Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

This post comes to us from Paul Letendre, a sales executive with extensice experience in food service sales.


It’s part of the ballgame, we will get discouraged from time to time.  At this time of year, it is especially common.  There is a lot of business uncertainty as to what the New Year will bring.  When a sales rep gets discouraged, that’s a good sign.  Reps are supposed to get discouraged; the work is not supposed to be easy: if it were easy, then anyone could do it and it wouldn’t pay crap. 

If we are not getting discouraged on a regular basis then we’re probably playing it too safe …not taking enough chances.  We are all capable of lulling ourselves into a comfort zone.  If we’re going to continue learning and growing, we have to regularly step outside of those comfort zones.

Remaining discouraged over periods of time, however, can really sidetrack a rep’s career.  When we stay discouraged, we begin to justify it; we even defend it.  Do this for a while and we begin to believe our own arguments, -we always want to be right, so it behooves us to stay discouraged to prove our point.   Sooner or later, it becomes a self-fulfilled prophecy. 

This all has to do with feelings.  A rep is representing one formidable company selling to another formidable company.  Yoo-hoo, our feelings don’t count.  Our customer’s feelings certainly count and our boss’s feelings sure as hell count, but our feelings have meaning only to us.  In other words, when it comes to business dealings, our feelings don’t matter.  (Can you remember what you were feeling crappy about 3 days ago? 3 weeks ago?) 

If I’m calling on a major account and I feel that my contact there is a major jerk, it only matters if I let these feelings show.  If I ignore my feelings and do my job, I just might succeed with this jerk.  If I do this enough times with this customer, I just might change my opinion …(s)he just might prove to be a pretty bright person. 

This is simple stuff that’s easy to forget at times.  So, the next time that you get discouraged, just say to yourself, “all right, this is supposed to happen because I’m growing and getting better at what I do.”  Give yourself a pat on the back for being discouraged.  Yes, you actually should feel encouraged by the fact that you are discouraged (screwed-up, I know, but true).  Don’t let bad moments become bad days.  Yes, at times, the glass will appear to be half-empty.  Just don’t let yourself believe it for too long a time.

Thanks very much Paul, for your insights!  You can reach Paul at

To help you stay in the right frame of mind, check out our Daily Sales Cartoon in the Free Sales Resource Centre.  Or download our book Daily Motivational Quotes – If misery loves company than motivation breeds success! for your dose of inspiration each day.

Aim Higher!

Susan A. Enns, The B2B Sales Coach
B2B Sales Connections,, or

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