The Science of Persisting
Being successful in sales, sales leadership, and business ownership requires something more from each of us.
It requires a work ethic that rises above that of the crowd. It requires a mentality that will keep you moving toward your desired outcome, even when adversity is all around. And it requires that we be able to put the time and effort into accomplishing our goals—even without a boss “requiring” us to do so.
We often refer to those successful individuals as being “self-starters,” “real go-getters,” or “goal oriented.” They are examples of people whose internal motivators are moving them in the positive direction of success and achievement.
Failing in sales, sales leadership, and business ownership requires something from each person, too.
It requires that you ignore the mathematical equation of sales success. After all, if you contact enough prospects and say enough of the right things, you will make a great living in sales.
Failing requires that you focus on fear, which usually shows up as call reluctance in the prospecting part of your sales process. Fear paralyzes many people.
It requires you to have a “maybe” outlook on life. And it requires that you accept the mindset of being a quitter.
All of those things take their toll on your self-image.
Sales leaders often refer to this group of people with terms like “lazy,” “unambitious,” or “losers.” I don’t think their assessment is always correct. In fact, I believe there is a more scientific explanation for their behavior.
These are examples of people whose internal motivators are moving them in the negative direction of failure and unhappiness.
Both groups have linked their emotions to their logical plans for the future.
However, their outcomes are quite different.
The first group has linked their positive emotions, such as joy, love, self-fulfillment, and happiness, to the logical path for their career or business plan. It is that link which gives them their ability to persist.
The second group has linked their negative emotions, such as fear, anger, frustration, and resentment, to the logical path for their career or business plan.
“When your negative emotions rule your mindset and they become linked to your logical plan for what you are doing, the result is failure.”
– Jeff C. West
However, when your positive emotions control your mindset and they become linked with your logical plan for what you are doing, the result is success!
There is actually a scientific principle that I believe explains why this occurs.
In his book, The Descartes’ Error, Dr. Antonio Damasio, professor of neuroscience at the University of Southern California and adjunct professor at the Salk Institute, details how every decision is made with a combination of logic and emotion.
Dr. Damasio performed a study of patients who had experienced damage to the area of the brain that normally facilitated the connection between their logical and emotional centers. Due to that damage, there was little or no communication between these two areas.
The result of that disconnect may surprise you.
What Dr. Damasio discovered was that this group’s ability to make even simple decisions was drastically reduced—for some, the ability was completely eliminated.
Those patients could see the logical outcomes associated with each decision but were unable to choose between their alternatives.
Dr. Damasio concluded two very important facts about the decision-making process.
First, all decisions are made with a combination of logic and emotion. There is no escaping that connection.
And second, positive and negative emotions affect the decision-making process in completely different ways.
When we apply Dr. Damasio’s findings to our business model of sales and sales leadership, we begin to get a clearer picture of what is happening.
Whenever logic and negative emotions connect, a collision point occurs. The outcome of decisions made at collision points will normally lead to avoidance, lethargy, and giving up.
However, when logic and positive emotions intersect, the outcome is the exact opposite. Decisions made at that time bring along tenacity, determination, and perseverance.
I refer to that successful connection of logic and positive emotion as a Fusion Point©.
Fusion Points© are those unifying moments when logic and positive emotion merge and ignite, creating commitment, energy, and acceleration.
– Jeff C. West