Great Athletes  – Great Salespeople

It probably comes as no surprise that great athletes and great salespeople share a number of important personality traits including the need for achievement and competitiveness among others. But there is another trait, which sports psychologists rate especially high, which great salespeople often share as well. That trait is optimism, in the form of resilience. Check this out.

Psychologists conducted tests on world class golfers and tennis players. They kept track of the athletes’ next shots after a missed serve or putt. They then correlated this performance with overall achievement. The results? The athletes with the strongest resilience, that is, the ability to compose themselves quickly, learn from the setback and move on with confidence that the next shot will be a winner . . . were the highest achieving performers in their fields.

This resilience, also known as mental toughness, is a highly prized characteristic in all walks of life, but it is particularly important to those of us who choose to sell for a living. Rejection, which is a very natural part of the selling game, can drain more energy than it deserves if we take it personally, or dwell on it, rather than learning and moving on with confidence. The key is to consider the bigger picture and the inevitable highs and lows of the selling experience.

Remember, a baseball player who gets just one hit out of every three at bats is a sure Hall of Famer. The great game of selling works exactly the same way.

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