Featured Article12 Questions to Get a Jump Start on the Year Ahead
Each December, like many other people, I reflect on the year past and the year ahead. I focus this reflection with 12 questions. I note highlights and lessons learned; how I have evolved; the memorable moments and the various goals I’ve advanced towards – and more. Often, I’m surprised by how much I achieved. As we trudge through our busy lives we are often thinking about all we have not done or achieved. So I invite you to use these questions to take stock and consider your intentions and aspirations for 2013.
The Year Past:
1) What went well?
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Optimism is a Selling Skill. Is Your Sales Glass Half-empty or Half Full?
|Sales Mindset - Sales Mindset|
|Written by Colleen Stanley|
Everyone is looking for a competitive edge in this post recession economy. Should we engage in social media tools? Hold a strategic planning session to determine best course of action? Roll out a new marketing plan? Here’s an idea that won’t cost you any money: take a look at the emotional intelligence skill of optimism. Just in case you think this is going to be a ‘Pollyanna’ article, don’t despair. There is evidence that shows optimistic salespeople make more money.
One of the best case studies comes from the work of psychologist Martin Seligman. He was engaged by Metropolitan Life in New York to help with their sales turnover challenge. Dr. Seligman convinced Met Life to give him access to their new sales candidates and administer their usual testing measures, as well as a new test he developed which measured optimism. He followed the progress of the new sales hires for one year and found that salespeople who scored high in optimism sold 33 percent more insurance than those who scored low. After two years, the optimistic salespeople were thriving in their positions. Met Life experienced increased retention, decreased turnover, and increased sales.
How optimistic is your sales organization? People get worried about catching colds or the flu. Salespeople should be worried about catching the virus of pessimism. It is a deadly virus when it hits a sales organization because emotions are contagious. The clinical term is emotional contagion or “the transmission of moods.” When people are in a certain mood, happy or depressed, that mood is often communicated to others. So what message or mood is the sales management team sending the sales team? What message is your sales team communicating to customers and prospects? A sales manager shares the story of a sales rep that started every conversation during the last downturn with, “You probably don’t have any money ….” The self-fulfilling prophecy was set by the salesperson and the prospect followed the salesperson’s lead and said no.
So what can sales organizations do to stop the epidemic of pessimism? Here are four traits found in optimistic salespeople and sales organizations. Start installing them in yourself or your sales culture today.
#1: When faced with adversity, optimistic salespeople ask themselves better questions.
#2: Optimistic salespeople choose their friends wisely. Jim Rohn quotes, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Are you hanging out with optimists or pessimists? What kind of emotion is getting spread among your peers and colleagues? Is it healthy conversation or the pessimistic flu? Here’s the difference. The pessimistic salesperson says no one is buying. The optimistic salesperson says someone is buying…I just need to find him or her.
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