Mental Strength Can Lift Your Sales Relationships


Disappointment abounds in sales. Clearly, rookies know the feeling of rejection or dismissal when it comes to cold calls. Likewise, even grizzled sales veterans have their hat handed to them on occasion. In a larger sense, when big deals go south, emotions run wild; anger, frustration, aggression, disappointment, and helplessness are just a few. Often, these emotions can trigger thoughts of lashing out, folding inward or even considering a career change. No one is immune to horrible outcomes, but developing mental strength can help you rise above the fray.

How to develop mental strength

It’s easy to feel mentally strong when life is good. However, the presence of true mental strength is revealed when disaster strikes. Therefore, “choosing to develop skills that increase your mental strength is the best way to prepare for life’s inevitable obstacles,” says Amy Morin, a clinical social worker writing for Forbes. She states there are many exercises to help develop mental strength, and she lists five in her article; here are the top three:

  • Challenge your core beliefs – Developed over time, core beliefs influence your thoughts, behavior and emotions. Importantly, they may not always be true, accurate or productive. This is the very reason you must challenge them and make modifications as necessary. Understandably, this confrontation is not easy, but it can be liberating and therapeutic in determining your life and career ambitions.
  • Use your mental energy wisely – “Save your mental energy for productive tasks, such as solving problems or setting goals” is the author’s advice. Further, she warns of wasting brain power on things you can’t control. It's better to focus on creative endeavors that are fully within your command and to practice prudent mental energy expenditure.
  • Focus on productive thoughts – Monitor your self-​talk. For example, you can build resilience and improve confidence by eliminating exaggerated, self-​imposed negative thoughts. Replace statements such as, “I can never do anything right” with “I have some flaws, but I also have mental strength.”

You can choose your emotions and how you react to them

Frustration, fear and disappointment can pop up at any time. However, when you develop mental strength, you can pause and observe them for what they are. In fact, being mentally strong requires you to become aware of your emotions so you can decide how to respond. Remarkably, this objectivity allows you to accept your feelings without being controlled by them. When you establish dominance over your emotions, you remain in control and can regulate the situation and guide the outcome.

How to cope with anger

Anger is generally a secondary emotion underneath which we protect more vulnerable feelings, such as sadness, hurt, fear, or jealousy," according to Kate Gapinski, Ph.D., writing for Psychology Today. Essentially, this realization complicates our understanding of feelings in that anger disguises the true, root emotion. What’s more, Gapinski tells us that venting our anger is often not helpful.

Venting? You’re doing it wrong!

Punching, hitting, screaming, or throwing objects are physical reactions to anger and can reinforce the association between anger and violence, according to Gapinski. She continues, “Venting anger is likely to be helpful only if it is non-​physical and is combined with a new interpretation of the experience.” Consequently, aggressive venting can make the feeling of anger more present and powerful. Instead, she suggests exercising mental strength to reduce physical reaction, re-​framing the situation and creating a solution.

Resist the sense of urgency that strong emotions produce

The more you practice and train your mental defenses, the easier it is to allow yourself time to reflect. Deep breathing, walking, stretching, and meditation are practices that will help. Building mental strength contributes positively to all facets of your life and can help you become the master of your emotions.

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

Tim Londergan

Tim Londergan

Tim is a research contributor at SalesFuel and he writes for SalesFuel Today. Previously, he worked as a Sales Development Manager, representing products such as AdMall and AudienceSCAN. Tim holds a B.S. from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.