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In Sales, as in High School, You Are The Company You Keep

It’s an old saying that you first heard when you were about five. But it’s as true now as it was then... You are who you hang around with.  As a salesperson or sales manager, your environment influences your attitude. And, whether you’re around optimists or pessimists, their attitudes and perspectives will rub off on you. Prosperity and poverty have something in common: They both come to those who expect them. Optimists and pessimists think completely differently.

  • An optimist has a prosperity mindset. It’s a belief in abundance.
  • A pessimist has a poverty mindset. It’s a belief in scarcity.

If given the choice, I prefer optimists. Don’t you feel the same way? Wouldn’t you rather be around positive people who see opportunity where others see inevitable loss? It seems like the choice is obvious. And, in the world of sales, you have even less choice than others. Sales is the hardest easy thing you’ll ever do. Anything -- whatever it is -- that gives you an advantage or puts you in a better position for success is worth a shot (so long as it’s ethical). Why would you not seek an environment filled with possibility? Some of you are probably thinking “yeah, those optimists are fools who never recognize unnecessary risk. They just trudge along through life stupidly smiling in the face of failure.” Okay, I get that. Optimism needs to be tempered with reality. Let’s not ignore the real world. But I’ll say I’ve never seen a “pragmatist” who isn’t really a pessimist in disguise. The real takeaway, though is to find people who can help make you better.

  1. Find salespeople who have more experience and learn from them.
  2. Find sales managers who can mentor you.
  3. Find customers who can give you honest feedback about your effectiveness.
  4. Find friends who will tell you when you're about to make a mistake.

But more than anything, find some optimists. If you listen, they will make you more successful. @JebBrooks