Two Sales Professionals: True Story
Alex and Susan are sales professionals who both represent the same brand in the same geography. There is no difference in the service that they offer their clients.
While driving to the office each day, Alex focuses on how he feels, in his heart, that the service he is offering is overpriced for the market and that his company’s processes are too arduous. He tells himself over and over again that if he were a prospective client, he surely would not spend his money on the service. When he arrives at the office, he focuses his attention on the marketing department, which surely costs more than it is worth and which produces no good leads. He peers up from his computer and sees George walk by with a spring in his step. Immediately, Alex’s mind goes back in time two years to when he was passed up for the promotion that George ultimately received. In response to an email in which a prospective client has asked a question about the timing of delivery, he replies, “I will see what I can do, but no guarantees—I am not in control of that.”
The office next door to Alex belongs to Susan. Her lights are off, and her computer’s screen saver says, “Text me. I am likely out meeting a client.” Indeed, Susan started her day by having breakfast with a prospective client, and then she had coffee with her mastermind group, which talked about goals and ways of collaborating to provide additional value to their clients. She is not ignorant of the downturn in the economy, but her focus is on how to enhance her value proposition. As she drives to her next meeting, her mental focus is on her role as a sales professional. The mental model that she plays over and over again in her head is that her sole focus is on helping her clients to feel happy about their buying decisions. For Susan, sales is not something she does to people. Rather, she is a change agent and very proud of the value that she offers day in and day out.
Although Alex and Susan work for the same company and cover the same territory, they achieve dramatically different results. Susan is earning a lot more money than Alex is, and she is far happier in both her professional and personal life than he is. What is the key difference between them?
The answer is deceptively simple.
The answer is attitude. What is attitude?
Attitude is a mental state. It is a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something. It is typically reflected in one’s behaviour. Behaviour is what ultimately produces results. Given that wouldn’t it stand to reason that attitude is important? I would argue that attitude is the most important factor in determining your success in any particular endeavour.
Have you considered your predominant attitude? If you want to improve your results, you should.
Here are a few things for you to consider:
- How would you describe your predominant attitude?
- When you meet someone who has known you for a while, how do they react? Do they greet you with a smile? Does the tone of the conversation stay positive and upbeat, or does it quickly turn negative? Answering these questions should give you an idea of your attitude.
- Is your thought process predominantly backward-looking, focused on the present, or forward-looking? Are you playing in your head mental movies of past events that did not go your way, or are you thinking about your present and your future?
- Has your company recognized your contributions lately?
These are just a few questions that you can ask yourself in order to gain a better idea of your predominant attitude.
I think Jeff Keller put it best when he titled his book Attitude is Everything: Change Your Attitude. . . Change Your Life!