For the past several months I’ve been doing aninformal study on the various attitudes salespeople exhibit. 

I’ve tried to be aware of the mood these folks exhibited when I was a customer. The salespeople ranged from cashiers at the checkout counter of our grocery store to baristas at the local coffee shop and all the way up to some higher-end shopping for furniture, computers and oriental rugs. The attitudes of all these salespeople varied tremendously. I also recognize I was drawn to the folks who were more upbeat — those with a sincere smile and those people who appeared to be pleased that I was in their store and planned to spend some money.

All of this got me thinking about this thing we call attitude. I’ve certainly been aware of the huge variance of attitudes for a long time, but I never really tried to understand why some people appear happy and up most of the time while others seem to be unhappy and down.

This little informal survey of mine indicates about 20% of people serving me appeared to have positive or negative attitudes. That leaves 60% that were average in their attitude toward me. I’m not a psychologist and I do know attitudes will change depending on the circumstances of the moment.

I have been blessed with a positive and upbeat attitude. When my feet hit the floor every day I just know that it’s going to be a good day. I like people, I’m able to meet new people easily and as Will Rogers said a long time ago, “I’ve never met a person I didn’t like.” I also believe this upbeat positive attitude helped me be a pretty good salesperson and manager.

The dictionary defines attitude as: A manner of thinking, feeling or behaving that reflects a state of mind or disposition; and a position of the body or manner of carrying oneself.

Attitudes are contagious. Good and bad attitudes will rub off on the folks around you. Attitudes affect your relationships both personally and professionally. We are drawn to people with good attitudes and pushed back from folks with bad/negative attitudes.

Part of my research prompted me to try and learn if people are born with certain attitudes or develop them by listening to and watching others. It has been proven that some self-help activities, such as reading books or attending workshops, can dramatically improve a person’s attitude. It’s a proven fact attitudes can change for the better. It’s my experience that folks with good, positive attitudes appear to be happier and I believe they make better salespeople.

Mental fitness is like physical fitness. You can develop high levels of self-esteem and a positive attitude with training and practice. Here are a few keys to having a positive attitude.

Decide your attitude in advance: You, and only you, have the complete ability to control your attitude. There’s a big difference between a bad attitude and a bad mood.  Moods are temporary. Attitudes are permanent. Whatever the situation, it’s the attitude that makes it good or bad. So the next time you’re stuck in traffic push your “advance decision button” and decide to have a good attitude about it. You’ll be surprised by the outcome.

Visualize success: Keep in mind what you visualize often comes true. If you’re working on a large quote, visualize getting the order. Visualize success!

Be a whatever-it-takes person: Be a problem solver, not a problem giver. There’s an old saying, “Whether you say you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Think of ways to get things done. Don’t think of ways it can’t be done.

Resist negative tendencies: All of us know a “Mr.” or “Ms.” negative. They love to wallow in the negative. What went wrong, who failed, why it didn’t work out, etc. Mr. and Ms. negative love to have your ear in hopes they can bring you down to their level. Keep away from these types of people — the ones who complain all the time. Remember, good and bad attitudes are contagious.

Embrace change: Change is one thing we can count on. And in most cases change is for the better. Change is a good thing. It should be fun. It’s challenging, and in many cases, it’s needed.

Humor, energy and enthusiasm (three of my favorite things): Life without these three best friends would be pointless, or at least much more difficult. Surround yourself with individuals who have these three characteristics. The energy you bring to your profession or life is critical to the success of everything you do. Energy creates enthusiasm. These three elements are critical to having a great positive mental attitude.

Be grateful for what you have: A genuine, positive mental attitude has no room for jealousy. Others may have more possessions, but positive people are always grateful for what they have right now.

Positive affirmations: Speak positively to yourself. Things such as: “I like myself,” “I can do it,” “I feel terrific,” “I like my job,” “I appreciate my clients” and “I am responsible.” It’s believed 95% of your emotions are determined by the way you talk to yourself as you go through your day. Your mind is like a garden. If you don’t plant good seeds, water daily and give it plenty of sunlight, you’ll find that the weeds take over without any
encouragement at all.

Associate with positive people: Your choice of the people with whom you live, work and associate with will have more of an impact on your emotions and your success than any other factor. Decide today to associate with winners, with positive people, with people who are happy and optimistic, and who are going somewhere with their lives.

Positive mental food: Just as your body is healthy to the degree to which you eat healthy, nutritious food, your mind is healthy to the degree to which you feed it with “mental protein,” rather than “mental candy.” Read books, magazines and articles that are educational, inspirational and motivational. Feed your mind with information and ideas that are uplifting, that make you feel happy and more confident about yourself and your world.

Positive health habits: Take excellent care of your physical health and wellness. A nutritional diet will have an immediate positive effect on your thoughts and feelings. Resolve to get regular exercise. When you exercise on a regular basis, you feel happier and healthier, and you will experience lower levels of stress and fatigue than a person who sits on the couch and watches television all evening. Especially get ample rest and relaxation. Have a good balance between work and home.

Disregard and ignore negative thoughts: Refuse to think such thoughts by substituting them with constructive happy thoughts.

Read books, watch movies and listen to music that inspires you and makes you feel happy. Music is a cure to the soul.

Always sit and walk with your back straight.

Have goals: Know where you want to be and what you want to be doing in three, five or even 10 years. Have sales and gross profit goals, and when you achieve them, reward yourself.

Make time to be alone: Try to spend at least 20 or 30 minutes daily being alone. Understand who you are and what you love.

Make time to be with your friends and family, because they are probably the most important people in your life. Try to stay in touch, even if you are thousands of miles away from them. A simple phone call, text or email can do wonders.

Find a way to measure your progress: And then do it! When you set goals and milestones and you achieve them, you will feel happy and your attitude will improve.

Now that you’ve read and digested these keys to an improved attitude, I’d like to ask you three simple questions:

1) Are YOU willing to make a real inner change?

2) Are YOU willing to change the way you think?

3) Are YOU willing to develop a mental power that can positively affect you, your environment and the people around you? I sincerely hope you answered yes to each one of these.

I’d like to close with a quote from pastor, author and educator Charles Swindoll. “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you — we are in charge of our attitudes.”

Free offer: I have collected a dozen one-sentence statements on the magic word “attitude.” If you would like a copy of these send me an email.

Good selling!