When a sales leadership team tells us they don’t believe in mindset training, we feel as incredulous as Reese Witherspoon’s character in Legally Blonde. You know, that scene where she absolutely cannot believe a fitness instructor is guilty of murder. (Spoiler alert: she didn’t do it.) Witherspoon’s reasoning was simple:
Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.
For us, it’s all about the power of positivity and how possessing a Peak Performance Mindset rewards your entire organization.
Happy people outperform their pessimistic counterparts. They just do.
And we have the proof.
Optimists Are More Successful Than the “More Talented” Competition
Removing negative viewpoints does more than create a healthier work environment. It actually improves your sales team’s performance. Consider these statistics about mindset and performance:
- 80% of success stems from mindset – only 20% comes from skills
- Positive people sell 38% more
- Happy people use brain power more effectively and are 31% more productive
On top of that, optimists are better problem solvers. Stop thinking you need to fill every open position with the most talented, experienced salesperson. Focus instead on maintaining a healthy culture of positivity.
Don’t run out and book a streaming group-exercise class
A few of your team members might enjoy the break, others not so much. Either way, it won’t change the overall atmosphere at your organization. That takes consistent, carefully planned effort. Start by removing the stigma associated with failure.
Eliminate the Fear of Failure
The mere thought of botching a sales proposal or bombing on a cold call is enough to make some salespeople stop before they start. That’s why everyone on your sales leadership team should make it absolutely clear that failure happens, and that’s okay. But like Jack Ma says, what isn’t okay is not trying.
What we can all learn from the persistence of Jack Ma
Before becoming a billionaire many times over, Jack Ma’s career was littered with setbacks. Famously, the Chinese businessman and founder of Alibaba was rejected by KFC. Fresh out of college, he applied to work at one in his hometown of Hangzhou, China. 24 people applied. 23 were hired. Jack Ma was the only reject.
KFC wasn’t the only company that told Ma he wasn’t good enough. 30 other employers told him the same thing. Harvard rejected him 10 times. (He should have called Elle Woods.) None of this deterred him. According to Ma, “If you don’t give up, you still have a chance. Giving up is the greatest failure.”
When your team knows they can fail and keep going, they’re more likely to persist. Make sure they don’t give up, by shifting how they think about failure.
Channel Disappointment into a Positive Drive to Achieve
People who reach the pinnacle of their professions know how to turn defeat into victory. Michael Jordan’s experience of being cut from his high school basketball team powered his spectacular NBA career. No number of Super Bowl rings erases the memory in Tom Brady’s mind of being picked 199th in the 2000 draft.
Were they disappointed? Absolutely. But they were determined to show the rest of the world they had what it took to win. This isn’t how most of us deal with obstacles.
When people suffer a defeat, their confidence collapses
The setback derails their day and your team’s overall productivity craters. You can prevent this from occurring by teaching your team a new way to think about “failure.” It’s not a defeat – it’s the stepping-stone to success.
Sales leaders have the power to reframe the discussion and change mindsets
Give your team a new vocabulary around “failure.” Provide a script that positively recasts setbacks. For instance, instead of letting people say, “I failed to get this account,” make sure the conversation starts with:
[Prospect name] wasn’t ready to work with us, but I have another opportunity to bring in new business when I meet with ____.
I didn’t get the outcome I wanted, but I learned ____.
Because [prospect] chose our competitor, I know I need to _____.
These small, important changes train their minds to find a winning path the next time they’re in a similar situation. Instead of thinking of their defeat as the end, it becomes a beginning for future success. And now that you’ve primed everyone to win, you need to make sure your highest achieving salespeople stay positive too. Because here’s the deal – failure isn’t a prerequisite for negative thoughts.
Negativity Can Infect Anyone – Especially Your Top Talent
There’s self-defeating inner dialogue that comes with success. It’s called imposter syndrome, and it’s probably plaguing at least one of your high achievers.
What is imposter syndrome?
You’ve probably experienced impostor syndrome, even if you didn’t realize it at the time. It happens when you question your own ability to do your job. You feel like you don’t deserve the success, praise or accolades you’ve received. You walk around thinking, “I’m not good enough for this. One day I’ll fail, and everyone will see me as a fraud.”
How anyone can trample negative inner dialogues
It’s highly unlikely your team will share what their inner critics are telling them on a daily basis. But imposter syndrome is widespread. In one study, 70% of respondents reported feeling this way. When you combine that with general pessimism, you can safely assume both are hurting your staff. Be proactive about solving the problem for them.
Give them this framework so they’re armed with the advice they need to push out self-defeating thoughts.
1. Recognize you’re entering a negative headspace
You’ll never stop having negative thoughts if you don’t realize it’s happening.
2. Remove the negative thought with self-regulation
Self-regulation pushes out darkness by framing situations in a positive light. Just like you got your team to stop talking about a setback as an end-of-the-world failure, you’ll now get them to turn negative thoughts into positive ones.
3. Create positive spaces with self-activation
Transform your mental and physical spaces so they help you maintain a positive state of being by:
- Starting each day by saying an affirmation out loud
- Using music to stay motivated and upbeat
- Sharing your successes
- Taking mental breaks
- Connecting with friends
Sales Leadership Teams Are Responsible for Setting the Tone
Negative thoughts are infectious. They breed pessimism and hurt your results. On the flip side, when everyone on the sales leadership team invests in a Peak Performance Mindset, your whole organization is rewarded (no exercise classes required).