence their decisions.
A negative input can change a person’s direction for an hours, for weeks or even a whole lifetime. Attitudes are contagious and you need to make sure your attitude is worth catching.
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By David Tovey
David Tovey helps sales teams, business owners and professionals to build amazing business relationships, win more business and accelerate profitable growth.