A New Sales Outlook

by Linda P. Kester November/December 2009
To be a truly productive, healthy salesperson, you need to stop feeling victimized. Replace negative reactions with a plan to keep you in a solid, peaceful state of mind, regardless of any drama going on around you. Linda Kester offers five simple ways to defeat negativity and create a new sales outlook.

Selling is a mindset. Equipment leasing brokers face far greater challenges than ever before. They are used to the sting of disappointment when a transaction is declined, but that familiar sting has turned into a laceration infected with negativity. The changes in the marketplace are like a puncture wound to the collective psyche of salespeople and many are reacting like victims.

When someone plays the role of victim, they often tell their troubles to anyone who will listen. If no one will listen, or if they decide to stay silent and not complain aloud, they tell their sad story to themselves in their head over and over. They see themselves as someone who’s been treated unfairly.

To be a truly productive, healthy salesperson, you need to stop feeling victimized. Replace negative reactions with a plan to keep you in a solid, peaceful state of mind, regardless of any drama going on around you.

Here are five simple ways to defeat negativity and create a new sales outlook:

1 Face the Truth
The first step to take is to face what is. Say to yourself: “Right now, this is how it is. I can either accept it or make myself miserable.” Once you accept what is, you stop fighting against it and you clear your head to come up with creative alternatives.

One of the best ways to face the truth is to look at your numbers. How many applications are you receiving on a daily basis? How many are declined? What is your average transaction size? How many applications would you need to receive based on your approval percentage and booking rate to meet your sales goals? Find out the answers to these questions, accept the answers and develop a strategy to make it happen.

2 Stick to the Facts
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy holds that what we think about an event is even more important than the event itself in determining our physical and emotional reactions. Stick to the facts and don’t make up stories.

Debilitating thoughts like: “I’m no good. I’ll never be any good. I just don’t have it” or “My business is wrecked” are stories. They limit you and prevent you from taking effective action. They let your emotions run the show. “I have $900 in my business checking account” is a fact. Fact facing is always empowering. The stories you make up in your head, to a large extent, create the emotions that you feel. Sticking to the facts will stop the turmoil.

3 Respond, Don’t React
There is a difference between responding and reacting. It’s like when a doctor says: “You’ve had a bad reaction to the medication” versus “Your body is responding well.” Or in parenting a reaction is “What did you do?” versus the response “What happened?”

This relates to leasing because brokers that are exceptionally good at putting deals together don’t get caught up in negative reactions. They are completely present in their work. Not contemplating the past or the future, they fully respond to what the present moment requires of them. For example, when deals are declined or funding sources won’t fund, they respond to the requirements of the new situation, and work to solve the problem.

A salesperson that is caught up in negativity may get angry and react in a resentful manner, and then use a large amount of energy in protest or anger. This alienates them from the funding source and carries destructive energy toward the lessee. This negative energy creates more problems; so, truly some salespeople are their own worst enemies.

By responding and not reacting you give yourself the gift of awareness, and if you do this often enough, lightheartedness and good cheer return to your life.

4 Share Information
Sharing everything you know about a deal is especially important today. Brokers that hide data, specifically derogatory information, will be cut off. The new mindset of salespeople should be to share strategies and information with their coworkers and colleagues. When you share information you help other people do their jobs better. Equipment leasing salespeople unknowingly sabotage their own work when they withhold help or information from others.

The more information you communicate and the more you help other people to be successful, the more smoothly things flow. When you give little or no help to funding sources, or put obstacles in their path, life becomes much more difficult for you and everyone around you.

5 Welcome Success
Some people react to someone else’s success as if that success had taken something away from them. When you resent another person’s success you restrict your own chances of success. In order to attract success, you need to welcome it wherever you see it.

If a coworker lands a terrific vendor, be happy for them, celebrate with them and help them with their extra work. The more open and considerate you are, the more you improve your ability to succeed.

Linda P. Kester is a bestselling author and professional speaker with 20 years of experience in leasing sales and marketing management. As founder of the Institute of Personal Development, Kester has helped hundreds of salespeople increase their volume. Her book, 366 Marketing Tips for Equipment Leasing, has produced results for leasing companies in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia. For more information, visit www.lindakester.com.

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