After training over 35,000 salespeople in 10 countries through our Mental Toughness University program, the evidence is in: the number one challenge for all of them is the fear of rejection. Whether it’s a salesperson at Johnson & Johnson or an entrepreneur working out of his studio apartment, the fear of being rejected and criticized costs them and their companies a fortune. The good news is there is a little-known mental toughness secret that solves this problem, and this is what this post is about. Watch this short video I shot today in Atlanta and I’ll look forward to your comments. (3:05)

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Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.

10 thoughts on “Mental Toughness Secret of Superstar Salespeople”

  1. “It’s a numbers game”

    “There are 4 basic types of personalities and you simply have to figure out their ‘color’ and match it”

    “Just make 100-200 phone calls a day and you will meet your quota”

    These are all different things that I’ve come across in my short time in entrepreneurship. I was in the Marines for 12 years, have had part time call center positions at times, and am now in network marketing.

    I have personally been to the point to where I actually hoped that I would get a voice mail sometimes instead of dealing with rejection on the phone. You get to a point to where you get sick and tired of being afraid of success, rejection, or whatever it is that separates you from where you want to go.

    You will get to a point to where you want success so bad that the burning desire you have will outweigh the rejection and whatever people can throw at you. Get a chief aim and a burning desire for it’s achievement. That burning desire will motivate, push, and inspire you to continue to make more phone calls. Make more contacts. Prospect more people.

    Success is in making one more phone call. Success is in making one more contact and pushing past the rejection and getting to the point to where you don’t even notice it anymore. The only thing you focus on is your daily successes and you will find that as you focus on your victories, you will have nothing but victories. The rejection and the “nos” you get will mean nothing except that it’s on to the next appointment!

    Rob =)

  2. Thanks for this video- it really helped. I was wondering how you deal with regular rejection and criticism- I get a lot where I work and at times it upsets me -obviously have not had enough of it!

  3. BERT THANKS FOR YOUR BLOG. You are adding new thoughts to this discussion. I like to think that nothing is impossible. Let no challenge go undeserved. Work on ways to change a negative into a positive.

    In the case of those persons in the 1/3 no category: they can be changed to buy category (low hanging fruit) just by proper pruning and fertilization and cultivation.

    Just plant the seed and leave it alone until the heat and moisture of their own minds infuses the energy to sprout then watch them grow into one of your best customers.

    Be there at harvest time.

  4. Really the nitty-gritty of mental toughness isn’t it? Good post Steve. The more arrows in the quiver the better.

    Fortunately there are lot’s of strategies to dealing with rejection.

    I found another way reading Steve Schiffman’s Cold calling book. And I wouldn’t call it a better method than De-sensitization. That was kind of an Army thing to train soldiers to not get buck fever when shooting at people. I think my approach works for me, and keeps my emotions intact as well. I don’t want to get hit by a punch and tell myself it doesn’t hurt. I want to judo the punch and divert it to where it doesn’t hurt me. That’s my approach anyway…

    What is that approach? It is a mental mindset Schiffman discusses. In the book he says 1/3 of the people you approach will be receptive and basically a lay-down. 1/3 will be on the fence. And 1/3 will be a no regardless of what you or anybody else do. So try to find out which they are ASAP to save everybody time.

    Gathering sales from the first 1/3 is basically harvesting low-hanging fruit. And that will give you an ordinary income. The much better income is gained by targeting the 1/3 who are on the fence. And the time saved by not chasing the third group saves you grief and wasted effort.

    I guess my point is that it was pretty liberating to discover that with some people I’m just not going to connect with, so better to know that going in. It makes the ‘no’ more of an identification than a rejection. They’d reject anybody. So it’s not personal and that means it doesn’t create fear, it creates more of a mindset that there is a destination I have, and I must negotiate the roads to get there. And when I make a wrong turn on ‘No sale’ street, I just correct and find the right street. I don’t get fearful of driving, because at least I know that isn’t the street which till take me to where I want to go. It’s mental gamesmanship.

  5. A very powerful tool. It is about creating change in the associations you have. Words mean things. Focus on creating a new association about what you want to accomplish. Great video.

  6. Its not the fear of rejection that that cause a debilitating effect through emotions. People through their fear of changing their mental attitude to become desensitized is their greatest fear. I attended a human relations course in which one section was dedicated to understanding that handling rejection can be fun. The program left me feel free to handling rejection. From then on when I heard any suggestion that would normally cause normal average people to feel hurt and unable to cope with the rejection…..I would have an inward smile develop within me. It was such a great feeling that I was able take command of the situation. Not everyone can let them selves feel free to lose their fear.

    Out of 30 persons in that class I’ll bet that less than half understood what the had just experienced. That section was subsequently removed from the course because of turmoil it caused by those who mentally refused to become a World Class Thinker.

    There was a previous discussion about this subject on a previous Mental Toughness blog:

    My reply:

    Human relations courses attend to this phenomena of handling rejection. People can become addicted to handling rejection. (Why? because it fun) It becomes fun to be in a position where you cannot be intimidated by rejection. Rejection of others can be used as a tool to cause defeat in your opposition. Once you become desensitized you become to immune to rejections so as not to be intimidated. You become mentally at ease with yourself and as a result become resourceful.:

    Personal attacks as a rejection will demonstrate the inability of the reject-er to reason intelligently. Personal attacks on the advocate in court can be effective to damage their mindset by emotionalism. Emotional responses can have debilitating effect on you and your opposition.

  7. The concept of “systematic desensitization” goes into the dictionary with
    “psychological conversion” which you spoke of a blog or two earlier. Very
    useful tools for dealing with life. More such ideas are welcome. Thanks.

  8. I chuckle because I went through the allergy shot program for over a year, getting shots each week to systematically desensitize myself to allergens. Did it work? Well, it depends on the allergen but overall it helped. I did have one fun incident several months into the program of having to dash to the hospital while going into anaphalactical shock.

    That said, I would submit that regardless of the amount of systematic desensitizing one could get from rejection, the human element remains unless you’re Hitler, Chavez or some other cuddly robotic sort. There are limits and there needs to be some form of routine maintenance/respit to endure it–such as you mentioned once in having to go to Aspen, Colorado to “find yourself.” I spent 2 years in Europe getting my rejection training that Larry Wilson talked about on one of your sites.

    I think this type of conditioning aligns conversely with what I teach to augment capabilties to higher levels in either sales, customer service, or personal achievement. Love the concept. It works.

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