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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

October 22, 2007 • Issue 07:10:02


Optimism is an inside job

As a merchant level salesperson (MLS), what motivates you to get up in the morning? What inspires you day in and day out to pound the pavement and meet or exceed your goals? Do you have a love for the road?

If you do, then you can't help but be successful. But, if you don't, and your CD player is playing the same sad song over and over, it's time to change the tune.

That inspirational song

Modifying your internal dialogue and focusing on the positive aspects of your job can change your perceptions and your actions, and thus your results.

When thinking about your goals, focus on what you did right, rather than what you did wrong or what you failed to do.

For example, if a competitor signed a prospect you had been pursuing, don't think of it as a failure. Instead, focus on the accounts you did sign, the services you did offer and the skills you honed while working that account.

Say it loud and proud

Next, take your positive thoughts a step further and verbalize them. Don't wait for others to recognize your achievements. Do it yourself. List them aloud. Don't worry if people stare at you, the crazy talking person.

Practice telling yourself what you did right. It can feel great to hear, out loud, that you accomplished something. Commend yourself on a job well done. Try it. A simple, "I did it," or, "I worked hard and made it happen," can go a long way.

Keep the rap positive

Remember to use these same tools when talking with potential clients. Perception is powerful. No matter what products or services you represent, ultimately, you are selling yourself, and you need to be your best PR agent.

Never offer others a reason to doubt you or your abilities. If you talk about how someone stole your account or won over your prospect, you are giving your competition free advertising. They didn't even have to work for it.

Stick with the facts. Focus on what you have accomplished and done well. When appropriate, discuss areas where you plan to improve, but don't lead with that information.

You would never sell a product by discussing the things it can't do, or the features it doesn't have. Why do the same for yourself?

Keep the rhythm up-tempo

We all get down from time to time. Even with a positive internal dialogue and an optimistic attitude, it can be tough to get back out there day after day, especially when the economy is slow.

We all need a little help to maintain an upbeat outlook. Fortunately, there are ways to keep thinking up-tempo and on the positive beat.

First, keep a file or log of things that motivate you. It can be an e-mail or a note from a colleague. It can be a magazine article. It may be a quote from a famous person or something an anonymous person said on the street. It may be a picture commemorating one of your accomplishments or a voice mail or text message from a friend. File these items, and refer to them when you need a mental boost.

Another way to stay positive is to employ the buddy system. A buddy is someone you can ask for help and support when needed. A buddy is also someone who holds you accountable.

He/she won't let you get away with negative thoughts or throw yourself a pity party. Find a colleague, mentor or friend whom you trust. This is a person in your corner, one who says, "Yes you can," when you are thinking, "Maybe I can't."

Nothin' but blue skies

To maintain the energy and optimism needed to thrive in sales, keep that positive tune always in your mind. end of article

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