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Finding and Keeping the Right Mental Attitude

Selling is a transference of feeling.  It is important that salespeople keep their attitude in a positive frame.  Here are some specific action steps for you to take in developing the right attitude:

Number One: Accept the fact that you can control your attitude.

Number Two: Make the commitment to do whatever is necessary to take control of your attitude.

Number Three: Evaluate each book, television program, movie, video and game before you actually start reading, viewing or playing it with a question: “Is this going to help me in my personal, family, or business life, or is there a better use I could make of this time to advance my personal, family, and business life?”

Number Four: Learn one new word each day. In less than five minutes per day you can get amazing results. The average American learns only twenty-five new words each year and actually has a speaking vocabulary of five hundred words. One new word per day will mean that in one year you will have a “distinct advantage” over most people with whom you’re dealing; within five years you will have a colossal advantage—not because you know the words but because those words give you a breadth and depth of understanding that will enrich your life in every way. Plus there is more good news: Every word has several “buddies”; when you learn one new word, you’ve just expanded your vocabulary by several more.

The International Paper Company has conclusively proven that your income and your vocabulary have a direct correlation. At age thirty-seven, Vince Robert (a fifth-grade dropout) of Ottawa, Canada, was a taxi driver. He spent many hours each day waiting for fares at hotels and airports. One day he was overtaken with inspiration and bought a “twenty-pound dictionary.” Vince put it on the seat beside him in his taxi and started learning those words. His knowledge increased so much, along with his confidence, that he started investing in the stock market. Bottom line—he bought the eighteen-car cab company. Today he lectures to people on how to become successful. One word a day will make a difference, a dramatic difference, in your personal, family, and sales life.

Number Five: Read something of value to you personally and professionally for at least twenty minutes every day—something that is informative, inspiring, and educational. If you’re an average reader (reading 220 words a minute), in one year you will have read twenty 200-page books. The average American reads only two new books each year, so competitively speaking you will have another colossal advantage. You will be in a tremendous position to knowledgeably advise your prospects about the proper course of action to take for their own benefit.

Think of the enormous competitive advantage you will have. Your reading might relate to your profession, personal growth and development, psychology and human nature, or just about any subject you determine is beneficial to you.

Number Six: Turn your car into the University of Automobile—or Automobile University. Sales trainer Don Hutson says that the typical professional salesperson spends over five hundred hours each year in an automobile. That’s roughly ten hours each week. In ten hours a week you can become the consummate sales professional while you’re in your car. You can master the art of handling objections, prospecting, being persuasive, building presentations, and working with every conceivable sales close known to mankind. You can build an extensive vocabulary, learn a foreign language, acquire communication skills, or even become an expert on the Bible.

Innumerable sources for acquiring this material range from the public libraries and universities to scores of companies that specialize in providing up-to-date, highly informative, and motivational recordings, to say nothing of what’s available on the Internet.. This obviously includes our own company. As a visiting scholar for two years at the University of Southern California, I learned of a study revealing that if you live in a metropolitan area and drive 12,000 miles each year, in three years’ time you can acquire the equivalent of two years of college education while you’re in your automobile. If you can read even at the fifth-grade level, there is literally no excuse for not acquiring a marvelous education.

By far the most important benefit of listening while you’re in your car is the pure motivational impact you will receive. For years salespeople have told me that between calls they would pop in one of my tapes and immediately receive quite a “lift.” Frankly, I always thought they were talking about a psychological lift, but in addition to the psychological lift, they receive a physiological lift.

To achieve the best results from what I’m talking about, start every day by listening to an exciting motivational recording. Psychologists say that the first significant encounter each day has more influence on attitude than the next five people encountered. If you’ve spent anywhere from five to thirty minutes listening to something that turns you on, you’re ready to make that call. The next best time to listen, from a sheer energy point of view, is after lunch. This makes certain those endorphins are hoppin’ again, and your energy level and creativity are high.

Reinforce this each evening just before you turn those lights out by reading something encouraging and educational. The last thing that goes into your subconscious mind each night is the data and information that your subconscious mind will mull over while you sleep. The proper information really can make a difference in your career.

Number Seven: Choose your associates carefully. Several years ago the Los Angeles Times did a study on some phenomenally successful people and discovered one of the things they had in common: At some point in their careers they consciously made a decision to upgrade the people with whom they were working, spending time socially, and hobnobbing in general. They all said this was an essential factor in their success. For that reason, I encourage you to think carefully on this subject.

This article was adapted from Zig Ziglar’s book, Ziglar on Selling.  Zig was known as America’s Motivator.  He authored 32 books and produced numerous training programs.  He will be remembered as a man who lived out his faith daily.


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