How to Overcome Negativity and Maintain a Positive Mindset In Sales

BY Jessica Helinski
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Only 43% of reps believe that to be successful in sales, one must be positive/​optimistic, according to SalesFuel’s Voice of the Sales Rep survey. But, research shows that positivity can directly impact success.

Having a positive mindset in sales doesn’t always come naturally. Meeting quotas, facing rejections, dealing with clients, and other aspects of sales can chip away at sellers’ positivity. But overcoming negativity is vital to success. “Succeeding in sales is 95-​percent mental,” writes Dan Tyre for HubSpot. “If you don’t think you can succeed or land a deal, you will ultimately be right. But if you can remain positive you have a huge competitive advantage.”

Tips for maintaining a positive mindset in sales

One of the most important factors in successfully shifting your mindset is to focus on what you can control. If you spend too much energy and attention trying to control things out of your reach or capabilities, you will only end up frustrated.

It also requires commitment; overcoming detrimental negative emotions will take practice. Tyre shares several tips that can help you work on gaining, and keeping, a positive mindset. His strategies, while they may take time to make a habit, will help you achieve a more positive outlook and thus, boost your success.

Write out your annual goals and make them visible

Tyre suggests starting out by clearly defining what you hope to achieve. Then, boost accountability by making them visible. And by breaking them down by year, you can better visualize how you can meet your goals and what path to take going forward. “Keeping your goals front and center and preparing for challenges before they arise are helpful best practices for salespeople of all levels,” he explains.

Prioritize positive connections

Everyone should have at least one or two big supporters in their corner. They may be co-​workers, champions at a client company, or even a personal friend. When you feel yourself slipping into negativity, take a moment to reach out to a positive connection for a much-​needed pick-​me-​up. Never underestimate the power of supportive words.

Incorporate humor into your day

It doesn’t have to be all work and no play all the time. Taking moments to laugh can instantly shift a mood. To work toward a consistent positive mindset in sales, consider how you can add humor or a bit of fun into your day-​to-​day routine. “We all know that sales can be a stressful job, which is why laughter and humor can provide benefit outside of the actual sale,” writes Jody Glidden for Introhive. “Studies show that people who use humor to cope with stress have better immune systems, reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and have a tendancy to live longer. While there are other ways to help you stay healthy, humor is one of the easiest and most enjoyable.”

Look at mistakes and criticism as learning experiences

No one is perfect. Accepting this and shifting how you perceive mistakes can do wonders for your attitude. Train yourself to recognize that mistakes happen, and then seek to turn that mistake into a learning opportunity. For advice on specific ways to work on reframing losses, take a look at this SalesFuel article.

This also goes for criticism. As Psychology Today points out, “The purpose of criticism is to make things better. Someone else can see what you are doing from a slightly different perspective than you and may have some valuable suggestions for you.” Instead of focusing on the negative of a mistake or critique, actively try to view it through a positive lens.

Create an “SSP folder”

What’s an SSP folder and how can it help you have a positive mindset in sales? Tyre explains that an SSP folder is something he learned about from a co-​worker. It’s a "shameless self-​promotion” folder in which you keep any and all accolades. They can be copies of contracts from big sales, words of encouragement from a mentor, positive feedback from a client, a thank you from a co-worker—anything that highlights your past successes. These reminders can serve you well during times when negativity and doubt creeps in.

Embracing a positive mindset in sales take some work. Awareness coupled with action and commitment can bring about a shift in perspective and attitude, and you can start with Tyre’s suggestions. For more advice on mindset, check out SalesFuel’s own collection of tips.

Photo by Jopwell