Optimism is critical to sustained sales success for two reasons:
- Most sales calls are rejected. Rejection, when personalized, can lead to depression and diminished performance. Salespeople who are high in innate optimism do not personalize rejection. Like strikeouts in baseball or missed shots in basketball, they see it as part of the game and do not expect to get a hit every time. In other words their optimism protects them and allows them to put their job in a healthy perspective.
- Knowing that sales is a numbers game that includes both hits and misses, optimists see a miss as simply getting them closer to their next hit, because that is the way the percentages work. So if they have been rejected, say, three times in a row, rather than dwell on the negative, these sales optimists cannot wait to make the next call because the odds are that it will be successful.
While motivational speakers would like us to believe that they can work their magic and create an optimist, in reality, people are born with the trait and develop it to about the age of 21, and then the die is pretty much cast. Motivation can make people temporarily more optimistic – and can be really helpful in turbocharging innate optimists with inspiration – but it is best for hiring managers to select salespeople who have the innate trait as a predictor of sustained sales success.
Dr. Christopher Croner and Richard Abraham are authors of Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again and developers of the proprietary and patented sales assessment test, The DriveTest™, for sales candidates. To experience the difference of the DriveTest, contact us today!