Economic forecasts are an interesting thing to consider. Exactly 3 weeks ago, I read several forecasts that stated that the market was indeed recovering and that the total annualized home sales volume was going to exceed approximately 5.7 million units. Today, I’ve read that May was down 25 – 30% in some markets and that, nationally, we will be looking at an ‘L’ shaped recover with growing inventory levels and increased pricing pressures. In fact, several authors who extolled the virtues and promise of the home buyers tax credit were now questioning its value and the negative ‘pull ahead’ impact the tax credit will have on sales in July and August. So, what are we to think about the remainder of the year?
My thought: It doesn’t matter – Keep Selling.
It is important that we know what is happening in our industry and to remain aware of what others are saying to our potential customers – so continuing to read and educate oneself is always good. But, don’t allow external forces determine your success. I’ve know many sales professionals who have done well in down times and I’ve known many more sales people who have done poorly in good times. The difference is always in the person and their attitude.
Long ago, I had a sales and training manager who broke my sales development into three areas: knowledge, techniques and attitude. Knowledge included market conditions, competitors value props, trends, and products. Techniques included communication skills, presentation skills, negotiation skills, and conflict resolution skills. Both knowledge and techniques were tangible and easy to translate/teach/track. But attitude? How do you know if you have a good attitude or a bad attitude and who is to judge?
What I have witnessed in myself and others is that attitude, in sales, is simply the reflection of your work habits and work ethic. Strong work habits and a productive work ethic is the reflection of a good attitude. Poor habits and a lazy work ethic reflect a bad attitude.
My old manager use to say “your attitude will determine your altitude.” Don’t worry about what the others say and just keep working hard – the results will show for themselves.
That advice seems as good to me today as it did then.