Attitudes stem out of personalities of individuals and are the result of the choices they make; it is rather difficult to change them. However, in the context of the organization, it is important for employees, and particularly sales people, to have a positive mental attitude. This becomes essential if they need to be successful. Helping sales people develop a positive attitude is not easy but it does not mean that it is impossible. There are four key factors that are involved in attitude training.
The communicator who is providing the learning experience should be a person of substantial authority who will command the attention of his learners. The communicator should also be honest and trust-worthy for learners to completely accept and get engaged with training.
Secondly, the method that is adopted to help form an attitude also influences the extent to which the session is successful. A lecture method would be ineffective in achieving the desired results. Training has to be interactive and engaging to ensure maximum participant involvement.
The third factor is the sales person who is the learner in the program. The learner needs to be receptive and committed to learn and willing to accept the need for an attitude-shift for which the training is being imparted.
Lastly the environment in which the learning happens is equally important. If it is a classroom setting, the team dynamics and the interpersonal relationships play an important role. The instructor in this situation has to be sensitive while delivering his training program. If it is an eLearning or online program, the individual sensibilities and sensitivities have to be kept in mind while designing such courses.
Keeping these factors in mind, here are a few ideas that could be incorporated in a sales training program that could help in developing an attitude that is most conducive for a sales person.
Share stories or anecdotes about how a positive attitude changes situations: Everybody loves to hear interesting stories and anecdotes. Boring sessions suddenly become interesting when the trainer shares an anecdote or a story. Including interesting short stories that demonstrate the positive affect of acquiring a particular attitude could be very effective in bringing about an attitude change in an individual.
Give exercises to develop positive vocabulary: Learners need to be sensitized about the importance of building a positive vocabulary as a part of their daily practice. The power of positive affirmations has helped many to develop the necessary attitude to lead successful lives. Replacing statement such as “I better not be late for my appointment with my client” with “I reach on time for my appointment with my client”. Get your learners to list down what is called “toxic phrases” that they use on a regular basis and replace them with positive statements. Alternatively, you could provide a list of toxic phrases that are generally used in the sales domain and get participants to change them to positive statements.
Role plays and games: Role plays and games can be effectively used to reinforce the attitudes required for a sales person. Typically, role play situations can be something such as ‘difficult customers not willing to give appointment‘ or ‘addressing an sales obstacle‘. What are the various possibilities in which one can react to such typical situations? The best and perhaps the effective method could be highlighted during such role plays or games.
Attitude is not just positive thinking. It is the outlook that you wear perpetually on a regular basis. Helping learners develop an attitude that benefits them in their jobs will in turn benefit the organization in the long-run. As William James of Harvard University said “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude.”