“There are only two things you CAN control and those happen to be the most important factors affecting your success. And they always will be,” I say. And what are those two things?

I Agree With Jeffrey Gitomer About These Two Things

Now, let me just say for the record that I agree with a lot more than just these two things that Jeffrey says, but these are things I’ve known for many, many years. I hope they resonate with you, too.

So here’s the scene: Large corporate sales convention in the company’s training center, over 250 sales reps flown in from all over the country; Sales directors, V.P.s, sales managers all running around stressing over the schedule, quotas, current sales, etc.

I’m speaking to the entire group (owners, board members in the audience, too), and after the training portion of my presentation, I ask the question that gets the managers and directors to shift uneasily in their seats: “What are the two most important determining factors in making sales and exceeding quotas?”

The reps raise their hands and start firing away, “Leads,” “The economy,” “The price of the product,” “Territory,” they yell out. The managers and directors are now sweating, and the owners and board members look irritated and even a little angry.

“While those things all play a part, the problem with them is that you have no control over them. So for that reason alone, they don’t qualify as being the most important things.” I tell them.

“There are only two things you CAN control and those happen to be the most important factors affecting your success. And they always will be,” I say. And what are those two things?

Your Attitude and Your Actions

Everything else flows from those two things. And the good news is that both of those things are directly under your control and when you learn to develop and maintain an expectant and enthusiastic attitude, and you take smart, consistent actions, you will always get the results you plan for.”

After I delivered this (and the rest of my talk), the managers and directors, V.P.’s and owners were all smiles. And so were the Top 20%, because they know the truth.

Ask any top performer this question, and you will get the same answer, albeit, in a different way. Some will say it’s how hard they work; others will say it’s their mental preparation, and still others will attribute their success to visualizing a win. But it all comes down to the same thing.

A winner will always take 100% responsibility for their results, while the other 80% will blame it on things outside their control. And that’s why winners will always eventually win, and the rest of the players will lose and make excuses.

It’s like my friend Jeffrey Gitomer once said, “Your boss can’t stop you; your co-workers can’t stop you; your territory can’t stop you; the economy can’t stop you. Only YOU can permanently stop you.” (I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the gist of it.)

In today’s business environment of social media, product reviews, so many Internet options to buy, etc., it’s crucially important that you develop, feed, and maintain a positive, expectant attitude of success. No matter what you’re going through right now, circumstances will change, and they WILL get better. The question is, what extra actions are you taking right now to ensure your success? Are you working harder AND smarter? Are you coming in early and leaving late? Are you going that extra mile every day including Fridays? Are you visualizing your success?

The bottom line is that if you focus on and take care of the two things you can control – your attitude and your actions – then nothing will stop you from reaching your goals.

That was a message all 250 sales reps in needed to hear, and I know that 20% of them already knew it and were already practicing it.

How about you?

About the author

Mike Brooks

Mike Brooks is the founder of Mr. Inside Sales, a North Carolina based inside…

Online Courses

Learn anywhere, any time, on any device.


Learn Online

Self-paced courses from the
world's top sales experts

Virtual Training

Live, interactive instruction in small
groups with master trainers


One-to-one personalized coaching
focused on your unique situation