Running a small business is demanding – it comes with a considerable amount of risks and challenges to tackle. If that deal doesn’t go through, where will the money come from?

One of the most important things your small business can do is hire top-performing salespeople. After all, your business would not exist if it weren’t for your sales. In fact, 82% of businesses fail due to cash flow problems. In order to push your business to success, you must be able to hire and develop mentally tough sales professionals who can be effective even under the stressful, high-stake conditions of a small business.

What is Mental Toughness?

Mental toughness refers to the unique quality found in many professional athletes that allows them to maintain fortitude under stressful conditions. While sales don’t require physical athletic ability, it does require a tough mindset to stay motivated and successfully sell your product or service.

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The specific personality traits that contribute to mental toughness are:

  • Ego-strength
  • Level-headedness
  • Stress tolerance
  • Thoroughness
  • Energy/Persistence
  • Self-structure

That’s not to say that there’s no hope for those on your small business team who don’t exhibit mental toughness. By surrounding your employees with uplifting, supportive coaches, these traits can be trained in your sales professionals and their performance will drastically improve.

How is Mental Toughness Developed?

Mental toughness is not innate for all. Mental toughness is something that evolves over time. Here are a few pieces of insight you can employ, which can help your salespeople hit the ground running and dominate the small business sales field:

  1. Boost Their Confidence: Have you noticed your salespeople struggling in their role lately? They might be struggling to believe in their own potential. To change that, remind them that the obstacles they face are actually opportunities for them to learn and become better at what they do. There is a lesson in everything.
  2. Force Them Out of Their Comfort Zone: Examine each salesperson’s weaknesses and hesitations and present them with challenges that address those things head-on. Encouraging them to step outside of their comfort zone allows them to practice what they lack. Once they achieve the end-goal, they’ll be filled with a feeling of autonomy.
  3. Be Their Support System: Your employees should never fear you. You are there to help them grow and succeed in their position. Make it known by offering your salespeople contact support – put in the work to earn their trust. This positive energy will encourage them to reach the finish line.

Applying Mental Toughness to Small Business Sales Teams

Small business means smaller teams, fewer resources, and less cash flow than large corporations. It also means if you’re hiring, you can’t afford to make a mistake. So it’s absolutely critical to get it right when it comes to hiring those who are charged with bringing revenue into your business.

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More than any other business model, small businesses heavily rely on their sales – especially in their beginning stages – to fuel their business and keep it afloat. If your business loses a sale, the results could be catastrophic. Your sales team is small and each salesperson carries a heavy burden on their shoulders. They will face a plethora of stressful situations and must be able to think clearly and effectively under pressure. With that in mind, you should invest time into coaching your current employees and seeking out coachable new hires that demonstrate signs of mental toughness.

Coaching mental toughness gives salespeople new skills, a strong understanding of their role, and provides them with the support they need to leap towards challenges, cross the finish line, and win the gold medal – significantly reducing the major risks that small businesses face.

How mentally tough are your salespeople? See where they’re at and learn more ways to build a mentally tough sales team by administering the Caliper Profile Assessment to your potential hires. To learn more about mental toughness and the traits associated with it, download our whitepaper.