I’ll bet you have heard more than one motivational speaker talk about positive mental attitude and how important it is in the quest for success in sales. While enjoying your work and being optimistic is important, successful salespeople focus on behavior. That is, the daily level of activity accomplished. It is behavior—not attitude—that makes all the difference in performance.
- How many calls did you make to prospects?
- How many follow-up calls did you make to customers?
- How many referrals did you request?
Your Attitude Doesn’t Have to be Sparkly
Nobody’s attitude can be 100% every day. There are days when we feel a little “down,” and that’s okay. I remember reading a biography of Babe Ruth, the star baseball player. He said on days he didn’t feel well he had to play harder to make up for it. The Babe was one to focus on behavior. We control our level of activity. We aren’t always with our best attitude.
If you focus on what you do—not how you feel—you’ll find that at the end of the month, you will have accomplished a lot on the days when you were “down” as well as the days when you were “up.” You may not tackle the task list with the same enthusiasm when you are having an “off” day. But great salespeople focus on behavior. And at the end of the day have achieved a lot.
Focus On Behavior
And tasks done well will affect your attitude. I remember one blustery, rainy day when I worked in Chicago. The weather forecast wasn’t going to get much better and the traffic conditions were terrible. I left with plenty of time to get to the first meeting with a new potential customer. They had invited several of us competitors to a pre-bid meeting for a new project. By the time I got to the company I was a few minutes late. Walking through the driving rain from my car to the office I must have looked like a drowned rat. The receptionist said I was the first to arrive, took my wet coat and hat and invited me to wait in the conference room. In a few minutes the purchaser arrived. We chatted for a few minutes over steaming mugs of coffee.
One by one the other invitees called to regret not being able to get to the meeting. As a result, the purchaser and I discussed the project, I got the details for which to prepare a proposal. Then he gave me the budget he had in mind for the project and said since I was committed enough to show up, assuming I could meet the budget we would get the business. For a day which started with a poor attitude doing the necessary behavior resulted in success and a wonderful change in attitude.
What You Can Do Right Now To Focus On Behavior
- Don’t be preoccupied with your attitude.
- Do the necessary behavior!
- Enjoy the success for a job well done