The Contagious Sales Killer Disease

By Mike Coday •  Updated: 10/21/23 •  7 min read

You’ve Given Up?

If you’ll be honest, you haven’t been out prospecting lately because you don’t think it will do any good.

I mean, the last time you went out knocking doors, you struck out. Nobody home. A bunch of renters. Everybody else was looking for the cheapest estimate.

As a matter of fact, that one lady was kinda mean to you. She said, “I’m not interested!” in her angry voice with her angry eyebrows. Ouch!

Seriously, that last time you went out was the hardest two and a half hours of your life. I don’t know how you survived. Poor baby.

By the time you decided to call it a day, you were convinced that it wouldn’t do any good to knock on any more doors because nobody was going to buy from you. You gave up, grabbed a Gatorade, and headed back for the house.

Since then, you’ve been waiting for some of your other deals to come through. You’ve got a few estimates out there and a couple people who want to “think about it” and get back to you later. You’re sales career is completely over, but your phone hasn’t been ringing and you need a check this week.

Quick Summary

  1. Psychological Impact of Rejection: The article opens with a depiction of a salesperson feeling discouraged after facing rejection, highlighting how negative experiences can significantly impact one’s mindset and approach to sales.
  2. The Dangers of Low Expectations: It introduces the concept of “Low Expectation” as a detrimental mindset, explaining that expecting negative outcomes can become a self-fulfilling prophecy in sales, leading to a cycle of disappointment and underperformance.
  3. Influence of Expectations on Others: The piece suggests that our expectations can subconsciously influence others’ behaviors, including potential clients. If we expect rejection, we may unknowingly communicate this, causing clients to lose confidence in us.
  4. Communication Beyond Words: It emphasizes that communication isn’t just about what we say but also about non-verbal cues. A lack of confidence can manifest in our demeanor, potentially undermining our sales efforts before we even speak.
  5. The Vicious Cycle of Hesitation: The article discusses how low expectations lead to high hesitation, which in turn leads to reduced activity. This cycle prevents salespeople from engaging with potential opportunities.
  6. Activity as a Solution to Hesitation: It suggests that the antidote to hesitation is increased activity. By forcing oneself to engage more, despite low expectations, one can start to break the cycle of inactivity and rejection.
  7. The Power of Pretense in Building Confidence: The piece introduces the idea of “acting” successful as a way to instill real success. By pretending to be confident and successful, one can start to enact the very success they are imitating.
  8. Physical Actions Influencing Mindset: It illustrates how simple physical actions, like smiling, can trigger a change in our mental state, bringing a more positive outlook and altering our approach to challenges.
  9. The Importance of Visualization: The article encourages visualizing success, suggesting that imagining positive outcomes can help create an expectation of success, which then influences reality.
  10. Control Over One’s Mindset: Finally, it concludes with an empowering message that individuals have control over their mindsets. By consciously deciding to take positive actions and expecting success, salespeople can change their results.

The Killer Disease

Low Expectation is the killer disease of salespeople.

The minute you start expecting to get blown out of the water, you’ll start getting blown out of the water. You start expecting everybody to tell you no, and you’ll start hearing no a lot more often. You expect they won’t be interested, and just like magic, they aren’t! After awhile, you start to feel good about yourself because you keep telling people nobody is interested, and you’re absolutely right.

Unfortunately, being right about this won’t put a paycheck in your pocket this week.

People all around us rise and fall to whatever level of expectation we have of them. For instance, our kids know we expect them to study hard and get good grades in school. They get good grades. They know we expect them to behave and not act like wild monkeys when we go out to eat. Because they know what I expect of them, we usually get to sit down and enjoy nice meals together without all the craziness. Usually.

You and your prospects are no different. You have to really think about the expectations you’re communicating. When you’re out knocking doors or talking to prospects on the phone, you don’t have a lot of time to communicate your expectations. That’s the great thing about communication, it doesn’t really take a long time.

If you spend all day communicating (both verbally and non-verbally) that you aren’t worth talking to, you’re going to have a hard time finding people willing to talk to you.

If you communicate that what you have to say isn’t very important, you won’t be taken very seriously.

People will rise or fall to whatever level you communicate to them.

High Hesitation

You’re struggling to get back out in the field — you have high hesitations because you’re struggling with low expectations.

When you’re hesitation level is high, your activity will be low.

The only way to overcome high levels of hesitation is with high levels of activity. Obviously, if you get back out in the field right now, but you don’t change your low expectations to high expectations, you will be wasting a lot of time because you won’t get anything accomplished except maybe a little exercise… that wouldn’t be such a bad thing though, would it?

New Mindset

If you’re going to get back out in the field and start prospecting again, you’re going to need a new mindset.

Fortunately, you don’t actually have to have even the slightest amount of success for you to ACT LIKE YOU ARE HAVING SUCCESS. If you don’t believe me, try smiling as big as you can and hold it for 30 seconds. Go ahead. Start smiling, now!

Are you smiling?


Okay, if you’re actually smiling while you’re reading this, you’ll be experiencing a new mindset based on the simple act of smiling. Maybe you didn’t feel like smiling. You didn’t want to smile, but you’re smiling… and all of the sudden you felt a change in your attitude. Things started to brighten up a bit. You’re feeling some positivity going on, aren’t you?

That’s because the action precedes (goes before) the feeling.

That’s great news because it means that your new mindset is within reach. You can control your actions, can’t you?

If you’ll take the right action, you’ll eventually get the right feeling. Knock like you are successful, even when you aren’t, and your expectation of success will open up new doors of opportunity for success. Your new mindset starts with taking expectant steps of action before you experience success.

Get away from the disease of low expectation.

Imagine yourself being successful. Imagine prospects who are eager to speak with you. Imagine yourself signing new deals.

Create in yourself an expectation of success.


P.S. Salespeople with low expectations of success will continually struggle to find something that will help them turn their life around. They want a magic pill – take two with a glass of water – and you’ll be amazing in the morning. Sales doesn’t work like that. Never has. Any sales system, sales training, or sales program has to start with the right level of expectation; including my Sales Domination System. There are no magic pills. The real magic starts with you.

Mike Coday

Mike started selling roofs in '95 while working as a youth pastor at a small church in North Texas. A decade later he transitioned to speaking at industry conferences and training outside sales teams. Today, he works exclusively as the premier consultant to roofing company owners who are driven for growth.