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November 17. 2012 8:28PM

Christopher Thompson's Closing the Deal: Learn to control your mentality


 

We have all experienced situations throughout our career that have left a lasting impression. I am no exception. Nearly 20 years ago, I was introduced to the work of Napoleon Hill, who is considered to be one of the first authors and researchers to recognize and document the role positive thinking plays in personal achievement.

Hill has countless quotes about success and the power of your mental attitude, but there is one quote that I find the most compelling. "Your mental attitude is the only thing you have complete and total control over." To me, it's something we often forget and overlook.

When you are in a sales role, there is nothing that affects your success more than your mental attitude and overall mind-set. The fact is, when we focus on negative situations, that is our choice. When we allow negative thought to take over our mind, that is also our choice. There are countless examples of this, and I think it's important to discuss a few.

Let's start with the constant negativity we see and hear on a daily basis. If you don't know what I mean, turn on the news. We are barraged with messages from media outlets that are masters at creating fear and paranoia. We constantly hear about the economy and how unstable it is. We hear politicians talk about the fiscal cliff that is looming. We hear negaholics inject fear every time the stock market changes for the worse.

I swear sometimes you'd think the world was ending. It's ridiculous. And unfortunately, we as sales professionals have to battle through this negativity and also help our customers do the same. If you bought into the paranoia that is constantly surrounding you, you'd probably be paralyzed in fear and truly believe nobody would buy a thing. Your confidence would take a turn for the worse and so would your performance.

Sales professionals also have to fight a constant battle with perception. In the business world, countless situations can cause your mentality to head down a negative path. People can be easily influenced by others, but only if the person being influenced chooses to let that happen.

Take the situation where a new sales rep gets placed into a geographical territory where he will sell. As he starts to work the new territory, he is told by his peers that the territory is one of the worst territories in the company. They share stories about others who have come and gone and failed miserably due to the territory and lack of business in that particular region.

How do you think the new salesperson will perceive that territory? There's a good chance the majority of people in that situation would buy into the negativity and believe it. And this is where controlling your mind comes in.

Business people and those in selling roles have to learn to control their minds. They have to condition their minds to look for opportunities instead of focusing on the negatives. And they have to develop a mentality that rejects negativity and pessimistic thoughts.

When you are able to do this, you will see a tremendous difference in all aspects of your life. Instead of focusing on problems, look for what is positive in a situation. Instead of focusing on why something can't be done, look for ways it can be.

And last but certainly not least, surround yourself with like-minded people and there's a high probability your mentality will see a change for the better.

If you're interested in learning more about Napoleon Hill and his fine work, visit naphill.org.

Christopher Thompson (cthompson@catch22solutions.com) writes Closing the Deal weekly for the Sunday News.



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