Copyright 2006 Joel Sussman
Successful sales and marketing requires persistence, continuous improvement, and the expectation of a positive outcome. If one doesnt approach every aspect of marketing with enthusiasm, creativity, and a positive mental attitude, then its like embarking on schooner race with no wind in your sails. Youll have no momentum or direction, and the competition is guaranteed to overtake you.
Attitude has an insidious way of infiltrating everything we do; and it can lift us up to great heights or pull us down to the depths of failure. It can energize us to do and say all the right things at the right time, or it can undermine our motivation and cause us to sabotage our own best laid plans.
The bottom line is this: either we own our attitude or our attitude owns us. Every now and then, its necessary to make a conscious decision to take charge of our thoughts, attitudes, and habits. An unfocused effort, whether it involves marketing or any other aspect of business, is sure to produce inferior results.
Allowing negative thoughts to infect your mind creates a cascading effect of self-defeating behavior. In direct sales, one needs to have a winning attitude and a magnetic personality to influence and persuade prospects to become customers. Thats only the tip of the iceberg, though, because a successful salesperson also needs to have the finesse and people skills to win back lost customers, negotiate the best deal, ask for and get sales referrals, inspire teamwork, and have the energy and optimism to overcome setbacks and keep moving forward in the face of temporary failure. Without a positive mental attitude, none of that is going to happen.
Cultivating a positive attitude also feeds the creativity and optimism necessary for nearly every other aspect of marketing ranging from sending out press releases and sales letters to placing ads or launching a web site. If you dont believe its going to work, either youre not going to try at allor your efforts will be weakened and half-hearted. In both cases, youre doomed to failure before you even get out of the starting gate.
On the other hand, if you make up your mind to be an eternal optimist, youll be willing to take calculated risks and put your best foot forward. Getting there may involve an integrated program of reading motivational books, listening to self-improvement CDs, making a concerted effort to identify and avoid (or filter out) a lot of the negativity in your environment, and establishing daily habits that will tend to attract beneficial people and circumstances into your life.
Being an entrepreneur and running your own business is an intrinsically risky endeavor. If an expensive marketing campaign falls flat or a major client signs on with the competition, you might find yourself scrambling to make up for the loss. A positive state of mind not only helps you be creative, resourceful, and energized, but it also enhances your ability to anticipate, adapt, and regroup.
While many aspects of marketing are considered a gamble by anyones estimation, the best way to hedge your bets is by adopting a focused, optimistic, and positive mental attitude