Our attitude dictates our altitude

Adam Hankinson, Managing Director at Furniture Sales Solutions, talks about how to get the best from yourself each and every day.

Do you have the right attitude to sell well every day? 

This is the most important question to ask yourself as a salesperson and the starting point of our seven-step sales philosophy. When I ask people whether attitude makes a difference in their performance, they always say “Yes! 100%!” They acknowledge that adopting a positive, focused and consistent attitude leads to more sales and makes them happier in their work. In turn, customers sense this, which can only influence their buying decision positively.

Even though we know a good attitude can make a huge difference, it’s something that very few people spend any time focussing on, especially within their work. Your attitude doesn’t only affect you and your results but often the results of your co-workers too. Just think of the negative influencer on your team (this doesn’t usually take long!) and their effect on your morale when they corner you for a chat in the break room. And if you can’t think of anyone on your team, could that mean you’re the negative energy in your store?

Without tackling attitude first, nothing else can improve, so this is where we begin.

Measuring your attitude

Until they’re asked and have had a chance to observe their own behaviour, most salespeople can’t tell you what they do every day; “I just do what I do…”. They’re usually just running on autopilot. It’s the same with attitude; being positive one day and negative the next. These dramatic swings in attitude are often based on how much you’ve sold on that particular day, which is one of the major reasons why results are inconsistent.

Another mistake I see salespeople make all the time is setting their attitude before the day has even begun by telling themselves “The weekends are the busiest and most profitable days” and conversely “Weekdays are always quieter/less profitable”. Not only is it of no help to think in this way, but it also may be incorrect. In reality, the customer who walks through the door on Monday could be the one who is about to spend thousands of pounds because he might have gone out of his way to come in on a quieter day. If you ignore or dismiss him, he’ll go elsewhere.

I started selling at 15 years old and was terrible at it for the first five years, letting the result of every interaction with my customers affect me. If they didn’t buy, I’d carry the disappointment and frustration into the next sale and often through the rest of the week, which meant even more customers said no, and that cycle would continue. I would also decide the day’s outcome on things like what the weather was doing or on the day of the week – no one would enter the store to buy if the sun was shining and Tuesdays are always dead, for instance, was my mindset. I was often negative and emotionally driven rather than focused and positively expectant in my attitude.

I now use a 1-10 scale to measure and take control of my attitude because putting a number on our feelings and focus gives us a better sense of where we are currently versus us at our best, or worst, and then we can start to think about what we need to do to improve our score. How would you score yourself at the start of your working day? Are you down at a two or three? Ask yourself if this is helping in making the right impression and ultimately selling more.

I encourage salespeople to aim for a rock-solid attitude score of 8 every day, it’s more achievable to maintain this level throughout the day. If you work as part of a team, agree that everyone will keep up with the same level of positivity – competent, helpful, professional, not seeming desperate, and the consistency of sales will follow. I also recommend that salespeople imagine the entrance to their store as a reset point for their attitude. In their minds imagining all of their personal issues and negativity being left aside, leaving themselves ready to take on a positive day of sales.

Like any habit-forming exercise, these techniques will not feel natural and easy to begin with, but after a while of doing them consistently, they will become second nature. With regular practice, you will no longer need an overnight reboot to pick yourself up after a customer puts a hand in your face. Like a great boxer, you’ll learn to roll with the punches and bounce back ready to try again.

Aim for a rock-solid attitude score of 8 every day, leave your negativity at the door, and learn to pick yourself up after every rejection. Making these few decisions every day is the start of creating winning habits. Being positive isn’t just good for your mindset, it’s good for customers, good for business and good for your wallet!


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