Trump vs. Clinton: Lessons for sales people

Cartoonist, Joe Heller brilliantly summed up the two US political candidates in one cartoon. The major difference between Trump and Clinton according to that cartoon is, the former is pessimistic the latter is optimistic. Same issues. Different perspectives. How do you see or explain the world around you? Are you a “glass half- empty” or “glass half – full type of person?” The way you see or explain the world around you is really a matter of perception. Perception is what makes the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. Optimism is an essential ingredient for sales success. If you are a sales person who tends to see the world like Trump in the above cartoon, you may not last very long in the sales business. Imagine a scenario where you’re in a job in which you are able to determine your own remuneration package, plus you get to add value to customers on a daily basis. Your role is to help them know you have the solution to their problems. Sounds like an amazing opportunity, right? Until you pick up the first call and your receiver responds with a mean, resounding ‘No’! Or maybe ‘Not interested, thank you’! Would you pick up the phone and dial the next prospect? Optimism is what keeps you in the game. Benefits of optimism Optimism is the ability to overcome a setback. The result of a study carried out by an American psychologist, Martin Seligman proved optimism breeds success.  Applicants for a top sales role were required to pass an optimism test designed by the psychologist and a sales aptitude test designed by the company. Needless to say applicants who passed both tests went on to outperform those who only passed the aptitude test by 31% in sales. Apart from professional benefits, there are many benefits to being optimistic. Optimism improves your personal relationships, physical health, mental health, tendency to live longer, coping skills during stressful time, and more. Research have shown that positive attitude reduces the effect of a stressful or negative experience. A positive point of view is a significant indicator of resilience People are more likely to respond to a positive person than they would a pessimist. Even the ending to a Hollywood movie can have an impact on the way people would receive it. For example the 2016 romantic movie ‘Me before You’ was badly criticised and heavily protested in US and Australia because of its sad ending. Critics believed it portrayed disabled people as burdensome and having no hope. On the other hand, ‘Life of Pie’ and ‘Silver Linings’ had many positive ratings because the ending showed the major characters: Bradley Cooper (as Patrizio Solitano Jr) and Pi striving to maintain a positive attitude regardless of their circumstances. Anyone can learn to have a positive attitude A positive attitude is a habit anyone can learn. Our mindset is the starting point. You can choose to start your day with a positive outlook. A wise woman Joyce Meyer once said: “A negative mind and a mouth will produce negative moods, attitudes and in all probability, a miserable day. But the positive approach of setting your mind in an uplifting direction, will also have a good effect on you and your entire day.”