Resilience In Sales: Steps to Grow This Soft Skill

BY Jessica Helinski
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Resilience in sales is vital to success. In fact, for one professional, it’s the most important skill a seller can possess.

I believe that sales success comes down to one thing, just one thing,” explains Meredith Elliott Powell. “It is not education, lucky breaks or pedigree. It comes down to your ability to be resilient.”

The ability to bounce back from challenges and rebound from rejections is key to maintaining a career in this industry. 

Specifically, being resilient helps sellers:

  • Handle rejection
  • Overcome objections and other obstacles (such as economic conditions)
  • Stay motivated

Thankfully, this is a skill that you can develop and grow over time. 

According to industry professional Anne Grady, “Research has proven that resilience is a set of habits, behaviors, and skills … [Skills] can be practiced and honed to minimize burnout, improve motivation and engagement, and overcome obstacles and setbacks."

How to Increase Your Resilience In Sales

One way that sellers can build their own resilience is to expect to encounter challenges. Often, sellers expect instant gratification or success, but this career path will never be without bumps. 

Understand they are a vital part of the process and something that goes with the territory,” she explains. “Expecting to always win takes the vital energy you need to get back up and try again.”

Lower your own expectations of perfection. 

This doesn’t mean you don’t do your best but rather don’t expect your process to always be flawless. With more realistic expectations, you won’t be as blindsided when you do encounter challenges. And you’ll be quicker to overcome them.

The professionals at The Academy for Sales Excellence agree. “While aiming high is commendable, it’s crucial to set realistic expectations. Understand that not every prospect will convert into a customer. By managing your expectations, you’ll be better prepared to handle rejection.”

Reset Your Mindset

Another adjustment in mindset is how you frame setbacks and rejections. It’s easy to let these get you down and hurt your confidence. 

Sellers often develop a real fear of anything that stands in their way of success. Instead, they should reframe them as opportunities to build resilience in sales. 

By embracing loss rather than resisting it, you open your mind to new ideas and new opportunities,” Elliott Powell explains.

Every setback presents a chance to adjust your process, reposition how you present value, and learn. You can get to this point by engaging in positive self-​talk any time you encounter a challenge.

Blue Lotus Consulting’s Tiffany Toombs explained how self-​talk can be beneficial in a Manage Smarter podcast episode.

"Take control of your inner thoughts to replace fear and doubt with confidence and determination. We start to change our self-​talk and start to work on the belief systems … Then our filters open up and change and we see things differently."

For guidance on how to work on your mindset, take a look at these helpful tips. 

Build A Community

Another key to improving your resilience in sales is to surround yourself with support. Whether it’s team members, acquaintances, mentors or coaches, include supportive individuals in your professional circle. 

Having others to give encouragement in the face of setbacks helps build your own resiliency. Elliott Powell suggests surrounding yourself with driven people who do not sweat the small stuff. The company you keep can ultimately influence you to act similarly. 

If you want to boost your circle of support, take advantage of networking events or coaching opportunities. Consider reaching out to a respected colleague or industry veteran and see if they would be interested in mentoring

The more you surround yourself with resiliency, the greater your chances of boosting your own. 

Consider these suggestions for building resilience in sales. You’ll find that when you do, you’ll roll with the punches more easily. You will also embrace a more positive outlook, and ultimately, experience even greater success.

Photo by RDNE Stock project