In a turbulent economic environment, there are plenty of opportunities to get discouraged, depressed, and despondent over low sales. Studying sales pros reveals traits that protect them from emotional downers. Here's what they do:

Build bulletproof outlooks. Sales pros don't believe what they read or hear. They create their own reality. They schedule five prospecting or referral visits/calls daily, plus network weekly for more leads.

Make no excuses. They take responsibility for actions and know sales are the result of consistent behavior, not luck. Contractors generally over-rely on referrals. They should realize to get jobs in the production pipeline, they have to put prospects in the pipeline as well.

Understand attitude is everything. They guard theirs from negative people and influences. They boost their attitude by being their own biggest fan. They script attitude through positive talk, written in a journal. A warning though -- don't become a legend in your own mind.

Overcome the need for approval. They get satisfaction from their home life and personal pursuits and don't take business rejection personally.

Become emotionally detached. They preserve objectivity by keeping themselves from over-empathizing with prospects. The way people buy, for instance, influences how they sell. If they need to think about purchases, and a client says, "I'll think it over," empathizing hurts their ability to help the client make a decision.

-- Jim Stephens, CR, of Stronghold Construction, Boise, Idaho, is a Big 50 remodeler and Sandler sales trainer/business coach,