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The Sales Evangelist

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Grit

There’s a single characteristic that distinguishes effective sellers from the others, and it’s grit.

It separates those who work hard and effectively from those who don’t. It distinguishes those who go above and beyond the call of duty from those who do not.


Those of us in sales need to have grit.

Grit is courage. It is resolve. It is a strength of character. To have grit is to have rock solid mental toughness.

If you can be rock solid, right now – at the beginning of the year – you will be so much more effective and efficient. [01:39]

Consider the new hire whose resume looked fantastic, but who shows up with no drive or passion for the work. Sometimes we pass by individuals with higher levels of grit simply because their GPA wasn’t as high or their resume was lacking. [02:34]

I have a problem with that.

I know some very smart people who lack the level of grit needed to take advantage of their intelligence. They end up in mediocre jobs. It seems like a waste of talent.

On the other hand, we see folks without the necessary level of education who have passion and grit. They have the ability to do more and work harder than the average person.


How? Where does their level of passion and perseverance come from? [03:16] I believe it has everything to do with their level of desire.

There was a low point in my life when I was faced with homelessness but I had the drive to make sure that my family was taken care of. There are certainly people who are smarter than I am or who have more experience than I do, but I had the grit to create this podcast series. I was determined to make it happen and I hustled. [04:06]

I had the desire and the perseverance. There were difficult times, of course. I didn’t always know if it was going to work. But we pushed through.

Can grit be taught? Can mediocre individuals on your team get it? Yes.

Be positive

“I can’t do it.” “I can’t make that call.” “It’s not going to work.”

If you can’t, then you won’t.  

But if you say you can – then it is more likely that you will. Things move for people who have the desire to make things move.

Perseverance means you will do whatever it takes to make something happen because you want it to happen. You have to push through the tough spots.

Use the right words. Instead of “maybe I’ll get a sale,” or “I hope I get a sale,” try “I will get a sale today!”

Obviously, realistic goals are important: Is it possible? Can I do it?  I’m sure you can make a million dollars in sales in a day – but is it likely?

Maybe not. But it is certainly likely that you will find the right client today or close a deal today. [06:22]

Visualize success

Think about what you need to do to make it happen. If you tell yourself that it isn’t possible from the very start, it’ll never happen.

When you feed yourself failure, your whole subconscious and whole body react.

Think about how to reach your goal. What will you do? What will you say? And what are the steps necessary to succeed?

Set the entire process up in your mind; from what you will say, to what the email will say, to when you are going to call. Tell yourself that the clients will be interested, they will want to set up an appointment, and you are going to get the demonstration.

Visualize it all. If you can’t see it, you can’t achieve it. [08:24]


You need to practice. Perfection doesn’t come by accident. It has to be deliberate. Be specific. [09:01]

You will get the appointment or that meeting with the CEO when you decide the steps to take and then practice those steps.

Before you get on the phone, for example, think about what you need to talk about and what questions you need to ask. Know why they would want to talk to you! What challenge can you solve for them? [09:52]

In this way, if you get thrown an objection, you will automatically know how to handle it.  You’ve already visualized the entire conversation.

You can’t wing it. Winging it only gets you winging-it results. [10:32]

People with grit have a vision. They know what they want and they are determined to get it.

They practice achieving it and set a plan to do it. Then they do it, and do it, and do it again until it happens.


Will you have perseverance this year? Will you push through the tough times, or will you just give up?

I encourage you to look past any shortcomings you’ve had. Make 2019 the year that we accomplish greatness. The theme for the year is Empire Building, whether that be your sales empire, business empire, or family empire. Let’s build it!

You are the only person who can stop you. [11:19]

“Grit” episode resources

Check out Grit by Angela Duckworth.  

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out.

You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.


About the Author The Sales Evangelist

Donald is the host of the popular sales podcast,"The Sales Evangelist". He is the founder of The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm where he helps small companies develop killer sales process to scale their business and increase growth.

Donald is also an award-winning speaker, sales trainer, and coach. He's a big fan of traveling, South Florida staycations and high-quality family time. Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire and receives the proper training.

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