I asked this question recently to a group of professional salespeople and received a long list of both plausible reasons as well as lame excuses.
I heard everything from people just aren’t buying, the economy is bad, the market isn’t what it used to be, people have money but they are saving it, people are more picky than in the past, I don’t prospect enough, and I have become complacent. There are lots of reasons and plenty of excuses. Salespeople can succeed regardless of the economic environment. Good times or bad, your sales can be “off the chart”. So why aren’t your sales the best they have ever been?
Dr. Dennis Waitley has shed a bit of light on what might be the beginning of an understanding as to our sales performance. He says, “The law of prosperity and success states that if you think in positive terms you will achieve positive results.” I also believe that positive thinking and one’s beliefs strongly influences their performance. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale has said, “A man’s life truly is what his thoughts make of it.” Again, a direct reference has been made to thoughts and outcome. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.” Are you thinking about those things that will increase your sales?
I’m convinced a salesperson’s beliefs strongly influence their performance. Henry Ford is often quoted as saying, “If you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right”, suggesting again that belief strongly influences one’s results. Willis R. Whitney once said, “Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to do when all they need is one reason why they can.” I believe it is human nature to focus on the negative aspect of any situation as opposed to the positive. Negative focus is both distractive and destructive at the same time. The effects of negative thinking were best described by William Shakespeare in his classic statement, “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” Again, thoughts and beliefs seem to be at the root of action.
I think Emerson said it best when he said, “What lies behind us and what lies in front of us, pales in significance when compared to what lies within us.” Why aren’t your sales any better? Simply stated, because you have no clue as to what you are truly capable of doing. You know what you have done in the past and you know what others have done, but you haven’t spent the time to figure out what you are capable of achieving. You haven’t looked deep into your soul and you’ve never challenged yourself to the point of knowing your capacity. I can promise you, when you discover internally what you are capable of doing, your sales will increase, your income will increase, your personal satisfaction will increase and then you will know for the first time in your life, your true potential. Discover what lies within, and then take action.