Welcome back to the 4th in our 6-blog series focusing on what it takes to succeed in selling. By now, if you have been following us through blogs 1 to 3 you will already have taken action on the first 12 traits of successful people and should already be seeing signs of improvement in yourself. The key is, as ever, to keep taking action on those 12 whilst implementing actions also regarding the following 4 traits below.
- SELF BELIEF – successful people have without doubt, a tremendous level of self belief. No matter how large the task, whether it has never been done before or not, they believe that they can do it. Whilst everyone else is wondering what may happen if it goes wrong they focus on a successful outcome, secure in their ability to deal with whatever obstacles they may encounter. In some cases this is due to their upbringing, in other cases in spite of it.
The good news is we can all develop a strong sense of self-belief as we have all achieved something in our past. All we need to do is to recognise the successes we have had and understand that we were the ones who produced those positive results. We need to recognise that we had the ability within ourselves to overcome obstacles then and we need to recognise that if we did it then, we can do it again.
Similarly it is important that you recognise and celebrate your successes when they happen. Don’t fall into the trap of saying that it was a good result simply because the odds were in your favour, that you were lucky. We all make our own luck, by doing the right things at the right time … it is never an accident! Take 15 minutes to write a list of your achievements and successes in your life, both business and personal (minimum 6 points – the more the better). Keep it with you and review it on a daily basis, preferably when you first awaken as it will reinforce your ability to achieve in your subconscious mind and so create a strong self belief.
- POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE – the ability to see the positive side even when things are going wrong is a critical element in being successful. No matter how we look at it, seeing the positive side of everything is critical, after all that is where success is. One big obstacle stands against us though, our society and as a result of it, is our upbringing. We are told ‘No’ far more often than we are ever told ‘Yes’ and as a result the majority of the population dwell on the cautious side, fearing the negative. Successful people are constantly thinking ‘Yes’ whatever the challenge ahead, whatever the situation they find themselves in. They see the plusses and focus on these, as we all can. After all, how we feel about things and how we approach them is a choice and one we all can make.
Where you find yourself thinking negative thoughts (or expressing them verbally) write them down. Then, think of a positive version of them and write it down (or voice it). Repeat it out aloud to yourself a dozen or so times (and say it as though you believe it!) and do the same thing every time you think it. Eventually, you will find the negative thoughts disappear and the new positive ones become the new you.
- SACRIFICE – every successful person I have studied has made sacrifices, every one. For many of us the idea of success, of wealth, of being the best at our chosen profession brings with it romantic images of having everything we want to have and yet being able to do everything we already do (and even more of it). The truth is more often to the contrary with success being achieved as a result of sacrifice. To be the best in your field often means sacrificing your leisure time, some of your social life and/or even family time. Being the very best in your profession may mean sacrificing all of them and work being the be-all-and-end-all of your life. The question for all of us is really what is your priority? If family time or your social life are it, then your levels of success in your career will reflect that and you sooner you accept that the happier you will be. If it is being the very best at work then typically your family time and social life will suffer as a result and you’ll need to think how best to deal with that. The more you want to succeed the more you will typically need to give up.
Think carefully about what you are striving to achieve, really think about it. This is not a 10 minute exercise, it may take you hours, days or even weeks. Make your choices carefully and weigh up what you are prepared to concede in order to succeed. Then be happy with your choices and work at being as successful as you can and want to be. Be aware of how your time is being spent, of the results you are achieving and what you are sacrificing to make it happen. Should they be outside of your expectations in a detrimental manner then reassess your choices, your activities and make any necessary amendments.
- ABLE TO SEE OPPORTUNITIES – previously I have written about using innovation and creativity which in themselves can create opportunities for us. Sometimes though, you do not even have to be innovative or creative to succeed where others fall by the wayside. It is a question of being alert, of looking beyond what you typically see. When Sir Clive Woodward was developing his ‘elite’ English rugby squad for the 2003 world cup finals he brought in a vision coach to work with the team. The vision coach helped them understand that whilst it was important to see where the players were on the pitch it was equally important to see where they weren’t. By putting the ball and a player into the spaces they were capable of moving ‘up field’ and scoring more trys! I have worked with companies and salespeople who only see where things are and by getting them to look at what is missing and therefore ‘not there’ (a gap analysis exercise), and then getting them to talk to their customers about those things, often they can create increases in sales with that customer in excess of 20 percent! And yet, the majority of us don’t do it.
Look at how you currently operate. What do you currently do with your customers and what could you do? Then take action in these (gap) areas. In some cases it will simply be a case of discussing things you already have at your disposal, in others it may mean developing something different. Remember “We don’t do that” is rarely the end of a conversation; it is often the beginning. Following it with a “What would happen if we did?” may lead to all sorts of opportunities to be more successful.
Work on these traits between now and the next blog in this series and we will continue next time with 4 more traits guaranteed to make you more successful. I wish you every continued success!
(Note: If you have been applying these traits over the last 3 blogs, let us know what benefits and results you have seen to date by commenting on this article.)