Choosing the Selling Attitude

Great salesmanship begins with an attitude, which is controlled by your thoughts. Since you can choose how you think, you can choose your attitude in any given situation. Viktor Frankl calls this choice, “The Last Great Freedom.” No one, not anyone, can take away your ability to choose your attitude in any given situation. Your attitude is entirely within your control. Research shows that 85% success in any endeavor is determined by attitude.

The key to controlling your thoughts and attitude about your work is how you feel about what you do. Peak performing salespeople love to sell; so, therefore, they love their job. It’s easy to control your thoughts about something you love to do.

The old adage, “nothing happens until someone sells something” is still true. Everything is about selling. Getting your daughter to clean her room, getting your son to come home at night, and getting your spouse to agree to what you want is all about selling. Everyone needs to understand the skills of influence. But selling, as an occupation, is not for everyone. First you need to do some “soul-searching.”

When the alarm goes off each morning – how do you feel about your job? Do you look forward to going to work, or is it hard for you to get up in the morning because you dread your job? If you have ever had negative feelings about your job, don’t think that you are alone. A 1990’s national survey of 180,000 American workers revealed that 80% disliked their jobs. How do you feel about yours?

“I hate my job,” was the response of one salesperson, who was asked how he felt about his work. “Why don’t you get a new job,” was the next question. “Are you kidding,” he replied. “I’m going to retire in 25 years.” Is that how you feel?

It is impossible to be a peak performer in anything unless you are drawn into your work by the love of doing it. Peak performance is the result of being in a peak emotional state. It’s about your heart. Is your heart in your work? Does your work capture your heart or just your wallet?

Once you are sure that selling is for you, make sure you are in control of your thoughts and a positive attitude will follow.

Although it’s easy to blame the boss, the customers, the product offerings, your co-workers, (and a whole bunch of other things) for job dissatisfaction, in fact, job enjoyment lies entirely within your control. The simple act of blaming is a self-defeating behavior because when you blame you give away your personal control. Although blaming alleviates your responsibility, at the same time it makes you feel helpless and out of control.

So you say, “How can I have a positive, cheerful attitude?” The clock radio goes off in the morning blaring out bad news about a local fire, a murder, or a tragic car accident. You turn on the television and watch the world news with no better results. You read the morning paper and more bad news. Besides you have to deal with getting your children up and off to school, your spouse, the dog – and top it all off with the pressures at work. “How can I be cheerful?”

The answer is simple. You have a decision to make as you start each day. “How am I going to respond to those things that happen to me today? Who’s in control of my feelings, the weather, the boss, my customers or the economy?” To hand away control to anything or anyone else is to make yourself a victim. None of us want to be a victim.

You have to make this simple choice each and every day. Thomas Edison described what should be our attitude when he said, “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”

We can’t change the realities of our life, but we can change how we respond to those realities. William James said that the greatest discovery of this generation is that one can change his circumstances by simply changing his state of mind. Your attitude is one of life’s few gifts that lies 100% within your control. It’s always within our power to choose the positive response.

The reason this choice has such an incredible affect on your performance is because if your heart is not in it, your mind and body cannot reach their potential. Peak performance is impossible. Peak performance is only reached when all factors work in harmony. But, the greatest affect of your attitude on the job may well be what it does to your customer.

Research has shown that the number one standard by which the customer judges whether she will buy from you is “do you look like you want to be at work?” So, I ask you the question, “Do you brighten the office or those around you when you come to work in the morning or when you go home at night?”

Your attitude is critical. It affects your ability to achieve results and whether the customer will want to do business with you. How’s your attitude? Do you need an attitude adjustment? Take control and pick the attitude of the peak performer. The choice is yours, so choose wisely.


Sam Allman is CEO of Allman Consulting and Training, Inc. and is an internationally recognized motivational speaker, consultant and author. For almost two decades Sam has been one of the most in-demand sales speakers. Delivering high content, customized, inspiring programs in areas such as leadership, customer service, management, team building, retail and outside sales and personal development. Sam has been featured as a keynote speaker for organizations in industries ranging from Technolog...

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