How many times have you heard “no” from potential customers that you’re trying to make a sale to?
I bet it’s a lot.
And I can tell you the longer you’re in sales, the more no’s you’ll get. In fact, most likely, resilience the no’s will far out way the yes’s.
No’s are tough. Particularly when it feels like that is all you’re hearing.
However, as Rocky Balboa said:

“It’s not how hard you can hit, it’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

But what is it that gets you to bounce back up after a sales rejection, time and time again?
It’s this thing called resilience and it’s the secret weapon of top salespeople.
First, we’ll look at what resilience is and then we’ll look at how you can develop it.
After all, resilience is something you’ve been building from a young age.

What is Resilience?

Resilience is an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
That’s a pretty powerful skill (and it is a skill, which means anyone can develop and get better at it).
It’s important to note that it is not about just coping or managing stressful situations. It’s your ability to get back up quickly, frequently, and effortlessly and keep going without your wellbeing and productivity being negatively affected.
One of the most impressive recent stories of resilience is professional heavyweight boxer, Tyson Fury.


After beating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, he’d reached the pinnacle of his sport as the unified world heavyweight champion. However, doping allegations and mental health issues led to him vacating his boxing titles and losing his boxing license the very next year.
Coming back from the brink, he regained his license in early 2018 and easily won his first two fights before facing Deontay Wilder, the undefeated WBC heavyweight champion.
The two undefeated boxers fought to a draw, despite Fury being knocked down twice.

“I just showed the world tonight, everyone suffering with mental health, you can come back and it can be done. Everybody knows I won that fight and if I can come back from where I’ve come from, then you can do it too. So get up, get over it and let’s do it. Seek help and let’s do it together as a team.”

That’s resilience.

Developing Resilience

Resilience is a skill. Without it, talented people (and teams) fail but with it, anyone can succeed.
Developing resilience can be broken down into three simple steps.
These steps are:

  • Focus
  • Action
  • Belief


What can I control?
A key part of resilience is understanding that you have a choice in how you respond to any situation.
Fury could have given up when he was at his lowest point. He could have given up on the sport he loved, given in to what he was struggling with mentally, and chose to listen to how the media were negatively portraying him.
Instead, he focused on his mental health and regaining his boxing license – two things he could control.
Let go of what you can’t control and focus on what you can. It’s as simple as that.
In sales you can’t control:

  • Broken appointments
  • Competitor prices
  • Incoming leads
  • Products out of stock
  • Marketing

But you can control:

  • Making appointments
  • How many calls you make
  • Attitude
  • If you ask for the sale
  • Time management

What you can’t control are the past and external factors. What you can control are your actions and attitude.
Now that you’re focusing on what you can control, the next step is action.


What can I do?
There are two key parts to action:

  1. Learning
  2. Doing

In order to act, we have to first be prepared to learn.
Learning is all about having a go, making mistakes and reflecting on what worked and what could be improved.

And learning is not just about knowledge, it requires doing. Take what you’ve learnt and apply it.
This is where it’s important to understand that it is okay to make mistakes.
Fury was able to learn from the mistakes he’d made and get back to being one of the best
heavyweight boxers in the world.

He’d be through so much that even when he hit the canvas against Wilder, he got back up – not just once, but twice.
If he’d stayed down, the fight would have been over. Instead, he forced a draw and stayed undefeated.
His resilience allowed him to learn from the past, take action and get the result.
In sales, your resilience will allow you to learn from rejection, put your learnings into practice and achieve (and exceed) your sales targets.


There was one final ingredient Tyson Fury needed and that was belief.
It’s all very well to focus on what you can control, learn from your mistakes, and take appropriate action but without belief, you won’t get the result.
Fury showed incredible belief to not only get to the match against Wilder but see it through to its conclusion.

When it comes to sales, if you believe in yourself you will succeed. And success builds belief.
The more you focus on what you can control, the more you learn from rejection, the more you take action from those learnings, the greater your belief will be that you can do this.
You can bounce back up and go get that next sale.

“The ‘Gypsy King’ has returned… I hope I did you all proud after nearly three years out of the ring. I showed a good heart to get up. I came here tonight, and I fought my heart out.”


Resilience is not just about managing or getting through a situation. It is about doing better next time.
It’s easy (and safe) to just stay the course, surviving what is thrown at you, but that won’t get you any better or further than you currently are.

Instead, the secret to doing better and achieving success, is developing resilience.
After the fight with Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury received the 2018 Comeback of Year award from The Ring magazine and is now ranked as the world’s second or third best heavyweight boxer.
If you’d like to discuss how you can build resilience in yourself or your sales team get in touch with one of our sales experts here.

Sharn Piper – CEO
M: +64 27 733 4333