If you feel angry or depressed about the latest economic news, do not despair. You are not alone. But, be careful what you believe because your mindset might sabotage the results you seek. 

If you feel angry or depressed about the latest economic news, do not despair. You are not alone. But, be careful what you believe because your mindset might sabotage the results you seek.

We live in very difficult times and it is hard to keep your wits about you when the world seems to be crumbling. But there is something you can do to cope. Be selective about the inputs you allow into your life and you will control results more effectively. Negative news in large, constant doses can do real damage to your psyche and your abilities to succeed in the workplace. Turn off the television and turn on your mind.

Some of the great lessons I have learned in come from successful wise men including the great motivators such as Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill. The demonstrated that results are a function of beliefs and behaviors. Napoleon Hill opens his classic book on motivation, Think and Grow Rich, with the words, “Truly, ‘thoughts are things,’ and powerful things”. I have observed way too many people fill their minds with false beliefs and therefore sabotage their own productivity.

As an example, many clients tell me that it is more difficult to sell building materials today because they believe “Consumers are more educated.” This results in actions that emphasize price. Salespeople leave out important program and product details during the sales process. Ultimately they speed up the entire process when most every sales expert agrees that results improve when you slow down. Thus the beliefs create bad behaviors!

I teach my clients to try new beliefs. For example, try this one: “Consumers have access to abundant information. Nevertheless they still need an expert to help them navigate the system.” My roofing contractor clients are taught to remember that a consumer might be capable of choosing colors and design details from a website, but can’t possibly be prepared for the realities of the construction process.

Most consumers never have installed a new roof on their homes and are not prepared for the resulting dust and debris. They do not realize that their lawn might be trampled and their shrubberies are vulnerable. They are unaware of safety issues and the impact that a construction project will have on the neighbors. This reality presents a powerful sales opportunity in which the salesperson can emerge as more than a product peddler, but instead a credible project planner who can simplify a complex process for an unsuspecting consumer. First ... success begins with the right beliefs.

I have learned that my first job during training and consulting engagements is to address existing beliefs. If I can’t address the mindset, then the rest of the exercise is futile. For example, most salespeople believe that “Price is the critical component in decision making.” But “cost” is a much more expansive concept and includes price and more - including labor time, follow-up service, long-term maintenance, etc. A good Sales Leader recognizes this and emphasizes all the costs of doing business to educate prospects to help guide them to wise decisions.

Another common belief: “Sales prospects are scarce.” I combat this state of mind by reminding my clients that most of them have less than 20 percent share of the market resulting a more productive and realistic belief: “80 percent of the market is available!”

One of the most common sales beliefs to correct is: “Closing is transactional order taking.” This results in poor sales behaviors such as a focus on price; poor sales call planning; reactive behaviors; blaming others when things go wrong and more. A more accurate vision of the sales process is that “Closing is timing and transformational,” a belief that results in a more professional approach.

Start working on your belief system today. If you feel depressed, recognize that you are not alone. But if you change your mindset, you’ll feel better and the results will improve. It is a tough period of history that we are enduring, but remember that heroes are not made when life is easy.