On a glorious spring afternoon one Friday, I was having lunch with my friend Jerry and he said, “Joe, there’s no better business than the sales business. You have flexibility in your schedule and you can still be successful and make a lot of money.” Jerry had enjoyed a successful week of business. He was in a good mental space.
On a grim rainy Monday morning, I gave him a call. A tension-ridden voice snapped, “This is Jerry!” I said, “Jer, you OK buddy? You sound stressed.” He screamed, “Ah, I forgot an important file for a client presentation and another client is closing their paper division.” Jerry sells paper. He was not in a good mental space. This was just three days after our lunch.
Before a team leaves the locker room with a game plan, (i.e., strategy and skills to implement), they must possess a consistent self-belief and the disposition to win. This is often overlooked in the business world, dismissed as false motivation and arm-pumping platitudes. And that’s a fatal flaw.
“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesperson, not the attitude of the prospect,” said William Clement Stone, a prominent businessman, philanthropist and self-help book author.
Here are some questions to see if you consistently put yourself in your best mental space to sell:
What are your therapeutic outlets?
Everyone has therapists but often don’t know it or don’t tap into them. Personally, I have to work out regularly. When I don’t, I harbor stress and it puts me in a bad mental space. And this is just one outlet. You must identify your therapeutic outlets and make them front-burner priorities to process stress, self-doubt or any other success stoppers
Do you surround yourself with the right people?
In business, it’s not always a choice, yet behaviors and attitudes are contagious. Proactively seeking those who make you want to be a better person and those who inspire you are naturally going to help you sell your product or service with charisma, confidence and likeability. The caveat here is not just surrounding ourselves with people who make us feel good and stroke our egos, but with those who challenge us, push us and give us feedback that can be frustrating at times. Yet, they do it because they want to see you improve. These people help you position yourself for higher success.
Are you constantly trending upward?
Inertia is the devil. It’s the autopilot of floating down the river of sameness without the awareness to positively change or improve. It kills the spirit because you were meant to learn and grow and improve. From this comes a passion and drive to set new goals, build better relationships and raise the bar on your personal and professional development.
Clearly, possessing an understanding of one’s product or service, being able to articulate your value proposition and differentiating from competitors are all pivotal to sales success. However, the propelling force begins with how you first view yourself and the efforts you make to find the best place from which to sell.
Joe Takash is the president of Victory Consulting, a Chicago-based executive and organizational development firm. He advises clients on leadership strategies and has helped executives prepare for $3 billion worth of sales presentations. He is a keynote speaker for executive retreats, sales meetings and management conferences and has appeared in numerous media outlets. Learn more at www.victoryconsulting.com.