In a recent sales training class on prospecting, I wrapped up the session with three important keys to the mental side of selling. They are:
1. Keep positive people around you, not negative;
2. Commit to learning because it makes you more confident and;
3. Access experts when you need them. No one can know everything.
The three keys are not earth-shattering but they are supported by extensive research on high achievers. (Martin Seligman, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, has done a lot of work in this area and the science of happiness.
I was surprised and shocked on how many students identified with having negative people in their lives. Literally, the room was electric when I brought up this topic. It really needed its own class so I thought a more in-depth look at the issue was warranted.
First, how do you define someone who is toxic?
If the person always makes you feel depressed, angry or just plain tired. Think about this person. Are they always complaining or expecting something to go wrong. These types of people can be toxic. What happens if this toxic person is a co-worker or family member or even a long-time friend? Toxic co-workers can be more easily fixed than family members and friends.
Ultimately, the answer is that you can’t change the other person’s behavior, but you can change your own. If someone you know always triggers depression, anger or tiredness in you, examine how you can change your reactions when the negativity starts and see if changing your reaction helps. If your reaction doesn’t help the problem or you can’t make such a change, find a way to reduce the individual’s presence in your life. It will be good for your sales performance and good for your well-being.
I am not saying that this is easy, but the sooner you reduce exposure to toxic individuals, the better you will feel. As one top producer said to me during one of our research studies, “once I addressed the toxic people around me, it made all the difference in my success.”