Savvy professionals understand two things: occasional failure is inevitable and long term success is not random. In his recent article for LinkedIn Pulse, Signs You’re Successful – Even If It Doesn’t Feel Like It, Dr. Travis Bradberry cites a study by Strayer University in which the majority of respondents defined success as “good relationships with friends and family,” and loving what you do for a living. Think of the most successful sales professionals you know. Chances are they enjoy strong customer relationships and love what they do for a living! How can the rest of us harness that kind of success? Here are six behaviors and attitudes identified by Bradberry that have particular relevance to success as a sales professional:
Stay positive. Hope and optimism are hallmarks of happiness and success. Always seeing the bright side and believing you have the power to make a bad situation better facilitates resilience and perseverance. Bradberry points out that this resilience is key to our success and often leads to our biggest breakthroughs since the dynamic of being resilient in tough situations forces us to think outside of the box.
Know that failure isn’t forever. Every professional endures failure, but failing isn’t the same as being a failure. Mistakes pave the way for success by revealing when we are on the wrong path. Embrace failures as an opportunity to learn and then move on.
Keep things in perspective. Bradberry encourages us to compare our “problems” with more fundamental challenges, like not having enough to eat or surviving a civil war. Keeping our problems in perspective prevents them from becoming overwhelming and keeps us empowered to find solutions.
Ask for help when you need it. No one succeeds alone. Refusing to ask for help when you genuinely need it is a sign of emotional immaturity, and doing so undermines your and your organization’s broader objective.
Realize that life isn’t a zero-sum game. Someone else’s achievement doesn’t equate to a loss of equal proportion for you (unless it’s your competitor). Successful people are secure enough to celebrate others’ achievements with sincerity and smart enough to observe and learn from the success of others.
Accept what you can and cannot change. There is a difference between pessimism and practicality. Bradberry uses the example of a hurricane: If there’s a hurricane headed your way (or corporate downsizing), there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. Only after you accept the reality of an unavoidable situation can you start working to mitigate its effect. How you respond to these events is both your responsibility and opportunity.
Leveraging these habits and attitudes can help to drive your own long-term success as a sales professional. You can read Bradberry’s full article here: Signs You’re Successful—Even If It Doesn’t Feel Like It