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What is resilience?

It’s something we hear a lot about, but what exactly is resilience and how can we get more of it? Let’s find out more.

When the question comes up about the qualities that make up a great salesperson, we always talk about confidence, curiosity, empathy and more. Another trait that always comes up is resilience. 

But, do we know what resilience really is? I’ve got my views. What do you think? 

In this article, we’re going to look deeper at resilience. What is it? How does it help you in sales? How can you improve your levels of resilience? Let’s go.

What resilience means to me

Now, resilience is more important than ever. Currently, the majority of people are furloughed and it’s uncertain what will happen when things bounce back. There is bound to be job cuts and unemployment may go to an all-time high. 

To me, resilience means your ability to deal with hardship. In life, stuff happens, a lot of it we cannot control. What we can control is the way we deal with challenging situations; how we bounce back from adversity. That’s resilience.

Building your resilience

While some of us are born communicators or have unquenchable resources of empathy, I don’t believe you are born with resilience, nor do I think that we have a fixed amount of resilience. 

In 2017, Sheryl Sandberg wrote a book about resilience, in the aftermath of the death of her husband. In this book, Option B, she compares resilience to a muscle. Resilience is something you can build and become better at. She set out five ways you can tone your resilience muscle:

  • Understand that your disappointment will not affect every area of your life, nor will it last forever
  • Be open about why you are upset – kick the elephant out of the room
  • Talk to yourself with compassion – rebuild your confidence one step at a time
  • Count your contributions every day – make a note of things you do well
  • Realise the small things that bring you joy

The first one of those is so important to me – things will change. The core of your resilience is being able to recognise this when going through hardship.

Resilience in sales

While nothing we have to go through in sales can compare to losing a loved one, often sales can make us feel pretty low. 

Sometimes we make mistakes that jeopardise our chance of making a sale. Other times, there are things we cannot control. Salespeople face rejection several times every day (if you’re not, you’re not making enough calls!) and slumps can feel never-ending. What separates the best from the rest is how they deal with it.

If you’re an SDR and a prospect has just said to you, ‘No, not interested’ and hung up, you might feel pretty bad. Resilience is being able to understand that this situation is not permanent and things will change. You should also know that things could be a lot worse!

Control what you can control and let go of what you can’t. Never stop trying to improve your skills, remind yourself of why you’re in that seat and be there for your colleagues when they are going through hardships themselves.

Find out more

If you’re facing hardships right now because of the COVID-19 situation, or for any reason, remember that it will pass. However, your future success depends on how you bounce back. Do whatever it takes to make sure you come back stronger.