What do gasoline and enthusiasm have in common?
They both give us the power to drive us forward. In an engine, gasoline is ignited, unleashing the power to drive our vehicles. In much the same way enthusiasm — properly ignited –drives us forward in our business, in our relationships and in our lives.
Enthusiasm is the number one predictor of sales success. I’ll choose enthusiasm over any other character trait. Intelligence, talent and hard work are of lesser value on their own. Mix in some enthusiasm, and now you’ve got a potent mix! Enthusiasm breeds greatness. As an example, think about the people you know who have accomplished great things. Chances are, they all share an enthusiastic zeal for what they do.
“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your objective. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Don’t confuse enthusiasm with excitement. Excitement is that heart palpitation you feel at the stadium after seeing a bottom-of-the-ninth walk off home run. Enthusiasm is that inner drive you feel when driven to become a baseball player. Enthusiasm is excitement, supercharged with inspiration, motivation and determination.
Enthusiasm is powerful stuff and can power you to success. It also powers the physical body. Enthusiastic salespeople have lower blood pressure and resting heart rates. They tend to be happier, healthier and feel more fulfilled. Fortunately, enthusiasm is contagious; it tends to rub off on people.
So how do we get more of this tonic we call enthusiasm? Here’s an Enthusiastic Six List to help you dig down deep and generate some more enthusiasm for yourself.
1. Know your products and services up and down, inside and out. Product knowledge means understanding everything about them so you can handle anything that a prospect or client throws at you. It means you have an intimate knowledge of how it works, its features, its benefits, and how what you sell is presented in brochures and on websites. It means that you listen to clients so you can understand how your products and services benefit them. Product and service knowledge gives you self-confidence that comes across as genuine passion and enthusiasm for what you sell.
2. Know your company. Know its history, core beliefs and values. Understand and live the mission. Know what it means to be world class in your industry and how clients benefit from your value proposition. Know your best clients, understand how they benefit from your products and services, and why they keep coming back to you. As you learn you will develop a new appreciation for the company that will come across as enthusiasm for what you do. You will become a walking testimonial as to why new clients should work with you.
3. Share the power. Every product and service you sell has created powerful results that have changed your client’s business – even their lives. You need to be able to tell these stories in compelling ways. Take a minute and write down your company’s top five client success stories. Focus each story on how your product or service enabled your client to reach his business or personal goals. After you get the stories down on paper, go ahead and practice telling them over and over again. Tell them to your colleagues at work, tell them to your boss, tell them to your prospects, tell them to your clients. Success breeds success and potential and current clients want to know how your company has benefited other companies.
4. Personal pep talks. Successful people create a vision of what success looks like to them. Then they break that vision down into specific goals that drive their day-to-day activities. Goals create enthusiasm. Imagine how excited a child is on Monday morning when he knows he’s going to Disneyland over the weekend.
During their daily toil successful selling professionals experience the ruts and rejections that all of us do. Sales is not for the feint of heart. To succeed you have to be able to handle rejection on a regular basis. Rejection is no fun and can kill enthusiasm. That’s why personal pep talks are so important.
Psychologists tell us that we have an inner dialogue 80% of the time and that talking to ourselves in the positive can have a tremendous impact on our mood, energy and self-confidence. During your personal pep talks lean on your vision of success to generate the get-up-and-go you need to realize your vision. Successful people constantly tell themselves how good they are throughout the day. Talk yourself into rising above the challenge and going for greatness.
5. Fake it ’til you make it. Action and feeling are intertwined. Have you ever felt really tired during the middle of the day and then went out to get some exercise? Usually the exercise reinvigorates and re-energizes you. That’s why doctors recommend exercise for people who are feeling blue. A great way to overcome lethargy or a bad mood is to muster some get-up-and-go. Many times when you act enthusiastic or happy, the genuine feelings follow.
A corollary to “fake it ’til you make it” is “think it and you’ll be it.” Cognitive psychologists tell us that the best way to change our feelings about what we’re doing is to change the way we think about what we’re doing. The brain tells the body how to feel and the body acts accordingly. It’s true, we can direct our own feelings and our outlook on life by changing our thoughts. Next time you feel down and out change your thought process and see what happens. Think about the positives of your situation. Think about attaining your goals and see what happens. You do have the power to change the way you are and future outcomes by adopting a more positive thought process.
6. Get in shape. Mustering enthusiasm is so much easier when you’re feeling good and your energy is high. Your body is a temple and there really is no substitute to regular exercise, eating well and sleeping well. We’re not talking about running a marathon…a 20-minute walk will do just fine. When you’re body is feeling good, your mood will usually follow.
People gravitate toward those who radiate enthusiasm and bring with them unique opportunities and valuable resources. Today, strive to be a person of enthusiasm by using one of the Enthusiastic Six from the list above and see what happens. Chances are you will feel better about yourself and that feeling of well being will generate even more enthusiasm.
“If you’re not fired with enthusiasm, then you’ll be fired with enthusiasm!”
~ Vince Lombardi