Tough Minded Salespeople
Recently I read an article that said, “The most successful salespeople are mentally tough.” As I thought about what that meant, I decided to list qualities that mentally tough people exhibit. This week I want to share that list with you.
- Mentally tough people maintain control. When salespeople lose control they give up their power. Sure, salespeople face issues that upset them. Prospects lie to us. Prospects change their minds from yes to no. Our companies change “the deal” and on and on. It is our reaction that separates an average salesperson from a great salesperson. As Kipling said, “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…yours is the earth and everything that's in it.”
- They focus on the present. It does a salesperson no good to dwell on past failures and disappointments. The only control we have is in the moment. Mark Twain said, “If a cat sits on a hot stove it will never sit on a hot stove again. It won’t sit on a cold stove either. It gets out of the stove sitting business.” Many salespeople let their past failures limit their future action. Tough minded salespeople forget the past and focus on today. Write it on your heart. Today is the day; now is the time.
- They are persistent. Great mentally tough salespeople have staying power. They realize success and failure go hand in hand. They realize that many times the winner is the one who holds on the longest. In the middle of our deepest depression, Calvin Coolidge said “Nothing in the world will take the place of persistence. Talent will not. The world is full of unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not, unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not, the world is full of educated derelicts. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
- They have a touchstone of values. Call them core beliefs or basic values or even ethics. There is a set of beliefs which they use to operate every day. These beliefs usually include: the customer comes first, give without hope of gain, discomfort is part of life, failures are part of success, honesty is the best policy and change is inevitable. This set of values allows the great salesperson to see setbacks and success as just part of the flow. This set of values allows them to continue to perform despite the ups and downs of their lives. If you do not know your core beliefs, take a minute and jot them down. When we run out of our own juice your values are your ultimate source of power.
- They believe in the law of the Universe. Whatever you ardently believe and act upon the Universe will deliver. Over and over again I see salespeople so tough minded that in the face of all odds they make the sale or save the customer. They refuse to believe that what they want and act upon won’t be delivered. They do not let self-doubt creep in to undermine their efforts. They refuse to believe that what they have set their mind to is unachievable. The motto used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during World War II applies to these salespeople. “The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer.” When Napoleon was asked the French word for impossible he replied, “It is not a French word.”
As you think about being tough minded remind yourself of these characteristics. In these characteristics lie the seeds of success.