How to Keep a Positive Attitude

In sales, we face rejection every day. The fact is we hear “no” many more times than we hear “yes”. When we let it get us down, it shows to everyone we meet, including our customers, our colleagues and our family. Our negative attitude becomes our own worst enemy.

A large part of what affects our attitude is our own self talk.  That little voice inside our head largely shapes how we see things and how we react to them.  For example, I participate in a few charity golf tournaments every summer. At each one, I keep hearing the same comments from some of the participants. “I never hit the ball well off the first tee.” and “I won’t make the putt because I am not a good putter.”

As it turns out, everyone who made those comments was right! They didn’t hit well off the first tee. It wasn’t that they couldn’t hit the ball because they certainly did off the next tee, but why not the first?  The reason is they kept telling themselves they wouldn’t. They thought it to be true therefore they made it be true.

The sociologist, Robert Merton called this a self fulfilling prophecy: What you think and believe will happen actually occurs because you will, either consciously or unconsciously, act in ways that cause it to happen.

Many bestselling books like Think and Grow Rich and The Secret have documented countless examples of history’s greatest men and women who believed they could, and therefore did.

Be it sports or sales, it works the same way. We all have that inner voice that talks to us. What does yours say?  Do you tell yourself “I can’t make quota because our prices are too high.” Or do you think “No one is buying right now because of the economy.” Stop being your own worst enemy! By telling yourself you can’t do it, you are making it so.

As a sales professional, you must make a conscious effort to stop being negative and start being positive. Look for the positive in every situation, and look at every failure as a learning experience. Think of every “no” as the next step to a “yes”. Start and end your day talking to happy customers instead of just focusing on the ones that call to complain. Start your day with a positive thought and end it with another. A cartoon or a motivational quote can put you in the right frame of mind, as will reminding yourself of your past victories.  Congratulate yourself on the effort needed to close a sale rather than the close itself. Calculate how much commission you make per call. Set daily activity goals and relish in achieving them. Reward yourself when you do.

Associate with successful people who believe they can, and walk away from those who say they can’t. Turn off the gloomy evening news and read a motivational book or listen to inspirational music instead. Exercise!

Surround your home, car and office with items that are inspirational to you and remind yourself every day what you are really thankful for.

Your thoughts control your outcomes and you control your thoughts. Choose wisely!  After all, as Dr. Robert Schuller once said, “Every achiever that I have ever met says, “My life turned around when I began to believe in me.”  More motivational quotes.

If you would like to know more ideas as to what you can do today to sell more tomorrow, check out Action Plan For Sales Success. It includes specific techniques and tools that you can use to impact your sales results immediately.

Aim Higher!

Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Coach and Author of Action Plan For Sales Success and Action Plan For Sales Management Success

“I love the B2B Sales Connections website. It is an amazing resource for anyone involved in B2B selling.”,, or

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