How to Stop Negative Thinking and Make More Sales

Jeff Osness

April 9, 2024

10 min

Table of Contents

Mindset has such a big impact on sales success.

Unfortunately, it’s quite easy to fall into the trap of negative thinking, especially if you’re just starting out, or if your numbers aren't where you' want them to be.

No one wants to find themselves in that situation. But if we're being realistic, it happens to everybody.

The good news, is that there are a number of things you can do to prevent negative thoughts from arising. Or, to combat and turn them around when they do.

Next time you're battling negative thoughts, remind yourself of these 8 tips:

1. Don't Compare Yourself

One of the most common reasons for negative thinking in sales is the comparison trap. This happens when you begin comparing yourself to a more successful coworker or coworkers. Instead of seeing yourself relative to others, focus on yourself and your overall (not week to week, or even month to month) trajectory.

When you do see others succeed, celebrate them, learn from them, and use them as positive motivation to drive your own sales efforts.

2. Say "No" to Negativity

Negative thinking is often reinforced by more negative thinking, ultimately creating a feedback loop that results in failure. While some people wallow in their negativity, smart salespeople commit themselves to doing just the opposite - staying positive.

Try doing things throughout the day to keep yourself in a positive mindset when you're not selling. Smile at coworkers, treat others with kindness, listen to music, exercise. And tell yourself, "I've got this."

You’re likely to carry that positivity into your sales calls and meetings.

3. Be Realistic

Sales professionals are often very goal-oriented individuals, and while drive and determination are helpful assets in sales, the unfortunate side effect can be setting unrealistic expectations. If you find yourself slipping into negative thinking, take a moment to analyze self-imposed expectations of yourself and others. You may find that you’re doing a lot better than you thought you were when you examine things through a realistic lens.

4. Embrace Fluctuation

Some negative thinking is justified. Most of it is not.

Just because you're off your high, or behind on quota, or *gasp* having your worst month of the year doesn't mean anything is wrong. One month has to be the worst, right?

Fluctuations are totally normal! They happen for all kinds of reasons. Rather than letting yourself get caught up in fluctuations, expect them. Embrace them.

There's always peaks and valleys.

5. Track Success Over Time

It can help to track your success over time so you can put dips in performance in perspective.

This process allows you to magnify the gains you’ve made over time while keeping you honest with respect to when and where improvements can be made. Focus on multiple metrics as opposed to just closed deals to get a complete picture of your input and output.

6. Revisit Your Script

Negative thinking often pops up when you keep doing the same thing over and over again with little-to-no success. Whether your results have actually dropped, or it's just your confidence, revisiting your script(s) can be the spark you need to move sales conversations in a positive direction.

7. Work Harder

Few things combat negative thinking better than working hard. If you're feeling down, double-down on your efforts. Make more calls. Send more emails. Study the fundamentals. Read sales books. Watch motivational videos. Procrastination won't make you feel better. Effort will.

8. Ask for Help

If things just aren't clicking, ask for help. Sometimes, simply having an experienced professional share his or her own experiences can help change your perspective and stem the tide of negativity.  Or, they can give you pointed suggestions to combat actual problems that may have arisen within your pitch.

Either way, you'll be in a better position going forward.

Remember, everyone goes through ups and downs in sales. What's important is utilizing the resources you have at your disposal to make adjustments.

Stop Negative Thinking

Negative thinking can quickly take over and pull you into a bona-fide slump if you don't address it. Or, it can be a blip on the radar - quickly replaced by your next boost of confidence and results.

These 8 tips will help you combat negative thinking and get you back to the business of selling effectively.

  • Stop comparing yourself
  • Don't let negativity breed negativity
  • Be realistic
  • Embrace fluctuations
  • Chart your success
  • Work on your script
  • Double down on effort
  • Get help from a mentor

What's your best tip to combat negative thinking?

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