Timothy HuffakerThe Business Performance Group has trained and coached thousands of professional people in the art and science of selling.

Some of the people have shown an incredibly high aptitude for sales and yet, these gifted people, prior to our program, have been less than successful. Others however, with seemingly few innate selling skills, have been able to achieve high levels of success. What is the reason for this paradox? It is very simple. A person's attitude about selling, not his aptitude, determines his sales success or failure.

Psychologists tell us that our minds are like land on a farm. The land gives the farmer a choice. Since the land does not care what the farmer plants, he can sow any kind of seeds he desires. The farmer makes the decision. Seeds of success or seeds of failure are available for planting. Once the seeds are planted and watered, they will grow.  You can plant seeds of success in your field and harvest prosperity, happiness and high self-esteem, or seeds of failure and harvest disillusionment, unhappiness and discontent. What you plant in your mind is totally up to you.

William James, the Father of American Psychology, wrote in 1895, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his circumstance in life by altering his attitude of mind."

George Bernard Shaw said, "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are those people who look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, they make them."

Your success or failure as a salesperson is not a matter of luck, circumstance or breaks. It is not who you are or any of the other myths by which people tend to excuse themselves. Successful salespeople have developed an attitude of optimism, positive thought patterns and a vision of themselves succeeding which pulls them toward their dreams and goals.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated, "A man is what he thinks about all day long."  Emerson understood an important principle of success and personal achievement. If you believe that you are successful, productive and happy, there is a good chance you will become a successful, productive and happy person. Unfortunately, the reverse is equally true.  As Dr. Dennis Waitley suggests in his book, 10 Seeds of Greatness:  "...if your self image can't possibly see you doing something or achieving something, you literally cannot do it!  It is not what you are that holds you back, it's what you think you are not!"

The law of prosperity and success to which Dr. Waitley refers says: “If you think in positive terms you will achieve positive results. Negative beliefs, on the other hand, produce negative results.”  Your attitudes can positively or negatively influence your ability to perform. Referring to one’s ability to alter their attitude, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale said:  "This is one of the greatest laws in the universe. Fervently, do I wish I had discovered it as a very young man. It dawned on me much later in life and I found it one of the greatest, if not my greatest discovery outside of my relationship to God."

In reading Viktor E. Frankl’s book, Man’s Search For Meaning, I was impressed by his insight into attitude, which was obviously influenced from his captivity in the German death camps of World War II. Of this experience he wrote the following relating to attitude:  “We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: The last of his freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.”

Every salesperson who has ever experienced any degree of success was driven to that success through his attitude. Here are some of my favorite quotes relating to attitude.  If you need an attitude adjustment to allow you to reach the level of success you are seeking, these quotes might be an effective tool.

“Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes.”

–Norman Vincent Peale

“If you really want to do something, you'll find a way; if you don't, you'll find an excuse.”


“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”

–William James

“Success is not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall.”

–Paul Dunn

“If you can imagine it, you can create it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”

–William Arthur Ward

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

–Scott Hamilton

“Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.”

–Henry Ford

“The remarkable thing we have is a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.”

–Charles Swindoll