Optimism is a key sales trait that we test for in our legendary SalesCode assessment.
Because if your natural state isn’t optimistic, which we define as –
Optimistic: Person who is inclined to be hopeful and to expect good outcomes
Then you’re never going to send a cold email, make a prospecting call or ask for the business. If you’re a pessimist, you’re going to avoid doing all of those things because you’re going to assume that you’re not going to have success at them.
This leads to a vicious, destructive cycle–
You don’t prospect for new business because you’re pessimist about winning it. So you win less business. Which reinforces the pessimism.
All while the person sat next to you in the office, who has worse sales skills, less industry experience and works less hours does far better because –
They’re optimistic about winning the sale. So they call more often. Send more emails and end up in a positive feedback loop which reenforces their success.
So if that has grabbed your attention and you need to improve your levels of personal optimism because you want more success in your sales role, then stay tuned.
What makes someone optimistic?
So what makes someone an optimist, or a pessimist is the way they describe the world they live in.
When optimistic people have some bad luck they see it as fleeting and temporary. Whereas pessimists see the bad look as long lasting.
The opposite is true for good luck. When optimistic people have some good luck, they see it as long lasting. Whereas pianistics see good luck as something is fleeting and temporary.
Does that ring true for you? Let me give you a few examples –
A pessimist might think “I never get good sales leads”. The language here suggest that the pessimist thinks this is long lasting and uncontrollable.
Whereas an optimist might think “I don’t have the best sales leads right now”. See how this is temporary and within their control.
So the first thing you need to do to become more optimistic in your sales job is to choose your self-talk and the language you use carefully. Don’t convince yourself that bad events are permanent and out of your control. There’s always something you can do to improve your situation. Always.
The other thing that makes salespeople pessimistic and holds them back from reaching their selling potential is the pervasiveness of their thoughts.
Pervasiveness is –
Pervasiveness: Something being present and noticeable in every part of a thing or place.
So a pessimist might think “all sales managers are idiots” whereas an optimistic salesperson might think “Brian, my current sales manager is a tool”.
Or a pessimist might think “I am disgusting” verses an optimist might say “when I’ve not had a shower I feel disgusting”.
Notice how the pessimistic viewpoint takes one little bit of a negative thought and ties it into everything related to it? Don’t allow yourself to do that and you’ll be much more optimistic as a result.
So if you want to become more optimistic I’ve two take aways for you –
- Start seeing spots of bad luck as thing that you can control. Because when you feel like bad luck is fleeting and temporary, you’re far less likely to let it effect you.
- Additionally, compartmentalize any bad luck that you have. Just because your day at work sucked, it doesn’t mean that when you get home you have to have a crappy evening. Limit the pervasiveness of the bad times and you’ll get through them much quicker.