8 Ways Attitude Can Overcome Aptitude

8 Ways Attitude Can Overcome Aptitude


I have been a passionate motivational speaker and teacher for more than three decades. The following are some guidelines I developed and have often shared with individuals to aid their efforts at salesmanship, but these can be applied to everyone’s situation, really.

8 Ways Attitude Can Overcome Aptitude



The 80/20 rule is as applicable to individual salespeople as it is to a large sales force. Fully 80 percent of your success as a salesperson will be determined by your attitude and only 20 percent by your aptitude. Some people feel that attitude is 90 percent of success in all human endeavors involving other people, but we quite comfortably use 80 percent as the figure.



A positive mental attitude, or a constructive and optimistic way of looking at yourself and your work, goes hand in hand with sales success in every field and in every market. The development of this unshakable attitude of cheerfulness and enthusiasm is your springboard to greatness as a salesperson, no matter what is going on around you.


The 20 percent of sales effectiveness that comes from product knowledge and professional selling skills is terribly important as well. It is only when you are thoroughly knowledgeable about what you are selling and thoroughly skillful in your ability to present it effectively that you develop the calmness and confidence upon which a positive mental attitude depends.



The quality of your thinking determines the quality of your life. If you improve the quality of your thinking, in any area, you improve the quality of your life in that area. By using your mind, your ability to think, you become a creator of circumstances rather than a creature of circumstances. You move from being powerless to being powerful. You determine everything that happens to you by the way you think about it, in advance. You might not be what you think you are, but what you think, you are!



The most rapid and positive changes in your personality and your sales results come about when you change your thinking about yourself and your possibilities. When you reprogram your subconscious mind so you feel a sense of unshakable optimism and self-confidence, every part of your life begins improving immediately. As William James of Harvard wrote in 1905, “The greatest revolution of my generation is the discovery that individuals, by changing their inner attitudes of mind, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”



The very best salespeople have an attitude of calm, confident, positive self-expectation. They feel good about themselves and they have absolute faith that everything they are doing is contributing toward their inevitable success. They are cool, relaxed, happy and cheerful about their lives and their careers. They know, deep in their hearts, that they are good at what they do, and their customers know it as well. Often, their customers decide to buy from them even before they’ve made a sales presentation or described their product or service. They are the champions, or superstars, of selling everywhere, and you can be one of them by developing the same attitudes and attributes that they have.



Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:

  1. First, resolve today to develop and cultivate an attitude of calm, confident, positive expectations toward yourself, your customers and your career. Expect the best!
  2. Second, take complete control of your thinking and concentrate on the solution rather than the problem. Look for the good in every situation. Be positive and cheerful, no matter what happens.
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