I am unsure if there are more negative people than positive people, but it sure feels that way.
Do the negative actually outnumber the positive?
Or do they simply spread their negativity more widely than positive folks spread their good vibes?
I don’t know the answer to these questions. And also, I don’t think the answers are facts, but rather opinions. These are qualitative observations probably. So if you have an opinion or observation on this matter, please share it with my by reply email.
I’m not sure that researchers can truly study this topic because they’d be asking people to self-identify themselves as positive or negative. That wouldn’t be particularly reliable. And you can’t do a 360 degree study on the population at large.
My friend, who is also a consultant, thinks it’s a bell curve: 20% of people are positive, 20% are negative, and the rest are somewhere on the big curve in between.
If we go by what it feels like, I would guess there are at least twice as many negative people as positive people, and probably more.
If you need proof of this, go to any brand’s social media page — it’s almost all complaints.
Ever turn on sports radio? Almost always negative.
Ever read the comments at the end of a news article, especially on an opinion column? Mostly anger, cynicism, and negativity.
Those three terrible emotions are front and center in nearly all political campaigns now, where the positive messages are what, maybe 5% of the total?
Is it because anger is more a “motivated” emotion than contentment? Motivated to communicate, share, and spread. Anger seeks relief, in the form of unburdening.
Meanwhile, contentment seeks…what? Gratitude? Joy? Those are rarely feelings that get blasted out. Most of us have known people who relentlessly communicate positivity, and they’re often perceived as annoying! Take a chill pill, people whisper to each other. Usually, we keep these positive emotions close, with ourselves, our family, in our homes.
Here is what I do know:
I know that we humans remember the negativity of others, especially customers (and customers remember ours) for a very long time.
I know that negativity is wildly contagious: If you spend the day surrounded by negative coworkers, who love to share their negativity, you will bring at least some of that negativity back home with you. If you deal with frustrated, angry customers during the day, it takes a toll. You will feel those things too.
Also, the media is highly incentivized to make us feel fear and anger. The more afraid we are, the more we tune in, and larger audiences bring larger advertising fees. Happiness does not bring clicks or viewers. In fact, multiple companies have attempted to report only positive news, and nearly all have gone out of business quickly.
I also know that social media has given a gigantic megaphone to complainers. These feelings used to contained to immediate interpersonal circles at home and at work. But now, social media is rocket fuel for negativity.
Misery loves company and it’s only a click away on social media.
So we hear more from the negative among us. They are more enabled by static and interactive medias.
But are there more of them?
Hit reply and let me know your take. What do you see among your coworkers and customers?
Now for the work we do in the sales profession:
Very simply, positivity pays. And this is not an opinion, but a fact.
I have worked with tens of thousands of salespeople. The most successful ones are positive not negative; enthusiastic, not apathetic; optimistic, not pessimistic; grateful, not cynical; confident, not fearful; bold, not meek.
Like most people, your customers are receiving mostly negative inputs. When do their other salespeople call? When they can’t deliver on time. When the product is not in stock. When the price is going up.
Bring your customers positivity and enthusiasm, and you will be the only one doing so.
Tell them you were thinking about them. Ask about their family. And ask them what they have coming up that you can help them with.
Ask them what they want to add to their order, or their services, because you will be in their area soon.
Positivity is just as contagious as negativity, but it’s a lot more rare in the customer-salesperson interaction.
The positive and enthusiastic salesperson who is skilled at bringing these feelings to customers is a unicorn.
Bring positivity and enthusiasm to your customers, and they will thank you with their money.
First, if you have thoughts or experiences to share on this topic, please reply to this email — I am interested in your take.
Second, if you would like to teach your sales team how to bring positivity and enthusiasm to your customers so that they buy more from you, call me directly at 847-459-6322.