Although I’m a naturally optimistic person, I truly believe in the power of pessimism. I don’t care what all those self-help gurus tell you. If you see the world through rose-colored glasses, you’re going to run smack dab into sales-derailing situations that could be prevented.

That’s why it’s imperative today to take the time to be negative when preparing your sales strategy. For every sales opportunity you face, you need to ask questions, such as:

  • What could go wrong in this meeting?
  • What are my weakest points?
  • Who might not want us to be successful?
  • Why would my prospect decide to stay with the status quo?
  • How could our competitors beat us?

If you can visualize these obstacles, you can do something about them — before they create problems for you. For example, let’s be pessimistic and assume your prospects decide they’d rather not change. Why does this usually happen? Because they don’t see enough value in changing. Does being negative in this way hurt your chances of success?

No. You’re actually increasing them, because now you can create a sales strategy to address that issue. That’s why pessimism is so darn important today. It prepares you to deal with sales difficulties before they smack you in the face.

So go ahead — be negative. It’s a positively wonderful way to stay on track.

Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day! More tips:

Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.