As a salesperson, you deal with a lot of bumps along the road each day. Your job entails a lot of direct communication with clients and coworkers. You work hard to close a large deal, only to have your number reset to zero the next month. Something’s always changing with your territory or your quota, yet you still need to consistently maintain activity, build pipeline, close business, and forecast accurately.
All of this can easily wear you out and when you’re exhausted from the latest roadblock, being critical will be much easier than approaching things with a positive outlook.
But maintaining positivity is key to success in sales. Not only for your own personal well-being, but for your productivity and overall effectiveness in deals.
Here are a few benefits of maintaining positivity:
1. Improved confidence
Your attitude towards tasks, whether good or bad, directly affects your way of thinking. Without the right mindset, every bump in the road will feel like a huge wall. Keeping a positive mindset will make you believe in a positive outcome. This, in turn, will make you more effective at solving that problem.
Whether you’re solving problems for customers or internally, once you realize you can hit every curveball work throws at you, you will become more confident. You’ll trust your process and feel more comfortable putting yourself out there. This makes a big difference when your job entails working with people all day. It’s proven that people pick up on others’ confidence and your positive approach to solving problems will make others want to work with you.
2. More time back in your day
There is no shortage of things to stress you out in sales – prospects not calling you back, roadblocks during a deal cycle, uncertainty about what the next quarter will hold for your territory. It’s easy to get frustrated and concentrate on things that feel unfair. But that’s the reality of sales. When you’re selling at a successfully growing company (as we all hope to be!), quotas are always going up and territories are always shrinking. You’re always going to have prospects who say ‘no’ despite all your attempts to create value for them.
You could spend your time being negative about the changes your company is making to grow or you could refocus that mental energy on building a great new territory plan. You could obsess about the one person who won’t call you back or you could go prospect five new accounts. Once you start viewing negativity as a waste of time, you’ll be amazed at how many hours you get back in your day for productive work.
3. Better solutions for your customers
In sales, we’re hunting for pain points that can be addressed by the product we’re selling. But in just focusing on the pain, we may jump to solutions too quickly without fully understanding the needs of our prospects. Prior to addressing all the problems, seeking to understand the goals and outcomes someone hopes to achieve is not only a more positive “set-up” to the conversation, but will also leave you better equipped to recommend solutions (even beyond the scope of the product you’re selling, which is a great way to build trust!).
You can apply this mindset to objection handling as well. Rather than viewing objections as hurdles to overcome, look at them as further opportunities to do discovery (“why do you ask about that particular part of our solution?”). Not only will they feel less daunting, but you’ll learn more about what’s important to your buyer and again, be better equipped to recommend meaningful solutions.
4. More (and better!) feedback
Positivity brings changes to your mindset and attitude, which will allow you to better handle criticism. With that extra confidence, it’s easier to see criticism or “constructive feedback” as a mere observation of your work rather than a personal attack. Whether it’s from a manager, colleague, or customer, you can recognize feedback as someone caring enough to help you improve and demonstrate your willingness to make beneficial changes.
5. Better relationships
If you are constantly stressed out and worried, this will play a role in the way you treat others. Not bothering with the little things makes you more pleasant to be around and a teammate who’s actively contributing to company culture. Additionally, not seeing your coworkers as constant “competition” will make you more comfortable around them. You’ll have more energy for constructive and collaborative conversations about your deals and find more opportunities to learn throughout the day.
Wrapping up on the bright side
While it might seem like a small (though sometimes challenging) change, maintaining positivity is worthwhile. As it is with many moments in life, the way you perceive difficulties and how you decide to handle them depends more on you than the situation itself.
Take sales in general! Despite the grind, it can be an incredibly rewarding career: the earning potential, the flexible schedule, the opportunities for continuous learning. There are always different ways you can interpret speed bumps along the way, it’s up to you to decide how you will.
Rachel Mozenter is Head of Commercial Sales, West at Segment. Segment is a Customer Data Infrastructure (CDI) service provider, which means that they provide a service that simplifies collecting and using data from the users of digital properties (websites, apps, etc). Previously, Rachel was Vice President of Sales at Kalo.