Your Lazy Attitude Is Hurting Your Sales Numbers


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The (Overrated) Path of Least Resistance

If you’re a seasoned salesperson, you have likely heard this “rule” before: “The best time to pick up that phone and cold call prospects is directly after you have closed a big deal or contract.” I remember when my boss told me this as a rookie salesperson. It didn’t make sense to me. Cold calling sounded like the last thing I wanted to do, regardless of whether or not I did it in the morning or afternoon, before or after a cup of coffee, or before or after I won a big contract. It would take a lot of convincing and a little bit of experience for me to understand why this advice was worth following.

The moment you win a big contract, you’re excited. If you’ve worked through a long buying cycle and you’ve spent time crossing your fingers and toes that the deal would go through, it’s a happy moment. Your hard work, discipline, and persistence paid off (quite literally). And if you’re like a lot of other salespeople I’ve talked to, your first thought might involve cutting the day short and heading home. “Wahoooo! I did it!” At the very least, you might consider mentally checking out, reading up on the news the rest of the day, and running out of the office at 4:59 pm.

The first time I won a big contract I’d been working on for months AND the first time I resisted the urge to “check out” for the rest of the day was also the most productive day I’ve ever had in cold-calling. Although I really wanted to be at a Cubs game, I sat down and pounded out about 150 calls. And they were to people I had been trying to reach for a while. After about two hours, I had a ton of meetings set up. It was amazing. People could feel my energy, and that’s what it took to connect and build momentum. It was way better than turning off my brain off and patted myself on the back for all of my hard work in winning a big contract earlier in the day. Odd as it may sound, it was even better than a Cubs game.

Positivity & Its Role in Success as a Salesperson

Unless you’re some kind of mutant, cold calling isn’t fun and you probably felt the same way I did about making cold calls after briefly celebrating my “big win”. But cold calling is inherently more fun when your confidence is up.

Reasons Why A Positive Attitude = Sales Success

  1. Your prospects can hear the eagerness and excitement in your voice. Have you ever talked to someone on the phone that sounded incredibly unhappy or tired? Even though you can’t see that person’s face, their mood exhibits itself through the phone. If you would rather not talk to a good friend when he/she is in a bad mood, why would you want to talk to a salesperson that sounds unhappy? Smile a bit when you first call a prospect and he or she will respond more openly to your cold call.
  2. Your positive mood infects your coworkers. Being a salesperson is tough. You deal with rejection and missed opportunities more than you’d care to admit. It will serve you well to inject a little positivity into your working situation and your coworkers will thank you for it. In this case, the class clown wins over the Debbie Downer. It takes a lot more motivation to be productive when your coworker walks into the office and grumbles to you about how badly they want it to be Friday already. Lighten the mood on the phone with your prospects and with your coworkers so you can all hit your sales targets.
  3. Positivity is negatively correlated to stress level. The more positive you are, the less stressed you tend to be. I didn’t realize it at the time but another reason why that cold call WIN was so enjoyable was that I wasn’t stressed about my sales numbers. I was able to talk through my company’s offering and listen to my prospect without forcing the sale. If I had been cold calling with low sales numbers, I might have been less patient and more pushy (which is the last thing you want to be as a salesperson). A positive outlook translated to a less stressful situation.
  4. A positive outlook allows you to be “present”. Don’t just show up. Be present. When I’m feeling productive and positive, it’s easier to break tasks down and take incremental steps toward reaching a goal. For example, my target is 80 phone calls to cold and warm prospects in one business day. If I’m feeling positive, I tell myself to make about 10 calls per hour in order to reach my goal. On the other hand, if I start the day by feeling negative and unmotivated, I get caught up in thoughts like: “How am I going to get to 80 calls today?!” or “my coworker likely doesn’t make 80 calls per day. I’ll do less than that today.”. Begin the day by focusing on positive thoughts so that larger tasks can be broken down into achievable goals.

“Go forward confidently, energetically attacking problems, expecting favorable outcomes.” – Norman Vincent Peale

How do you stay positive as a salesperson? As a manager, how do you help your salespeople stay motivated to work toward meeting or exceeding their sales targets? Do you think cold calling is “easier” when you have a positive outlook?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jenny Poore
Jenny is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Sales Engine, a sales consulting firm based in Chicago that helps companies build and tune their sales engine. Feel free to connect on Twitter: @salesengine and @salesengineJP.


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