In his book, “How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling,” Frank Bettger wrote: “I firmly believe enthusiasm is by far the biggest single factor in successful selling.”
Enthusiasm is one thing and you better have it. That said, what about when your emotions get completely tied up in the sale… or non-sale?
Granted, sales means money. And money is an emotional thing – it makes or breaks survival and defines lifestyle. So we can’t help but allow our feelings get in the way when it comes to sales. And yet, to be effective in virtually any endeavor, including sales, it is good to have less passion regarding the outcome of the situation. Not zero passion… but probably less passion than you’re experiencing currently.
Consider how a doctor must remain unemotional and somewhat dispassionate. It’s not that doctors are completely uncaring. Certainly if they are doing surgery – they care about the outcome, they care about the patient, but make no mistake: a certain amount of DETACHMENT is required to be effective. In fact, it is common practice not have doctors operate on relatives and loved ones. Why? Because they are too close, too emotional, to remain detached enough to do the job efficiently.
And the same is true for us as sellers, too. Our attachment to the outcome, tend to make us less effective. For example when it comes to selling, the ultimate place you can get to is where the words YES and NO contain the same emotional charge. And this means being more dispassionate when it comes to selling your product, service, opportunity, and even yourself.
There is no denying that there is some part of us that will always be happier when we hear ‘yes.’ After all, we’re human! We will never be able to be totally dispassionate about some outcomes. But the goal is clearly to reach a point where the difference between the elation of hearing ‘YES’ and the deflation of hearing NO is minimized… even if it can’t be eliminated entirely.
Anyone can be happy and positive when things are going their way. That’s easy! The question is: What is your attitude… how do you respond… when the going gets tough? When things do not go the way you’d like?
In poker, for example, players call a few bad hands “going on tilt.” Players are in control when they’re playing well and luck is with them. The question is, how well can they play and control their emotions when things aren’t going their way. Can they avoid going on tilt? The question is, when things don’t go your way… especially for extended periods of time… can you keep yourself from GOING ON TILT?
A few years ago the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. What makes this noteworthy is the performance of Cardinal shortstop David Eckstein. In his first 11 plate appearances, Eckstein went 0-11. He didn’t get his first hit until late in the third game. But, then he got 8 hits in his next 11 at bats – ending up 8 for 22 with a .364 batting average and being named series MVP. Even when things looked bad… were bad… Eckstein managed to keep his emotional in check and not go on tilt.
If you allow your successes … your yeses… to define your self-esteem… or to allow each result, each piece of good or bad news, to influence your thoughts and actions… life will become an emotional roller coaster ride with serious ups and downs that over time will drive you into a downward spiral of thoughts and actions. And it’s a very difficult cycle to get out of.
To be effective you must learn to separate yourself from what other people think and say and decide regarding your product or service… but to do so without becoming cold and nonchalant toward them. This is of course easier said than done.
Ironically, one of the side benefits of selling with less emotion is that others are actually drawn to us by our perceived lack of concern about the outcome. Too much emotion comes across as desperation. And customers don’t see desperation as a good sign. It does not instill a level of confidence in you or in the product. Ironically that causes the customer to back away and you lose the sale.
So get excited about your mission, about your product, and about LIFE. Let that come through. But when it comes to the excitement regarding the customer’s decision… that is when you need to relax and let the “chips fall” where they may.
Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer.
Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW (Updated from a 2012 original post.)