Positivity in Sales: A Choice, Not a FeelingArticle by Colleen Francis, August 24, 2022
Positivity in sales is a choice, not a feeling.
It doesn’t require much effort to feel worried about the state of the world these days. And if you’re already feeling that way, you’ve got company: stress levels today are high across a large swath of society. I hear it in the questions I’m fielding at conferences: How can I stay positive amid so much uncertainty?
Here’s the answer: the same way you stay positive in any other time.
You must make a choice.
It’s not the events themselves, but rather our judgment of them that hurts us. That’s a rough paraphrase of timeless wisdom by Epictetus. His 2,000-year-old observation makes just as much sense today: we never run out of problems or things to worry about. But as sales professionals and leaders, we must set a positive example for others to follow—especially when we’re prone to giving in to our stress and worries.
Positivity in Sales: Here Are 7 choices You Must Make Every Day
1. Check Your Beliefs
So, you’re feeling that things are tough in your marketplace right now. Do you have the facts to back that up? Often, we don’t. At minimum, we allow our perception of things to colour our beliefs. Stop that! Get out in the field where your customers are. Participate in a ride along, or sit in on sales calls led by your top sellers. You’ll discover new bits of information that will challenge your thinking about how things really are out there right now.
2. Go Away
All things that remain static suffer. Instead, go outside for a walk or run. Motion changes your thinking because it forces you to change your perspective and your environment. When you do this, it clears your head and gives you renewed focus. It’s a significant part of why I continue to go for a run as part of my daily work. Nothing is ever made worse after putting yourself in motion for a little while.
3. Make More Downtime
No one else will do this for you. You must choose to carve out more time in your day for rest. That can take many forms: having a nap, spending time with family, or even just some form of quiet meditation. This means pulling yourself away from those distracting screens and notifications. It also means putting yourself on a TV and social media diet. Stillness is a choice.
4. Try New Things
We are problem-solving creatures. So, pick some useful problems to solve over the ones you can’t. When we choose things that are unfamiliar to us, our brains work a little differently. Doing so helps shift our perspective. That’s why I try to pick new routes when I go out for a run or walk. This strategy is just as effective by choosing to explore a new museum, trying out a new recipe, or learning a new hobby.
5. Eat Mindfully
This one’s been a game changer for me. I once took pride in the belief that I could keep operating professionally for long stretches while on the road—powered only by bottled water and a couple of protein bars. You don’t need to be a dietician to know how unwise that is. You will not make good decisions if you’re not eating well and on a schedule. Food is fuel; don’t run on empty.
6. Control What You Can
Stop wasting time fretting about global affairs or economic indicators. Your negative attitudes there become the dye that colour your thinking in the places where you do have control. Examine your daily choices. Can you go to bed earlier? Can you plan ahead for that next trip involving air travel? Can you have a backup? Can you adapt quickly to cancelled or delayed flights? Of course you can. But only if you choose it for yourself.
7. Write Things Down
Our thinking and beliefs only start to make sense when we write them down. That way, we can see the patterns and can then appreciate all the positive things working in our favour every day. That’s why I journal at night before bed. Yes, it’s old-fashioned, but like a lot of timeless wisdom, it survives for a reason: because it works. Invite more gratitude into your life.
YOU ARE YOUR CHOICES, NOT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE
Stop wasting your time dwelling on things you can’t control. You have an obligation—professionally and personal alike—to choose positivity for yourself. And remember: it’s not supposed to be easy to do this. It takes work. But it sure beats the alternative. As world champion weightlifter Jerzy Gregorek reminds: “Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.”