Rehabbing a Sales Injury with Martin Rooney

Episode Sponsored By: Death Wish Coffee


Our guest this week is Martin Rooney, founder of Training For Warrior and host of the Into the Roar podcast.

He is an internationally recognized trainer, speaker, author and pioneer of strength and conditioning.

He has written eight books including The Book of 5 Things, Rooneys Rules and Train to Win.”.

He’s here to discuss how to react, respond and recover to debilitating situations in sales and life. When we spoke, he was dealing with a physical injury that required major rehab and recovery. The experience changed the way Martin thinks about the psychology of recovery and he’s eager to share.

If you’ve ever had a deal go wrong, you want to listen to this podcast.

This episode is brought to you by, Deathwish Coffee,the world’s strongest coffee and the only brew we drink when we do the show. It’s the only choice for the true Sell or Diehard!

On today’s show…

16:23 – What happens after you lose?
20:27 – What’s missing from the psychology of recovering?
23:55 – The ownership stage precedes the recovery stage
28:59 – What Martin learned about rejection from his black belt in Judo


Follow Jeffrey on Twitter and Instagram
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Martin Rooney: It’s easy for us to say it. That is the hardest thing to do. Like, “Oh, wow. I just lost this sale. Let me see what I can learn.”

Jeffrey Gitomer: You’re so pissed off.

Martin Rooney: I get it! Oh yeah! The people listening right now are like, “Yeah, right,” but that is where you make the improvement.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Where do we start this? An answer? Doesn’t matter, we’re having a good time [crosstalk 00:00:22].

Jen Gluckow: He couldn’t wait to get in here!

Jeffrey Gitomer: You need sales balls to make sales calls.

Doug Branson: I’m tweeting that puppy.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Okay!

Jeffrey Gitomer: Hi everybody and welcome to Sell or Die, the podcast on how to make more sales, make more money, have more fun, and go on a big vacation.

Jen Gluckow: Oh yeah!

Jeffrey Gitomer: And to my right … Oh, I’m Jeffrey Gitomer, I wrote The Little Red Book of Selling.

Jen Gluckow: And I’m Jen Gluckow, founder and CEO of Sales in a New York Minute.

Jeffrey Gitomer: And this morning, we are going to talk about something extremely important. However, let’s tee up our guest. We have, this morning, the great Martin Rooney, on our show. And you may not know Martin, but I do. He is one of the top 10 physical trainers in the world. I mean, he coached the NFL combine, those guys that beat the crap out of each other in the ring-

Doug Branson: UFC?

Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah, yeah, yeah UFC. He coached a lot of those guys to a belt, to title belts. He holds the deadlift weightlifting championship in New Jersey, and then he moved to North Carolina and did it in North Carolina just for the hell of it.

Jen Gluckow: He is this big guy-

Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah, he’s like a tree-

Jen Gluckow: He’s built, right?

Jeffrey Gitomer: Right, he’s like a tree. If you push him, he doesn’t move.

Jen Gluckow: And he could be super intimidating, but then you talk to him and he smiles and he’s so endearing and so nice, and you’re like, “Wow, he’s a good guy!”

Jeffrey Gitomer: Well there’s a reason. No, he has four daughters.

Jen Gluckow: He’s a good guy. I know, I know. You talk about that on the episode.

Doug Branson: You have that connection with him [inaudible 00:01:59].

Jen Gluckow: Yeah, you do. For life.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Totally, totally.

Doug Branson: The daughters connection.

Jen Gluckow: Now what if he has another daughter or you do? Will you still feel that connection?

Jeffrey Gitomer: Oh yeah. Yeah.

Jen Gluckow: Okay, even if it’s unequal?

Jeffrey Gitomer: The number doesn’t matter.

Jen Gluckow: Okay.

Jeffrey Gitomer: But their age, you know, they’re in the same age bracket. It’s kind of fun.

Jen Gluckow: Well, some are in the same age bracket. One.

Jeffrey Gitomer: And he’s a nice person. There’s two nice people from New Jersey, well three.

Jen Gluckow: Wait a minute, out of four of your daughters, only one of them is in the same age bracket.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah, actually, she straddles two. But the bottom line is, he moved here from New Jersey to become a nice person.

Doug Branson: Yes, and he’s also the host of the Into the Roar podcast.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah.

Jen Gluckow: Yeah.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Which we’ve appeared on. Well, I have.

Jen Gluckow: Hey, before we get into his interview, which is amazing, I wanna talk about two things. One, we are going to Paris on Friday. Which is super exciting, and if you know people in Paris out there who wanna meet up, we will be free for about eight days and we can hang out.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Oh sure. My cell phone is-

Jen Gluckow: Beep!

Jeffrey Gitomer: There’s no way. Not even if it would help the program. But, just email jeffry@gitomer-

Jen Gluckow: No, just send us an email.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah. Or or

Jen Gluckow: Or, whatever. Just find us, we’re all over social media. We love meeting French people.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Yup.

Jen Gluckow: We really do. All right, so that’s number one. Number two, you’re gonna be in-

Jeffrey Gitomer: We expect them to buy our dinner.

Jen Gluckow: No. We’re gonna be in Des Moines, Iowa on May 17th and 18th and you’re gonna be giving a sales seminar to sales leaders on the 17th and sales people on the 18th and if you’re a sales leader you can attend both. You can bring your whole team, and Jeffrey, you have made this event beyond economical. When I compare it to the other events out there, you’re one-tenth of the price, but you want people to come in and fly in from wherever and meet you, and I think that’s really cool.

Jeffrey Gitomer: It’d be cheaper to fly in and see me in Des Moines than it would be to go to a normal concert or seminar-

Jen Gluckow: Conference.

Jeffrey Gitomer: … in your city.

Jen Gluckow: Yeah, yeah. They’ll get way more value.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Oh yeah. Well, you get me.

Jen Gluckow: Right.

Jeffrey Gitomer: And it is a combination of a public seminar and a hootenanny.

Jen Gluckow: It’s gonna be really fun, and you have a VIP networking event where people can hang out more.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah, there’s all kinds of stuff. Go to

Jen Gluckow:

Jeffrey Gitomer: Oh, seegitomer-

Jen Gluckow: See, like S-E-E,

Jeffrey Gitomer: Got it.

Jen Gluckow: Okay cool. Now-

Jeffrey Gitomer: So-

Jen Gluckow: Oh! Go for it.

Jeffrey Gitomer: No, you start.

Jen Gluckow: Okay, I wanna talk about this concept that we’re human. Everyone thinks that-

Jeffrey Gitomer: Wait, I don’t get that.

Jen Gluckow: Okay, let me explain, let me explain where I’m going with this. So, someone said to me the other day, “Jen, I wanna tell you about my sorrows and my issues, but you’re always happy. So, it’s really hard for me to tell you because you’re always happy.” It’s like, “Well, I have problems, too.” I just figure out how to react to them and recover from them and respond to them, sometimes more quickly, than other people because I study attitude and I study mindset. And so, have you ever been down, Jeffrey? I mean, you’re human.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Sure, I’ve had a couple bad days in the last 40 years. But I don’t-

Jen Gluckow: Or maybe not full days, but difficult hours, difficult moments.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Well, the day my dad died. There’s things that really set you back, but I think the bottom line there is, if you’re a student, a consistent student of attitude, then you understand the word resilience and you understand how to put it into the wherewithal of your thinking, number one, and then in the context of your life. And you have to say, “How bad is this? What can I do? What do I do next?” And I’m not saying to fake your way out of it. You know, don’t do anything that’s not normal for you, but there’s no reason for you to slam a door or start to moan or cry a lot. It just doesn’t work. It only tends to exacerbate the situation to a point where it’ll take you longer to get out of it because you have sort of a self-pity party or whatever it is. You’re like, “Woe is me, if it wasn’t for bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck.” And Doug looks like he wants to say something.

Doug Branson: Well, I’m just wondering if either of you have a go-to first thing that you do when you get bad news or something bad happens that would affect your attitude?

Jeffrey Gitomer: I would tell you that, for me personally, I’ve had it happen so often to me where somebody either tells me “no,” or the plane is late, or I’m sick for the week, I got the flu or something. It’s happened so often to me, I’m resilient about it. I know that if I just change the way I think about it, and I take a deep breath or I take a hot shower … there’s not one thing you can do, but you start mentally by thinking, “This is bullshit, I gotta get out of this.” As soon as you recognize it and admit it, that’s the first step towards taking the positive path.

Jen Gluckow: I find it’s all about changing my thought. So, if I’m going down the wrong path with my thought, I have to break it. I have to stop it. I either have to start writing down what I’m thinking about and take the good and the bad, or go outside and get some fresh air-

Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah, take a walk.

Jen Gluckow: … because that changes everything. Subconsciously, I didn’t realize I did this, but our dogs are in the office, and so I go and pet them. It sounds cheesy, but it’s very calming.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Right, there’s no one thing, but the first thing you have to do is out-think your issue. Be smarter than what’s happening to you because what’s happening to you is temporary.

Jen Gluckow: And sometimes breaking that pattern is so hard. When you’re in it, you don’t even realize you’re in it, unless you’re consistently studying attitude. That’s what studying it has done for me. I’ve read the YeS! Attitude book ten times, minimum, in the past year. And I’ve read your new book that’s coming out, by Napoleon Hill that you, would you say co-authored? I don’t know how to put that.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Well, Napoleon Hill wrote the stuff that’s the body of the book, I just annotated it and put beginnings of each chapter, wrote notes in each chapter about how to think about it, and then in the end I said, “Here’s how you put it into your life.”

Jen Gluckow: “Just” makes it sound like you didn’t do that much.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Well, it’s a labor.

Jen Gluckow: Anyway, I’ve read that book, that isn’t out yet, about ten times in the last three months. So, having those go-to lessons in my head, at the top of mind, have helped me change my thought pattern if something bad happens, or we lose a deal, which is easy to recover from if you know how.

Jeffrey Gitomer: And, let me throw something else to your thought, Doug. There are degrees of negative things that hit you. So, if you lose a sale, that’s one thing, or you miss an appointment or someone misses an appointment, someone doesn’t call you back, that’s another thing. But, if you’re sick or if you’re physically in pain-

Jen Gluckow: Or if you screw up and you feel like it’s affected your kids in some way and you’ve disappointed them-

Jeffrey Gitomer: Well, yeah. Let me put it in the pecking order.

Jen Gluckow: Yup.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Physical pain and illness will take a much harder toll on your attitude, because you feel mortal. The guest we’re coming up with, Martin Rooney, and it’s probably a pretty good segue to him. He just had a major, major, crippling injury and it’s taken him months to recover. Now here’s a guy who wakes up in the morning, exercises, runs, travels around the world-

Doug Branson: He’s defined by his body and his body broke.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Totally.

Jen Gluckow: Yup.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Now, how does that affect your attitude?

Doug Branson: We’re gonna find out.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Exactly, and what you’re going to find out, in the upcoming lesson, is a strategy for you to be able to take whatever happens to you and, not just deal with it, but win with it. So-

Jen Gluckow: Let’s get to it!

Jeffrey Gitomer: Let me just say this. Martin Rooney, without a personal introduction, you have buy the book Rooney’s Rules. You have to buy his book The Five Things. Just go to and buy Martin’s writings because you will understand his thinking. This guy is not just a trainer, he’s a thinker. And he’s able to communicate a value message and an inspirational message to people all over the world, in many different languages. Now he does not speak them but he has an interpreter. He’s winning. He’s winning globally, in spite of his crippling, literally crippling, injury. So please help me welcome the great Martin Rooney.

Jeffrey Gitomer: How many hours have you invested in your arms?

Martin Rooney: Oh my gosh. What I always like to say is, “When I started training, I didn’t really have a coach.” You know? What we would do is, we would essentially go down into the basement with my friends. That was my exposure to training, where we would go down into the basement with a couple of Flex magazines touting the latest Arnold Schwarzenegger workout and I would take the biggest mirror my family had, we would take it off the wall, bring it down there, and we would just do bicep curls in front of that mirror. So what I would say is, now, though, I don’t invest very much time in them at all because, and this is an important concept, because I no longer train for vanity, now I train for sanity. So now, my workout is … I’m clearing my mind, it gets me that escape, and I’m really training for health and longevity versus how big can I make my arms anymore.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah, how you’re gonna look on the beach.

Martin Rooney: But yet, it’s still a by-product that you still get.

Jeffrey Gitomer: So I wanna welcome everybody. We’re in a Sell or Die interview with the great Martin Rooney. Martin and I have a lot in common. Not our arms, not even our legs, but our daughters. We each have four daughters. His are younger than mine by a couple of decades, because I have four granddaughters in the middle. So I’m with eight girls, he’s with four girls, but eventually he’ll have more girls in the family. Fatherhood plays a very important role in our lives just in terms of how we deal with our children and what sacrifices we make for our children in our daily lives. If you go to, you’ll find some blog posts that he put up about his recommitment to his family. And commitment is a huge part of becoming successful and he committed to his family the same way he commits to his career. Not enough people do that, in my opinion, I was really emotionally touched by your recommitment to your family. Remarriage and having the daughters there and having it a surprise, just the whole nine yards of it, it was just absolutely amazing to me. I’m sure your kids were touched in a way that they couldn’t believe.

Martin Rooney: Well, absolutely. It was a surprise for them, so again, Jeffrey was saying I have four daughters and I hatched this little idea that since we were gonna be in the Las Vegas area, why don’t we do our vows again but have them be part of it? By going through that process, the first thing that I think everybody listening should get from that as Jeffrey and I talk today, if you’ve got this cool idea, don’t just go to sleep and then let it disappear. Carry it out. And we did and I’ll tell you what, for the couple hundred bucks spent, the value and the traction and the bond that was formed between-

Jeffrey Gitomer: Did they play Elvis music?

Martin Rooney: Actually, they played the Rocky theme song when we came out.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah, Vegas always has these theatrical weddings. You can get married in nine minutes there.

Martin Rooney: It probably took us about 30 and it was this amazing event, but as I was reflecting on it, exactly what you said. It was a recommitment, and the lesson that I got, so I want everybody to understand. It was never that I didn’t stay committed to my family, or something had happened and now we were doing this again. What it was is, at this time of the year, which right now we’re at the New Year, starting off, I think the big mistake people make is they start with these new resolutions, they set these new goals for themselves, they now are dreaming even bigger, but they still didn’t follow through on stuff that-

Jeffrey Gitomer: Last year, right.

Martin Rooney: Yeah, the big ones that they-

Jeffrey Gitomer: They make a new goal but they still have 30 extra pounds on them.

Martin Rooney: Or, yeah, “Hey, here’s a new commitment that I’m gonna add on to the one I never went after”. And so what I did is, “Hey, what are the areas that I’ve committed to before that I didn’t come through as strong as I could? Maybe if I go back to those, and hit those first before I add new ones on top of the stuff I didn’t do, maybe that’d be the better way to go.”

Jeffrey Gitomer: So, let me go back for just a little bit. Martin is a world-class athlete, trainer, black belt, brown belt. He has Louis Vuitton belts and he also has athletic belts. He holds several records for weightlifting and deadlifting. He owns a company called Training for Warriors that is global, and he’s known in the world as one of the top 10 trainers for athleticism and for physical health, on the planet. And we’re friends, which helps an awful lot, just in terms of we both grew up in Jersey, we have common friends in Jersey, and now we both, civilizedly, live in North Carolina, in Charlotte, where it is civilized. Where “up yours” is not a greeting.

Martin Rooney: Yeah, we were just discussing the difference between the fan base down here and his beloved Philadelphia Eagles. And he said though, as horrible as sometimes they may act, at least they’re serious.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Right, oh, they mean it. Yeah. “Oh, your fans are horrible.” “Right, what’s your point?”

Martin Rooney: Yeah, that’s exactly what they’re going after.

Jeffrey Gitomer: But, what I wanna talk about today is something that most people don’t consider. This is an unknown aspect of the selling process, and one that is never written about. What I wanna talk about today is what happens after you lose? What happens after something goes wrong? What is your resilience-factor to react, respond, and recover from what happens to you? And I think the easiest way to do that is, I want you all to think, you’re in sales. I want you to think about your life. What has happened to you in your life that gave you the opportunity for you to be resilient? Whether it was the birth of a child, or divorce, or the death of a parent, how do you react, respond, recover to what happens to you?

Jeffrey Gitomer: And Martin, unknown to most people, over the course of the last year or so was injured. And his injury was so significant that you don’t wanna see it. He basically needed a brand new knee. Tell me about what happened.

Martin Rooney: So, this is actually, I guess, the first time that I’m even talking publicly about the injury and for everyone listening, we’ve already heard about that kind of recovery or coming back and resilience-

Jeffrey Gitomer: First of all, it’s feeling mortal.

Martin Rooney: Yeah, but I mean just even, whether it be sales, I think it is that there are gonna be challenges and things that happen to everybody, whether its you just missed the big meeting, or you did have an injury, or something else, that there are these universal principles that I learned by going through my injury of what will have value for you as the listener today.

Martin Rooney: So my story was, I was coaching track and field in our town. I was teaching the high jump and learned a very important lesson that 46 year old men probably don’t need to be demonstrating the high jump anymore. What had happened was the patellar tendon, or the big tendon that hooks your kneecap down to your lower leg bone, actually ruptured, but then the way that I landed on my leg as a result, it tore everything else that was involved with my knee. So from the retinaculum to the capsule around it. And the Carolina Panthers surgeon, Dr. Connor, got me in immediately and this guy was unbelievable and really helped me to feel at ease. When he went in, he thought it was gonna be an hour repair and it was a five hour repair. So my wife thinks somehow I’ve died on the table, he comes in to tell her the news that, “Hey, we got everything back together,” but it was some of the worst he’s seen. When a surgeon of that note takes so many photos during the surgery to show all his other friends, you know you did something wrong. It’s not about the story of the injury. The story, today, that we’re gonna tell is what happened after the injury.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Right. What happened in response to the injury, mentally and physically, how do you recover from something where you’re like the king of fitness and now you’re unfit. Or you’re limping.

Martin Rooney: And not only that, but I like to consider myself, hey, maybe the king of independence and now I am depending on so many other people. It was an incredible process from, not only being bedridden, which is not my style, to then having to learn to walk again and then learn to run again and to move again. And hey, now we’re talking eight months later I’m still in the process of recovery. But, what I would say is, having been so involved in sales and having been involved in building businesses, that process of, whether you wanna say failure or rejection, to then getting back onto your feet, whether it’s in your business or in your physical life, they’re the same.

Jeffrey Gitomer: And self-belief.

Martin Rooney: Absolutely.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Knowing that you have this injury and your mortality has kicked in, and now you have to do something that is personally humbling and literally it’s frustrating to a point where you wanna scream and break a window.

Martin Rooney: Well, and that’s the first stage. So, whether you look at psychology texts, now that I’ve looked at it afterwards and seen that I’ve gone through all these stages, the first one was denial. So the first stage was-

Jeffrey Gitomer: It can’t happen to me.

Martin Rooney: Yeah, I can’t believe it, I needed this sale, this was it. My entire business was riding on this and I blew it. It just couldn’t have happened, I can’t believe it.

Jeffrey Gitomer: The one I needed to make my quota. The guy said he was gonna do it and now I can’t even get him on the phone.

Martin Rooney: I didn’t hit the big eagle. Hey, his credit card didn’t go through. Now, the guy has disappeared, well it’s the same as what happened with my knee. As I’m riding in the back of that ambulance to the hospital, I’m saying, “This just couldn’ta happened.” And here’s one that they don’t talk about in the psychology texts, you know what I did in that stage when I was in this denial stage, Jeffrey? What I kept doing was playing this game, which is the worst game you can play, this “what if” game. “What if I didn’t go that day? What if I didn’t do that extra jump? What if I didn’t do this?” As if somehow, I could go back and change it-

Jeffrey Gitomer: You could reverse it, like Superman.

Martin Rooney: It’s kind of interesting. I read this great quote by Lily Tomlin, who the more quotes I read by here, she seems like a pretty cool philosopher, and it goes something like, “Forgiveness is finally being okay that you’re not trying to change your past anymore.”

Jeffrey Gitomer: Oh cool.

Martin Rooney: So do you see how it’s almost like I had to forgive myself first, like, “Dude, okay, you messed up, it happened. I can’t change the past but if I keep thinking I can, or playing this game-“

Jeffrey Gitomer: And you’ll be bitter.

Martin Rooney: Yeah, bitter, and you’re not, definitely, moving forward. So the first stage was there, of denial. Then, next stage, anger. See then, I’m just angry, and you know who I was angry with?

Jeffrey Gitomer: Yourself.

Martin Rooney: Myself. Now I’m just angry at myself, and I can’t believe that this has happened and how could I do this to myself, what am I doing? I’m letting everyone down, and same deal. So now you come out of that sales meeting, and now you’re pissed at, either yourself, you blew it, or you’re pissed at that other person. You’re making excuses, and none of those are gonna get you any better. But I think they are a process we gotta go through, but making you aware of them, today, in the sales process, you can make those happen a lot faster.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Okay, so was there a point where you began to turn? Was there a-

Martin Rooney: Absolutely. So the next stage, what I would say is, it started to go into, whether you wanna say ownership … So the first part, you’re in this denial, you’re in this pain, you’re in this shame, and you are angry. But then, when that starts to go away and you start to realize that, now you gotta do something, and there are ways to improve, and maybe there are some things to learn, now you go into this stage of ownership. “Hey, did you take ownership for why that sale didn’t happen?” You can’t blame the other guy, and it wasn’t him. “Hey, was your pitch as good, did you have your stuff together like it should’ve been? Were you ready? Were you prepped? How were you dressed? What id you do?”

Jeffrey Gitomer: Are you blaming other people, or are you taking responsibility for what happened.

Martin Rooney: Absolutely.

Jeffrey Gitomer: That’s the whole deal.

Martin Rooney: Yup.

Jeffrey Gitomer: And you have to look at it … I often teach in sales lessons when the customer says, “I’m not interested,” that means you’re not interesting. And if you blame the guy for not returning your call, that means that the voicemail you left him pretty much sucked. Or they had no reason to do it. So let’s look it from the standpoint of now you’re trying to recover, you’re taking responsibility for your recovery, and realizing that whatever they told you at the hospital, it’s taking twice as long.

Martin Rooney: For all the listeners as well, I was an orthopedic therapist too. So I was an orthopedic physical therapist, and if I had a penny for every time someone would come in with a knee injury, maybe not as devastating as mine, but they would come in, and I would say, “Hey, you’re gonna see, this is gonna make you better. You’re gonna be stronger at the end of this process.” I would have a mountain of copper for how many times I told someone that, never having gone through the experience. So now, having gone through the experience, and then someone trying to tell me that, man, it was falling on deaf ears. I was not at that point yet, to now find the silver lining, if you will, in this horrible thing. I was still about “poor me”.

Martin Rooney: But soon, as you’re saying, that I went to, “Now it’s time to take responsibility and ownership,” that’s when I started to become open for what are the lessons, how can I be better here? And soon as that stage happens, that’s where the real process of recovery, or you could say, I guess in the sales world, of improvement, starts to happen. Because if you’re just pissed, and you’re angry, and you’re an angry, pissed salesman, you’re probably not gonna be very successful.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Well, the challenge there is when you recognize what you’ve done was a mistake, or you had an accident, or you lost a sale, or your guy didn’t come through, you can’t simply put the blame on somebody else. You, number one, have to take responsibility for it, and then what’s the game plan? What are you gonna do that it’s not gonna happen next time, number one. I’m sure you walked down the steps a little bit more gracefully now and with a lot more gratitude from what happened. But-

Martin Rooney: Everything is … and that’s that other stage, which you’re already hinting at, which we’ll get to because we still gotta go through the ownership, but then it becomes appreciation. Where now, eight months later, I am saying, “Man, you know what? They were right”. I’m actually, in this strange sense, where I’ve had friends that have had cancer, all these other things, and they almost say, “It’s better that this happened to me because it revealed my true self, what I could become. It showed me what I could be, That I’m actually more as a result.” I couldn’t see it then, but I do see it now.

Martin Rooney: That ownership, like you’re saying, and here would be the way to say it is, “Okay, what’s the prescription, or what’s the plan? Or now, what am I gonna do to improve my skills? What can I learn from this rejection, that now makes sure that maybe I experience less of them in the future?” And most people don’t do that.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Right, and here’s the deal. You can’t be angry when you lose a sale. You have to be resilient to a point where you say, “How did I accept this? How did I take this? How did I react to it? How did I respond to it?” And then, “How did I recover from it?” And the recovery part is actually the most powerful part, however, if you’re attitude’s not right, if the way you take it in isn’t the right way, you’re never gonna recover in a way that will make you better. You’ll be bitter, not better.

Martin Rooney: Absolutely, and maybe you could even talk about, depending on, hey, what anybody thinks about it-

Jeffrey Gitomer: “Oh, my company can’t perform. They’re not shipping the right stuff. Our prices are to high. “

Martin Rooney: Yeah, “This is their fault.”

Jeffrey Gitomer: “The warehouse people are stupid.”

Martin Rooney: “Economy’s down. Our product’s no good.”

Jeffrey Gitomer: Just look at it from the perspective of, you’re injured when you lose a sale. In selling, there’s two things that can happen. Either you win, or you go home. There’s no middle ground. You didn’t kind of win. You either win or lose.

Martin Rooney: You get the sale, you don’t get the sale.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Right. The winner makes the money and the loser has to look for another prospect or quit or, you know, do something, that says, “Hey, I didn’t make this.” Now, when you get a rejection, the way you take that rejection is going to determine your ability to take the next sale. Because it’s likely that you will be rejected two out of three times. A 33% close ratio in sales is pretty damn good, actually

Martin Rooney: You’ll be a superstar.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Right, so let’s look at the two where you do get rejected. What are the lessons? Are you saying, “Eh, I didn’t do well.” “Eh, the guy took a cheaper price.” “Eh, the guy had a better relationship with somebody else.” “Eh, my company couldn’t back up what I … ” No, no, no. I want you to find out what could you have done that might’ve given you that sale so that the next time you’re in that situation, you actually think you can win. You actually put yourself in the position where, “Dude, I know why I lost the last one, I am not gonna let that happen again. I can promise you this.” Now it’s likely, that Martin, at his advanced age, will not high jump again. That’s a likelihood.

Martin Rooney: Yeah, there’s a quick lesson.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Huh?

Martin Rooney: That’s a quick lesson I got right there.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah. However, you still have to go sell again. And you’re gonna sell again, and again, and again. And your boss is gonna say, “Well, what happened, well how’d it go? What’d you do?” I wanna be able to say to the boss, I want you to be able to say to the boss, “Even though I didn’t make the sale, let me share with you what I learned.” Not, “Let me share with you who I’m gonna blame.”

Martin Rooney: And remember, you and I have talked about this. Other history on myself, I’m also a black belt in Judo. And in the beginning, it’s almost the same stages. When I began in Judo, and didn’t know much about it, and I experienced failure, whether I got thrown, or I got tripped, or I lost, I would go … the same thing. Denial, anger, rage, making excuses. And the funniest part is now, looking back, number one, I was in no position to have those feelings because I wasn’t good enough to be able to have it, and I’ll never forget the old 80 year-old sensei looking at me in shock because he’s just at such a different level of where he sees, that there’s your experience, there’s your lesson. Those mats are a university. That sales office is a university for you to get better.

Jeffrey Gitomer: And the other guy’s office is a university, and your proposal is a university, and your phone call’s a university, and your follow-up is a university, and your ability to close a sale is a university, or build a relationship is your university, or get a referral is your university. You’re learning every single time, whether they say yes or they say no.

Martin Rooney: Every single time. And the lesson I got from that was, and this is one of my lines that I use with people a lot is, the black belt isn’t the person that makes no mistakes. The black belt is the person that has made all of them, he just doesn’t make them anymore. You know, or she just doesn’t make them anymore. And that, hey, you wanna be a black belt in sales? Then when you make that error you’re loose and it’s like, “What can I learn from it?” And I’ll tell you, I get it. It’s easy for us to say it. That is the hardest thing to do. Like, “Oh wow, I just lost this sale, let me see what I can learn from it.”

Jeffrey Gitomer: Right. You are so pissed off.

Martin Rooney: I get it! Oh yeah! The people listening right now are like, “Yeah, right,” but that is where you make the improvement.

Jeffrey Gitomer: The bottom line is, this 20 minute lesson will give you an understanding of what you have to do as a person in order to persevere. Persevere and perseverance are at the fulcrum point of your ability to have a long life of success in sales. How you react, respond, and recover from what happens to you is your destiny. It’s your ability to learn from the mistake so that you don’t make it again. You don’t need to be a black belt in sales, but you need to be a purple belt in sales, or a brown belt in sales, and begin to build your black belt ability. You start out with white and you go to orange, or something. I don’t know what the next belt is.

Martin Rooney: Depends on the martial art, but, yeah, just move it up.

Jeffrey Gitomer: But the bottom line is, you move up one belt at a time. You don’t go from white to black.

Martin Rooney: Nope.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Doesn’t happen that way. There’s a lot of shades of gray in the middle. Your job as a sales person is to maintain your belief system and your attitude system so you can get from one to the next, and stop blaming anybody for anything. Just, and you don’t even have to blame yourself, just take responsibility for what happens to you and figure out a way to recover from what happens to you as a lifelong lesson. Martin, it’s always a pleasure to talk to you, I hate to admit but-

Martin Rooney: We always get better whenever we go over these things.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Exactly. I hate to admit this to you, but you’re a classic example of health and fitness and every time I see your body it pisses me off that I’m so freaking fat.

Martin Rooney: Well that’s why I keep showing him so I can finally continue to get this guy in shape right here.

Jeffrey Gitomer: But I think the bottom line here is that if you go to, you will find all kinds of life lessons, even on Instagram you’ll see things that you didn’t know were possible. I am an avid reader, I am a genuine follower, and I’ve been inspired by Martin Rooney and I’m challenging you that you can do too. Please, please pay attention to what Martin has to say. It will help you forever.

Martin Rooney: Well hey, well, thank you very much. Maybe the final lesson that I have for everybody is, today Jeffrey said three words that were really important. It was the, I guess, “respond, react, recover,” and he was hinting at it, but I wanna share it with you again. The only person that’s up to, is you, and it’s free. You don’t have to pay for any of those things, they’re there waiting, that becomes your choice. So, you wanna get better in sales or not, you follow those three R’s and you do it right, you’re gonna accelerate faster to that black belt status than a negative attitude or a blaming attitude, which, neither of those will keep you in sales for long.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Okay so, there’s a story.

Jen Gluckow: Oh yeah, wow.

Jeffrey Gitomer: And, there’s a recovery and there’s a person. But, when you listen to him, you can’t help but be positive about listening, even though the story has a lot of pain to it. So, I’m gonna challenge-

Jen Gluckow: Well, he was positive about it.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Oh sure.

Jen Gluckow: He framed everything in-

Jeffrey Gitomer: He had no choice.

Jen Gluckow: … it’s not what happened, it’s my response to it. You know, it’s what happened after.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Exactly. And now he’s on the mend, and he’s in a way better frame of mind. But when you’re traveling and you’re hurt, and you have to go someplace and you’re limping, and you’re in pain when you get there-

Jen Gluckow: Well, what about when you’re told you have to learn how to walk again?

Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah. So, there’s all kinds of things that he was able to overcome, but let’s talk about you out there. The Diehards. Let’s talk about what-

Jen Gluckow: Diehards, it’s your turn.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Exactly. I want you to get out a piece of paper and a pen if you have one, a pencil if you don’t, or get out your laptop, or your notebook, or whatever. I want you to write down three or four obstacles that you have had over the course of the last couple of years, and write down how you overcame them. How long did it take you to overcome it? What did you do to overcome it? And see if your thought patterns match Martin’s. See if your thought patterns match ours. This is a real life lesson, because you get pissed off about the littlest things. Two traffic lights, or somebody has a flat tire on the highway and it causes a backup.

Jen Gluckow: Yeah, but you don’t start pissed off about that stuff. What I find is like, especially growing up where I did, where most people are pissed off, okay? It’s like something little pisses you off, something little pisses you off and you keep adding to your bucket of being pissed off. And eventually, the bucket starts overflowing because you’re not taking away from it. Whereas if you figure out a way to take something out of the pissed off bucket, you can keep going down and then those little things don’t mean anything.

Jeffrey Gitomer: What I’m asking you to do is study why you were angry or why you were disappointed or why you felt mortal because of an injury, and then what did you do about it? What got you out of it? Because if you begin to see your own resolution, if you begin to see your own circumstances, then you’ll be able to better prescribe for yourself how to win.

Jen Gluckow: And maybe you haven’t gotten out of it yet, and that’s okay. Write down what you can do to get out of it. What you can do to recover.

Doug Branson: I sorta relate this to someone who’s been through a really long sales process, and I’m sure this has happened to both of you, where you spend weeks and months prepping to make a sale, and then at the very end, it gets taken from you. And a lot like Martin, I assume that there are a lot of sales people that have to learn how to sell again. They’ve been through this huge thing, and at the end they get it all taken away from them and it’s a difficult thing.

Jen Gluckow: That reminds me of a story, Doug. I was working on a sale in New Jersey that the sale would have been six times my quote. Okay, this one sale. So this was like, “Wow! This is amazing opportunity, I’m gonna win this.” Six months I’m working with them, and every few days the contact is calling me, he was a total advocate, and in my heart I knew we were going to win. There was no question. I start bringing in people who were higher level than I was because they wanted to deal with them too, I’m bringing in everyone, they’re bringing in everyone. We’re meeting, we’re meeting more frequently. It is going great. And then all of the sudden, something comes out in their local newspaper, bad about the company that I was working for. That wasn’t even true! And it kills the sale to the point where they won’t even respond. Six months, talking almost every day, texting, and then silence, crickets. I have now spent so much time on this, because, oh my god, I mean six times my annual quota-

Doug Branson: So here’s the question. That next morning, when you walk into the office, what was it like and what did you do?

Jeffrey Gitomer: And did it rhyme with “duck”?

Jen Gluckow: Well that may have been the first word I screamed, and it wasn’t “duck”, you’re a few letters off. But, I just had to put it in perspective, and I had to take a step back, and it was like mourning the loss of something because I knew, “He’s not responding, he thinks the story is true. We have to get to him, we have to figure it out.” We never got the deal, and they did figure out the story wasn’t true, but it was too late. And so, I was sad, just like Martin went through those emotions, I was sad, I was angry, I was pissed off.

Doug Branson: A lot of people tell you that you have to allow yourself to feel those emotions. But also, with that thought in the back of your mind, “I’m going to feel this, and then I’m going to then take the steps necessary to move on.”

Jeffrey Gitomer: The words are, “Get it out of your system,” and purge it or have that period of time where you’re mourning or you’re grieving, and then stand up. It’s time to stand up. And some people take grief to a whole other level and, while I respect it, it’s just not me. You’re allowed to grieve, you’re allowed to feel bad, you’re allowed to be pissed off, you’re allowed to be angry, but don’t go to a movie to try to feel better. Read a book to try to feel better.

Jen Gluckow: So here’s the thing, in that story-

Jeffrey Gitomer: You’d be amazed how many people, “Oh, I’m gonna go to a movie.” Like, “really?”

Jen Gluckow: I don’t know, I fall asleep in the movies. It’s like an expensive nap. I had two options. I could’ve mourned the loss of that sale for months, I could’ve been pissed off about it, I could’ve made every reason why I wasn’t gonna make quota that year. We worked on this sale, I could’ve had every excuse. And instead, I said, “I still wanna make quota. And I’m going to make quota, and there are other sales out there-

Jeffrey Gitomer: Oh hey, there are sales out there. Oh yeah, by the way, yeah-

Jen Gluckow: … and here’s how I’m gonna do it.” And I reset my plan, and just started doubling down and working double as hard to make it.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Here’s the deal. I guarantee you that during the course of that sale, you already had the commission spent, you were already flying to Aruba, you-

Jen Gluckow: Aruba? Paris! Come on!

Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah, you had the whole deal under control, and what happened, and this is just my opinion, the groundwork with the CEO was not laid properly. The CEO trumps everybody and everything, and for me, if I’m not dealing with the CEO, I don’t feel like I have any kind of sale. Because he or she can step in at any moment and say, “Oh, I don’t really like that guy. Next!”

Jen Gluckow: Yeah, it was a public entity with no CEO, but-

Jeffrey Gitomer: They all have CEOs!

Jen Gluckow: There was someone who would say that, you know, without a title, yeah-

Jeffrey Gitomer: Yeah, there’s a superintendent of schools, or something.

Jen Gluckow: Exactly, exactly.

Jeffrey Gitomer: So, that’s the person, you have to get next to the person who pulls the trigger. If you don’t, you have a chance of losing at any moment in time.

Jen Gluckow: Well yeah, their fear took over, which means we didn’t present enough value and enough reward over what they saw as the potential risk. But anyway, I doubled down, and that’s the thing, I fueled that energy in a different direction, and that’s what you need to do in these situations. You have all this energy burning inside of you, and you need to fuel it in the right direction.

Jeffrey Gitomer: I agree. And in order to do that, you better become a warrior.

Jen Gluckow: That is right! What’s a warrior, Jeffrey, a sales warrior? Talk to us about that.

Jeffrey Gitomer: A warrior is someone that doesn’t take “no” for an answer, and wants to leave as soon as he hears “yes”. Because if you start talking about it after you hear “yes”, the only thing you can do is buy it back. But a sales warrior is somebody who knows how to present with passion, how to overcome objections, how to, in my opinion, have the right attitude to be able to make anything happen, how to close a sale, and how to understand what value is. If you are an expert at that, then you are a warrior. If you may not be the total expert, then you might wanna get our Sales Warrior Kit.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Okay, so how do I get this sales warrior program?

Jen Gluckow:, because when you go to, you are giving yourself a gift of warrior-ness.

Jeffrey Gitomer: Warrior-ness?

Jen Gluckow: Warrior-ness! It’s a new word, I made it up.

Jeffrey Gitomer: I don’t have enough warrior-ness, very good. Okay.

Jen Gluckow: I got a ding!

Jeffrey Gitomer: That was good enough to get a ding. What I’d like you to do, though, is say something that’s good enough to get applause.

Jen Gluckow: Do you have the applause queued?

Doug Branson: That’s a pretty … wow. I do, if you think you’ve got what it takes.

Jen Gluckow: All right, it’ll come, it’ll come. Don’t worry.

Jeffrey Gitomer: I’m gonna tell you this. Each of you has an obligation, not to your sales company, not to your sales manager. You have two obligations. Three, actually. To your customer, to yourself, and to your family. That’s why you become a sales warrior. Because no matter where you are, if you get fired or you decide to quit, that doesn’t mean you lose your warrior status. If you’re a warrior, you’re a warrior and somebody’s gonna pick you up and go, “Love that guy! Love that woman! She’s a warrior!” And that will get you a better job, or a different job, or the job that you’re hoping for. So listen, go out and invest in yourself and do it right now. Go to and buy a Sales Warrior Kit. It’s inexpensive, and it will change the way you sell forever.

Jen Gluckow: It’s the best investment you can make in yourself. And this is not for your job, I mean-

Jeffrey Gitomer: Right, it’s for you!

Jen Gluckow: This is for you, forever.

Jeffrey Gitomer: And that’s it, so I didn’t get applause but I deserved it.

Jen Gluckow: I’ll be the judge of that!

Jeffrey Gitomer: So, we’re drinking Death Wish coffee, we’re having a good time, this is Sell or Die.

Jen Gluckow: Death Wish coffee is coming in really cool new packages now. They’re boxes with a silver lining. We’ll have to have that on Motivation Monday later.

Jeffrey Gitomer: And, the pods are amazing. If you have a Keurig and you don’t have Death Wish-

Jen Gluckow: You’re really missing out.

Jeffrey Gitomer: You’re drinking crappy coffee.

Jen Gluckow: Go to and get your bag-

Jeffrey Gitomer: Subscription-

Jen Gluckow: … of the world’s best coffee.

Jeffrey Gitomer: If there’s a comment in there, tell that Sell or Die told you to go-

Jen Gluckow: It’s

Jeffrey Gitomer: We’re having people now text it and it’s pretty cool.

Jen Gluckow: It is pretty cool. All right, hey guys, Diehards, thank you for joining us today. If you don’t have your mug yet, go to and get your Sell or Diehard mug.

Jeffrey Gitomer: I’m Jeffrey Gitomer.

Jen Gluckow: And I’m Jen Gluckow.

Jeffrey Gitomer: And I’m telling you, get out there and sell something, even if your ass falls off.