It is said that our thinking makes things either good or bad. That the reality of life is dependent solely on how we choose to see the things that make it up. This explains a very important fact of life: our mind and its thinking process are responsible for 90 percent of our success in life. Positive thinking, therefore, is essential for success in sales and for our quality of life. Our mind is the most powerful tool there is. By itself, it is responsible for each of us being content or sad, determined or indecisive, strong or weak, positive or negative. The way in which our mind works, therefore, determines the way in which we feel and the way in which we act.
Be aware that while many people intend to be successful in sales, only 20 percent are truly successful: those who produce 80 percent of their company’s sales revenues. Corporations such as General Electric (for whom I was once employed) had a philosophy that tried to eliminate the bottom twenty percent of their sales force every year and reload with newly hired sales people, introducing new hungry, blood into their sales organization.
The question is: Why do the top twenty percent succeed and the bottom twenty fail? While there may be contributing circumstances (such as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I know this happens. First hand!), the following three areas are the prime contributors to one’s success or failure in sales:
If a salesperson cannot instill confidence, they cannot make a sale; they cannot create a customer. Without confidence, there is no success. To succeed, you must expect to succeed, every time, all the time. Rain or shine, good hair days or bad hair days. Confidence is that external feeling we have that can be felt by those around us. If we are not confident, they instinctively know. You can’t fake it.
Confidence is an automatic response to the problems and circumstances of life. That doesn’t mean it can’t be learned. In fact, true confidence can only be learned. Those who seem to be confident without having the support of knowledge and experience are either arrogant or ignorant. They will be able to get only as far as their customers let them.
From that experience, believe you will be able to overcome any problem and thus circumvent failure. Success, then, only comes from failure. When you have failed and learned to overcome and prevent that failure in the future, you will become confident. When you are confident, you will be successful.
If you want to be successful, get started immediately and don’t worry about failing. If you do fail, analyze your failure, develop systems and procedures to prevent or overcome those situations in the future, and confidently sell, sell, sell. Sometimes this process is called paying your dues. In addition to experiencing failure (the unintentional acquisition of knowledge), paying your dues includes the intentional acquisition of knowledge: learning your product, knowing your competition, knowing your customer, and searching for new business opportunities.
In our minds we cannot visualize ourselves winning. We are afraid we will not be successful. We say and/or believe things such as: “I’m not one of the chosen people. I can’t charm them, I don’t have a great personality, and I’m not even attractive enough. I’ll never enjoy the commissions, long lunches, working from home, having expensive clothes, cars, etc. I’m just ordinary Bob. Nothing goes right for me. I’ll never get this large sale. My competition is too great. Woe is me.”
This mentality will take you down faster than a large cement block attached to your ankle as you enter a body of water. Either play to win or don’t play at all. Never sabotage yourself with negative thoughts. Don’t be afraid of anything except of being afraid.