By Jeff Shore
Increased Optimism
Let me start this discussion with a quote from Nobel Prize winner and founder of behavioral economics, Daniel Kahneman:

“Optimistic people play a disproportionate role in shaping our lives. Their decisions make a difference; they are inventors, entrepreneurs, political and military leaders – not average people. They got to where they are by seeking challenges and taking risks.”

Kahneman does not specifically talk about sales professionals here, but I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to include them on that list.

In fact, the very best sales professionals are profound optimists. Some would even say it’s a prerequisite for the job.

The fact is, we all typically respond favorably to optimistic people.

Not only do we follow optimists, but we do so enthusiastically.

Optimism has a contagious nature to it. We feel the positive vibe and we tend to adopt it ourselves.

Most importantly, optimism gives us confidence. We look at optimistic people and assume there’s a reason for their positive outlook.

So, with that in mind, let’s look at three specific ways that you can increase your own optimism. Because you’ve got to embrace it first before you can share it with your customer!

1. Begin with a gratitude inventory.

An increasingly large body of research suggests that an attitude of active gratitude does more than anything else to increase your positive energy.

There’s actually a chemical reaction in the brain that releases happiness hormones like oxytocin whenever you practice gratitude. Plus, that same attitude of gratitude simultaneously reduces stress hormones like cortisol – so it’s a double win!

2. Get outside yourself.

Zig Ziglar once said it’s impossible to do something kind for someone else without feeling better yourself.

Serving others (yes, including your customers) provides you with a powerful mental boost. So, if you want to feel more optimistic…go do something nice for someone!

3. Feed your brain.

There is a never-ending inventory of resources that can help you maintain your optimistic spirit. Consider a regular diet consisting of:

  • Uplifting podcasts
  • Motivational blogs
  • Inspirational speeches or Ted Talks on YouTube
  • Mental snacks from your favorite books

Making the choice to feed your brain with positive inputs also means making the choice to avoid negative inputs. Be mindful about how much time you spend stewing in politics, problems and the general nastiness that pervades pop culture today. Look, I’m not telling you to shut out the world — be smart and stay informed, but make sure you invest way more time in the positive things you can control than you do in the negative things you can’t control.

Finally, always remember that the ultimate beneficiaries of your positive optimism are those around you – including your customers. You owe it to your prospects to be the most positive and optimistic person you can be. Because that’s when you earn the chance to change their world…