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This is not advice. Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute or convey advice per se. The information contained in these articles is for guidance only and should not be relied upon without obtaining professional advice having regard to your direct circumstances.


Check Your Attitude

Whether you are a sole trader or the owner of a small or medium sized business with a small sales team, your attitude counts for everything. Most of the time, we associate attitude with an outlook of possibility or an outlook of limitation. The dictionary defines it as a state of mind regarding a person or matter. We all carry attitudes about our customers, our employees, our products or services, our marketplace, our prospects and, of course, ourselves.

If you jump out of bed every day, dive into your work with a zing, and find nothing more exciting than reviewing your YTD financial results for 2009 and projections for 2010, skip to the next article. You don’t need to read this.

If, on the other hand, you are finding yourself starting your day with thoughts like ‘I’m not sure I want to be here”, “the market is down so why bother trying”, or you dread making prospecting calls, or you plummet into a dark mood when things don’t go “right”, the following might help you make the coming financial year substantially brighter.

To be blunt, attitude is an integral part of what I call the Sales Success Triangle. The Success Triangle comprises Attitude, Behaviour and Technique. I place Attitude at the top of the triangle, above Behaviour and Technique because Attitude dominates all of the other functions of sales success. In other words, in the revenue generation game, your performance and the performance of your sales team are consistent with the way you and they view yourself/themselves conceptually.

At any given moment, your state of mind can be one of possibility or one of limitation. Do you see yourself as a leader in your industry or a follower? Are you at the top of your game or languishing with the excuse makers and the average players of your industry?

The truth is that you can choose to see and accept the reasons and means to make something happen, or you can choose to see and accept the reasons and obstacles that block your progress. It’s a powerful and potent choice and it’s yours to make!

You are always right

As human beings we are creatures of habitat. We are typically more aware of information that is consistent with the outlook we choose – even when that choice is subconscious. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” If you believe your marketplace is saturated, you’ll likely believe that your quota or company goal is unattainable and will accept the excuse making of your salespeople.

Once you’ve accepted that judgement, it will colour all of your actions. If your attitude is one of resignation, for example, you will be more likely to forego setting goals, making plans and taking action steps, and be less likely to commit and follow through on the behaviours and techniques that will take your success to the next level.

Your actions are influenced by the judgments you make, and the judgments you make are influenced by your attitude, which ultimately governs your behaviour. Albert Einstein defined insanity as, “doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results” Einstein was a pretty smart man – with an overwhelming outlook on possibility.

Is attitude a problem for you? Pay attention to the conversations going on in your head when you first awake in the morning. Notice how the lightness, darkness or neutrality of your thoughts colours the way you approach your clients, employees and your daily tasks – if you let it.

Someone once said, “There comes a moment when you have to stop revving the engine and slam it into gear.” Changing our attitude takes the same kind of practice as learning to drive a car with a manual transmission – there will be some sputtering, jerking and stalling but eventually the manual gear change will become smooth and natural… and you’ll be in control!

Choosing a new attitude is a commitment you make with yourself. The strategy is straightforward. Simply, ask yourself the following:

• Where am I experiencing difficulty?
• Is it painful enough to change?
• What am I willing to do to make it different?

Changing one thing for the better is worth more than proving 1000 things wrong. Make it your goal today to change just one thing about your approach to your business, your customers and prospects and your employees. It will be worth it.

My Business July 2009
Phil Lee


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