A happy team makes for a successful team. In terms of sales teams, research suggests that happier people make 37% more sales! And most companies I know could quite happily use a 37% upturn in sales revenues!
The key here is that happiness MUST be present before those higher sales can be achieved, not the other way round. It’s no good someone who sells saying “When I sell loads more widgets I’ll be happy” or “When I hit my sales target I’ll feel great”. You might get a mini high doing it that way round - but it will quickly fade!
It works like this...
To be great at selling, you need to generate a positive, happiness-based mindset first. Extra sales will then follow. Harvard calls this the 'happiness advantage' – do you have it? What about your team?
OK, you could now be thinking 'show me to the happy store and I’ll (happily) go and buy some'. Well it’s not quite that simple. But neither is it that hard.
It’s about what YOU personally (and your team) can do to improve your/their happiness levels – and it’s about what your company can do too.
Increasing your happiness...what can companies do?
If you work for a company, or you ARE the company, there’s a whole set of measures that should be present to increase the happiness levels of whoever does your selling.
The Gallop organisation, having conducted research over 30 years, identify these crucial factors (amongst others) that staff enjoy to make it a great company to work for...
- They know what is expected of them (apparently up to 70% of employees are not clear about what is expected of them)
- They are able to use their talents every day
- They receive recognition or praise for good work
- They know that someone at work cares about them as a person
- They have the opportunity to learn and grow
- They work for a company whose mission makes them feel like their work is important
- They have their ideas listened to
No mention of pay by the way – and notice how little these measures would cost to implement. Ignore this list and good sales people will leave, or be chronically unhappy. Either way, sales suffer.
Increasing your happiness...what can you do?
On a personal level you can train your brain in much the same way as you exercise your other muscles. Even seasoned adults can develop new habits and ultimately rewire the brain. You can influence your personal, inner level of happiness via for example the habits you cultivate, how you interact, how you manage stress.
There’s lots of research on the importance of happiness, which is thankfully taking the debate from 'woo woo' land to making a serious contribution to corporate policy. I was particularly struck by research exercises conducted by Shawn Accor (Havard Business Review), who concluded that engaging in one brief positive exercise every day for as little as three weeks can have a lasting impact.
I repeat (and fully endorse) his 'instructions' here...
Choose one of the following five activities:
1. Jot down three things you are grateful for
2. Write a positive message to someone in your social support network
3. Meditate at your desk for two minutes
4. Exercise for ten minutes
5. Take two minutes to describe in a journal the most meaningful experience of the last 24 hours
Perform your chosen activity every day for three weeks.
If you achieve the results Shawn Accor achieved with his group, you’ll become significantly happier – and stay that way for months after you stop doing the exercise (why stop anyway?)
And that’s by just doing ONE of those activities.
Try it - get your team to try it. You'll get more sales!
The psychology of selling.
Until next time.
By Leigh Ashton, author of iSell, a speaker, trainer and coach, founder The Sales Consultancy She helps people incorporate psychology alongside technical selling skills – leading to positive changes in attitude, approach and sales results. Leigh has trained thousands of sales professionals and her findings remain consistent. Even when outwardly confident, people often lack the inner confidence and practical strategies to achieve great sales results on a consistent basis. She works with sales teams, business owners, directors and managers to identify and eliminate psychological barriers within sales teams and the reasons or excuses used to rationalise their lack of consistently great sales.