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Dealing with Rejection in Sales

The capacity to dealing with rejection in sales is one of the most important traits to possess. You will face many situations where you have to keep insisting and persisting when you’ve received a “no” – one or several times. There are several techniques that can help overcoming objections, both in the long-term and short-term:

Accepting the Nature of People

The first one is the easiest one to do and that will give you more results. Accepting that people will behave in different ways due to their emotions and conditioning allows you remove yourself personally from the equation. You accept that they are acting due to whatever is going on in their lives and that their reactions are irrespective of you, which allows you jump to the next opportunity without feeling affected.

“Game Face” On

Accepting that you are going to have to go through a lot of bullshit, drama, rejection and, instead of resisting it, choosing to dive right into it. By declaring to yourself that you’ll put your “game face” on, that you’ll do whatever it takes and go through whatever suffering you have to in order to close this, you will be ready for whatever responses others through at you and be left standing.

A Numbers Game + Abundance Mentality

One of the easiest ways to deal with rejection in sales is, obviously, having more leads. It’s not about the actual numbers, it’s about understanding the process. Regardless of personalities, motivations and the quality of the product/service being sold, at the end of the day, it’s a numbers game. If you have 100 leads and you have a 12% conversion rate, only 12 of those people will close. So you can make peace with that fact and realize you will heard 88 “no”s. That’s completely fine. You will always have a number of positive and negative responses, and having more leads puts you in an abundance mentality – many times where you are actually the buyer, not the seller, making the other person qualify themselves to your solution. Having a scarcity mentality, where you have to “burn each lead to the ground” is toxic and will insert a lot of emotional elements into the process (counterintuitively, you should “burn each lead to the ground”, but in a non-needy way).

Desire Without Attachment

There’s a Zen concept of “desire without attachment”. Whats this means, in terms of overcoming rejection in sales, is that you decide on something, and for a specific period of time you do everything possible to win and make it happen. But once you’ve determined it’s not happening, you let it go completely without an ounce of regret. This is a great mindet to have in sales. Just like in a football game, during game time you do everything possible to win, but once the final score is settled, you close the chapter and move on, making full peace with it.

Execution Conditioning

After you’ve dealt with several sales calls/meetings in a row, you will start to become desensitized to objections and negativity and focus only and exclusively on closing. It’s as if the weak parts of yourself start to melt off and you come down to the core, that is free to execute. You become conditioned, in a state of “flow”, but more than that, your Reticular Activation System will zero in on the specific things that will make you succeed and ignore all others. You become conditioned to execute. You see only opportunity, nothing else. You minimize, or even fully ignore the negative aspect. You become conditioned to “get the negative out of the way” and focus and stay on the positive.

Have a Success Example to Leverage

Knowing how things go well is one of the most powerful motivators for overcoming rejection in sales. When starting my coaching, I started with direct sales. I had to send 4,000 messages to obtain one yes. There was a whole funnel, naturally (the 4,000 messages lead to about 2,000 replies, which led to about 600-700 interesting conversations, which in turn led to about 10-15 calls and 1 close at the time). You can understand how I was depressed, frustrated, almost helpless, continuing the process every day. I named my lead pipeline “Normandy” because of how bad all of them were being cut down.

I had to repeat the exact same process for my 2nd and 3rd clients. My first client was obtaining amazing results, and he thanked me for seeking him out, for helping him. What made me move forward, repeating the process and going back into the “lead generation routine of death” was knowing that the person that signed with me got amazing value out of the process and that others would to. I was facing a constant frame battle of others trying to tell me what my value was, but having more proof to serve as the foundation for my own point of view greatly solidified my belief in my service.

Strengthening Your Core

One of the most important things to not taking things personally and handling rejection easily is strengthening your inner personality. If you’ve been through a lot, faced rejection in several different areas, if you’ve been exposed to several cultures, situations and interactions, you will develop a much bigger, almost “cosmic” understanding of interactions. And when your understanding is so big and comprehensive, you will take nothing personally, because you realize “people will just be people”. You can contrast that with somebody who does not have a lot of life experience and that takes every little thing very seriously, who will take rejection in a very heavy-handed way.

Release an Identity

I’m a big fan of methods for releasing different identities or personas in yourself, and overcoming rejection in sales is a purpose for which these can really help. Having an alter-ego, a secret persona that you embody versus it just being “the plain you” really helps here. Giving yourself permission to adopt a completely different identity allows you not take rejection seriously, because you’re not the one being rejected, and to try many different things, including persisting more, because that’s what the fictional identity you’re adopting would do anyone. You gamify the process and take the personal, “me” element out of it.

Conclusion: A Comprehensive Approach to Deal with Rejection in Sales

Dealing with rejection in sales is not a straightforward process, but it can be tackled through multiple techniques from multiple different approaches, starting with oneself but also taking into account the characteristics and motivations of others. Especially if combined with other persuasion and influence tools, from the Kingmaker Influence framework to any of its components such as The Four Perceived Personalities, dealing with rejection is an elite weapon for any salesman.

The Inc.com article 7 Ways Superstar Salespeople Easily Handle Rejection is a good complementary resource.

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