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Sales Blog - Mental Toughness

By Steven J. Schmidt (1/18/09)

Being mentally tough is a huge component of sales. If you're in the zone, you need to stay in the zone, and continue to flourish and get sales. Conversely, if you're not in the zone, you should find a way to get out of your slump, so that you can get back to making sales. Having mental toughness will give you the ability to conquer this.

Earlier in my career, I was selling household services door-to-door. It was a few days after New Years Eve, and had not done a lot of selling. Additionally, I was in a new business, and did not have a lot of repeat businesses. This means that cold calling and door-to-door was a necessity. I was definitely out of the zone because I had not knocked on a door for close to two weeks.

My company needed sales, so before I went out into the field, I said to myself, "I am going to get at least one solid sale today. There is no way that I am not getting one, and I will not take no for answer. I will also stay upbeat, positive and enthusiastic."

It so happened that I made that sale with the first person whom I made contact with.

I told her, "I am in the window cleaning business, and we are a local company."

She responded, "I was thinking about getting my windows washed, but maybe in the spring."

Instead of being discouraged, I told her, "You know what? We can make your windows sparkle and look great. However, we clean windows 12 months out of the year. In addition, this does happen to be our slowest part of the year, so we are offering huge discounts. Do you mind if I at least give you an estimate?"

She gave me the go ahead, citing that she had tons of windows.

In my mind I am thinking, "I have done exactly what I set my mind to do. I told myself that I am going to get a sale, and I am not going to leave without one." With my confidence growing, I was mentally getting myself out of my slump.

So, to finish the story out, I told the customer, "I am going to give you 20 percent off compared to 10 percent because this is our slow time and I really want you to be our customer. Also, if you are happy with our service, hopefully you'll tell a friend or two and help us out."

She began saying that she was going to run it by her husband, but I quickly said, "I understand you want to talk it over with your husband, but I am sure he will be happy with your decision, so let's schedule a tentative date, and if he hollers and screams at you, we can reschedule for another time, OK?"

Laughing, she replied, "No, no, that is perfectly fine, and he will be OK with whatever I decide because I handle that part of our house anyway."

The moral of the story is, I became mentally tough, got the sale and was able to re-energize myself. You should always stay mentally tough. Do not take no for answer, and stay optimistic, positive and relentless. If you do, it's just a matter of time before you break out of your slump, and the sales come pouring back in. You'll also be tougher than you ever were before!

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