Are You Too Positive?

May 22nd, 2013

Too Positive for Your SalesIf you’re like most salespeople—and most salespeople are—you’re pretty positive. The same is true if you’re a business owner or CEO. You tend to be goal-oriented, you see the potential upside in situations, you take risks in order to seize opportunities, you tend to move toward those outcomes that bring you pleasure and satisfaction.

As a result, you tend to sell positively. You discuss features and benefits, you show how your product or service will help your prospect achieve better results and you paint a picture of how their life or business will be improved.

There’s one problem with this approach: It doesn’t work half the time.

That’s right. As hard as it may be to believe, not everyone is as positive as you are. In fact, approximately half the population are negative thinkers. They’re security-oriented, they see the potential downside in situations, they pass up opportunities in order to avoid risk, they tend to move away from those outcomes that bring them pain and discomfort. (Sound like anyone you know?)

Your challenge is that you can’t use a positive sales approach with a negative person. They can’t appreciate the benefits you’re describing because they’re too focused on the costs and risks. They can’t see the picture of their bright future you’ve painted because all they can imagine is a future where everything has gone wrong.

So how do you sell to a negative thinker? Negatively.

Yep, you have to do a 180. Focus on what resonates with them.

Alert them to the dangers of doing nothing. Warn them of the downside of choosing an inferior product or service. Explain how your offering reduces their risks and safeguards what they already have.

Don’t talk about how your product or service helps them to get more of what they want, talk about how it helps them to have less of what they don’t want. Don’t show them how it enables them to move toward a goal they desire, show them how it enables them to move away from an outcome they fear.

How can you tell if your prospect is a negative thinker? Listen to what they say when you conduct your needs analysis. Do they have a hard time describing their goals, but gush about their challenges? Do they have a lot of concerns and worries? Do they frown more than they smile? Have they been putting off action on this issue for a long time? Bingo, they’re negative.

Let me be clear: that’s not a bad thing. It’s just the way they are. In fact there’s value in negative thinking. (My friend Craig Price has a great book on the subject: Half a Glass: The Realist’s Guide.) It simply seems alien to those of us who are positive thinkers. Just as our focus on the positive seems alien to them.

Which means, if we want to boost our sales, we need to adapt to their way of thinking. For most salespeople, selling negatively takes practice, because it doesn’t come naturally to us. But if you work at it, I’m positive you can succeed at it.

Four Beliefs That Are Crippling Your Sales

May 8th, 2013

Beliefs That Are Crippling Your SalesIf your sales aren’t as strong as you’d like them to be, there’s a good chance your belief system is a big part of the problem. Specifically, there are four beliefs that are pounded into us—by well-meaning but misguided people—which hamstring our ability to sell effectively.

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price. In this twelve-minute segment, I reveal what these beliefs are, where they come from, and how you can rid yourself of their negative influence so you can dramatically boost your sales!

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

Four Beliefs That Are Crippling Your Sales: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (which I highly recommend), check out

Great Thoughts on Sales, Business and Success VII

May 2nd, 2013

Great quotations can enlighten, educate, entertain, even embolden. Here’s another round of my favorites.

“Selling is our No. 1 job. Never get away from selling a lot of merchandise personally. The more you sell the more you learn.” —James Cash Penney

“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”    —Richard Branson

“The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you’re playing by somebody else’s rules, while quietly playing by your own.” —Michael Korda

“Powerful people respond to other powerful people. Recognize and use your personal power.” —Deborah Torchia

“If in the last few years you haven’t discarded a major opinion or acquired a new one, check your pulse. You may be dead.” —Gelett Burgess

“Treat every customer as if they sign your paycheck…because they do.”        —Lana Calloway

“The bitterness of poor workmanship remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.” —Howard Aiken

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” —Malcolm Gladwell

“Once you discover who you really are, you are no longer willing to be who you are not.” —Bridget Haymond

“The essential element of successful strategy is that it derives its success from the differences between competitors with a consequent difference in their behavior. Ordinarily, this means that any corporate policy and plan which is typical of the industry is doomed to mediocrity.” —Bruce Henderson

“They can conquer who believe they can.” —Virgil

“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.” —Mae Jemison

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” —Joseph Chilton Pearce

“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” —Albert Einstein

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”               —Andrew Carnegie

“Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it with use.” —Ruth Gordon

“Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.” —Tom Peters

“There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.”               —Russian Proverb

“For every sale you miss because you’re too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you’re not enthusiastic enough.” —Zig Ziglar

“If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.” —Charles Kettering

“Not failure, but low aim, is crime.” —James Russell Lowell

“I would rather stay positive and get 50 percent good results, than stay negative and get 100 percent bad results!” —Joyce Meyer

“There can be more than one right answer.” —Dewitt Jones

“A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in on the experience.” —Elbert Hubbard

“Action is the foundation key to all success.” —Pablo Picasso

“It’s never too late, in fiction or in life, to revise.” —Nancy Thayer

“You’ll never make it great at anything by playing it safe.” —Fats Brown (Jonathan Winters), The Twilight Zone—“A Game of Pool”

“Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can.” —Willis Whitney

“If you can’t sell what you do, you can’t do what you sell.” —Don Cooper

For more of my favorite quotations, check out Great Thoughts on Sales, Business and Success Volume I, Volume II, Volume III, Volume IV, Volume V and Volume VI.

What are some of your favorite quotations? Leave them in the comments section below!