Sales is a demanding profession. Top performers know that to sustain a high level of performance, they need to keep fit and well – both physically and psychologically. And there’s a body of research showing that keeping an optimistic outlook and having the physical energy to meet the demands of working in sales are critical to a salesperson’s effectiveness, success and overall well-being. Something many of us know intuitively, but good to have it validated.
Managing and overcoming setbacks is key to succeeding in anything. In sales we are tested every day. Without a sense of optimism it would make getting up to face each day that much harder.
So what is Optimism?
Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something.
A tendency to expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation.
So optimism is a very useful mindset to have in sales, even more so in the tough times.
However, many people mistakenly think being optimistic is being unrealistically positive all the time. It is not. That is blind optimism which is still a tendency to focus on the best possible outcomes but not seeing (or refusing to see) potential drawbacks.
Being optimistic determines how a person deals with both opportunities and setbacks. The good news is that optimism can be learned and developed, resulting in real dividends due to a more resilient workforce. However, there are some key things that really help optimism flourish.
Purpose, Opportunity and Optimism
It all starts with seeing an opportunity and feeling optimistic in our ability to do something meaningful. No one goes into business or sales thinking “this won’t work”. Being in sales is an act of optimism. Sales is opportunity in action. Business, opportunity, sales and optimism are intrinsically linked.
Working with purposeful optimism is the key to success. Different from blind optimism, purposeful optimism is built on substance: derived from strategy and underpinned by well-resourced people who are enabled to pursue opportunity and do something meaningful with others.
Being an Optimistic Sales Professional works best when you have a clear purpose, sound sales strategy, viable markets and something of value to sell. As is developing your own personal strategies to help you in forging and leading a successful sales career. Key areas to focus on include:
- Developing Learned Optimism – seeing what’s possible
- Having a go; testing yourself to see how you handle challenges
- Developing and maintaining resilience and drive
- Developing ways to enhance your wellbeing (diet, sleep, exercise, rest, recreation, etc.)
- Recognising and eliminating common types of thinking errors/biases that can derail you from your purpose
- Using strategies for dealing effectively with the effects of negative thinking
- Minimising unhelpful self-appraisal
- Using strategies like pragmatism, mindfulness and meditation to enhance your performance
- Watching who you let near your mind
- Basing your decisions on evidence rather than hearsay
Top sales performers will have a variety of strategies and techniques that they apply in their daily life. They will also possess purpose, drive and determination combined with desire for mastery and doing good.
Optimism keeps the light of opportunity glowing even when the world seems dark.
‘Opportunity and optimism’ is one of the 12 principles of the Selling Better Movement.
So where can you start? What can you do?
- Join the Selling Better Movement at sellingbetter.com
- Improve your selling skills and discover a better system to create opportunity at salesessentials.com
- Look after yourself. Breath, take a break, go for a walk.