written by
Howard OIsen

Don't Confuse A Positive Attitude With A Sales Attitude - They Connected But Different

Attitude Sales Belief Confidence 7 min read

I think it's fair to say that we all want to achieve maximum success. But here's the thing, do not confuse a positive attitude with a positive selling attitude. They are very different things. You know, a positive attitude is important. I mean the glass is half full. Always looking at the optimistic side of things, always finding the silver lining on the cloud. Now that's a really important state of mind to have, but that is very different from having a positive proactive sales attitude. And I want to help you understand this through the lens of telling you a story about a guy named Ben Feldman. Listen, I just came back from a three week a speaking tour across Africa and I had a great time inspiring audiences and helping them think about sales and business development and a brand new way. But the thing that kept coming back to me that I kept noticing over and over again was a lack of confidence.

A Positive Attitude and A Sales Attitude Are Closely Related But Very Different

Now these were people with incredibly positive attitudes, but they were lacking confidence. And listen, here's the thing. If you don't believe in what you're doing, no one else is going to believe in what you're doing. You can have a positive attitude and still have a lack of belief. Let me tell you about Ben Feldman. Okay, Ben Feldman is the legendary insurance salesman who's been written up in the Guinness Book of World Records as the greatest salesman in the world. Now, he died in 1995 and he's still there. Let me tell you about this guy. Ben Feldman is regarded as the greatest salesman who ever lived. He made his career selling life insurance one on one to individuals using what has come to be called the Feldman method. I want you to take notice of that word method. Write it down, put a circle around it and stamp it into your mind.

If you don't believe in what you're doing, no one else will believe in what you're doing.

During his very best years, Feldman was selling $100 million worth the life insurance one on one every single year. Now I'm not even talking group benefits programs, individual policies to individuals. Why had the opportunity to interview him many, many years ago and we asked him what's the, what's the toughest sale you ever made And he responded.

it was to the chief executive officer of a major corporation who kept insisting he was way too busy to see a life insurance guy. Let me ask you something. You ever had a customer say, I'm too busy for this or a prospect say I'm too busy, I haven't got time, this doesn't interest me? Well, Feldman understood that he could change this guy's financial world if he only got a few minutes to sit down and talk with him. So he walked up to the administrative assistant, gave her an envelope with five $100 bills in and said, listen, just give me five minutes on the man's calendar. Now I am not suggesting that you need to bribe your way into meetings or buy your way into meetings. And, and to be clear, Feldman was not buying favor. He simply understood that if he gets in front of this guy, so he said, listen, just get me on the calendar for a five minute meeting and if the guy blows me out five minutes later, I promise you I'll never bothered him it yet. But this guy's conviction was so strong, he knew so well what he did and how he helped people that he would move mountains to get the opportunity to share it with them. Well, the story goes on. He did get in and eventually sold this executive $50 million with the life insurance, and in fact, as the story goes, by the time it was done, the CEO had agreed that he could use $100 million and was prepared to buy a hundred million dollar policy. The problem was the underwriters wouldn't grant it. They don't like $100 million walking around in one pair of shoes. They'd rather have it walking around in one in a hundred pairs of shoes. That's called diversification of risk, but the guy ended up buying $50 million in the life insurance.

We asked him a second question, what's the greatest sale you ever made Feldman was 71 at the time and his answer was, I don't know, I haven't made it yet. Listen, what did this guy have Well, there's a couple of clues here. One, he had a method. He had a system. The way that he approached clients was not random, sporadic or haphazard. He had a system, and I can teach you that system, but secondarily, I want you to think about his tenacity and his self belief. Men, this guy has such an incredible self belief. He understood so well what he was capable of doing and what he wanted to do.

There is a very big and distinct difference between arrogance and confidence, but you know when you have confidence in what you do and you walk with the humility to want to serve, humility and confidence actually should and must in fact coexist.

He had a heart to serve others and he was so determined that he would help others, that he would do whatever every had to do. This guy had an incredible level of self belief. Now I'm not talking arrogance. There is a very big and distinct difference between arrogance and confidence, but you know when you have confidence in what you do and you walk with the humility to want to serve, humility and confidence actually should and must in fct coexist. You can walk strong and in humility and do that simultaneously. Feldman's self belief was so strong that everybody could smell it, see it and taste it, and he would never have to tell them that he had it. And the same will be true for you. Listen, if you're a, when you're out there doing business, I'm talking about a sales attitude here. Oh, winning, selling attitude.

Now you can have a positive attitude, but if you don't have this level of self belief; a belief that you can genuinely change the world of those you interact with, that you can genuinely add value to them you're dead iin the water with a pile of competitors. But listen, if this is true, you need to walk strong in that confidence because when you do, people will be attracted to that strong confidence, not arrogance, big difference. But when you have a heart to serve and you're confident that you're able to, they will see it, they will smell it and they will taste it oozing out of you and you'll never have to say it. And that is very attractive. And before we even get into process, it's your sales attitude that will pave the way. It's all the things that you think about before you get to the meeting. It's all of your self-talk before you get to the meeting, and I've seen sales reps talk themselves in and out of a sale 15 times before they even picked up the phone to book an appointment. It's tragic. Sales that should have been rightfully theirs - g o n e - simply because of their poor belief system.

Listen to the conversations you have with yourself - they are probably the most important conversation you have. Develop a strong sales attitude and just a little tip from me. This is how I've approached it my entire career. I just want to get in front of them to show them how much I want to help them and determine whether or not I actually can help them. And if I can, we're going to figure out how to make this happen. My only goal is to genuinely help them with their situation. You believe that, you talk that to yourself, you get your mind focused on that and you've already won three quarters of the battle, I promise you! Stick around. Next tip, we're going to get into some procedure. We're going to get into that whole issue of method, but your first method is get in the game before you even go to the game. Don't confuse positive attitude with a positive selling attitude. Develop that and you're almost home free.

value selling Attitude sales strategy Belief systems