From the March 2008 issue of Entrepreneur

Have you ever tried to sell your product under pressure or in difficult circumstances--bad industry, bad economy or just plain bad luck? When you have a product or service that has tremendous potential to serve a large audience and provide great value, you must remember that the most essential quality to sales success--or any success--is your ability to maintain confidence when times get tough.

Even when everything around you is falling apart, you still need to remain focused and confident and keep a positive attitude. Many industries face ups and downs, and if your attitude follows the same roller coaster ride as what's happening around you, you become a victim of your environment. What keeps your confidence intact has a lot to do with resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce or spring back into shape--to recover strengths, spirits and good humor when confronted with obstacles. When hit with difficulties, no's setbacks and adversities, you have to let some of the negatives roll off your back and gain knowledge of what doesn't work so that you can be better prepared for the next step.

Here are three things I do to maintain confidence and deal with difficult times and situations:

Implementation vs. procrastination
I can't tell you how many times I've heard people tell me, "You can't do that in this industry," or, "That will never work with the buyer at that company." Over and over I hear the same discouragement, but I just go and do it and it works. Yes, I've had my share of rejections and backfires from this approach, but what doesn't backfire is the ability to come back with an entirely new idea on how to sell my product that I would never have developed without the experience and deeper knowledge gained from messing up. Make the extra calls and see people even when you're not 100 percent prepared. Remember, things come to those who wait--but only things that are left behind by those who hustle.

Master mentors
You must have others who you can call on when times get tough--mentors who have experience and believe in you. They teach you valuable lessons without sugarcoating the information. I'm a big fan of bone honest mentors. And a mentor doesn't have to be a person; it could be a book or a special quote. When you find something or someone that has a message for you, return to it again and again. Don't throw away a great book after you've read it. Don't disregard a mentor after you think you've learned it all. Experience and age make many things new again. You are a different person than you were five years ago. Go back to sources and see what they have to say to you now. Once you come back to a source, it sings to you in a different way. What was valuable before is now even richer and more salient.

Control your environment
What you think about and who you surround yourself with determine your attitude and confidence more than any other factor. Do you ever run into people who constantly complain and bring a negative attitude to the table? Guess what? It can start to rub off on you if you're not careful. I just signed up a client who sold his last company for $1 billion including debt. What amazes me about him is that he has no patience for politics. He just gets things done and gets results. When I'm on the phone or face to face with him, he reminds me how powerful confidence in action can be. You don't just pick up on other people's knowledge and experience; you pick up on their energy, too.