Managing Rejection in Sales

If you have been in sales for more than one day, you have faced rejection. Rejection can come in the form of: not getting past the gatekeeper on a marketing call, not getting the appointment, and of course, the dreaded not getting the business. Rejection is not just a part of the sales game; it is a part of life. You get rejected at so many things in life. Some of them have no impact on you and others seem to be just devastating. Why is that? Consider that the rejection is not the cause of the devastation it is how we think about the rejection that causes the devastation. In order to win the sales game you have to deal with rejection in a way that leaves you empowered and not devastated.

To deal with rejection effectively, you first have to understand where the devastation comes from when rejected. Let’s imagine you are single and you see someone that you are very attracted to. You walk up to them and ask them to go on a date Saturday night. They reply they can’t go on a date with you because they are sharpening pencils that night. You’re devastated! But where does the devastation come from? Does it come from the person telling you in essence they don’t want to go out with you (rejection) or, does it come from what you say to yourself about the rejection? Well let’s see. When you walked away from the person did you say to yourself: “way to go you did absolutely; great, nice going! Way to put yourself out there and you’ll get ‘em next time.” Or, did you say something like: “you’re the stupidest person on earth to think they would ever want to go out with you; what were you thinking about? You will never have the person of you’re dreams.” Clearly the devastation comes from what you think about the rejection and not the rejection itself.

Great Sales People understand that there is no pain in rejection. The pain is all in how we think about the rejection. Therefore, great sales people learn to look at the rejection for what it is, which is a chance to learn and then move on. When you get rejected ask yourself what one thing did I do well on this sale?  Even though you lose a sale there is at least one thing you did well. After all, you at least got to the point of getting rejected. There is one thing you always can control and that is what you think. Practice thinking about things that empower you and not the things that devastate you. That’s the way to win the sales game.

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