Handling Rejection

Very often, the only difference between a very successful salesperson and an unsuccessful salesperson is their ability to handle rejection.

The way you handle rejection is largely about selling yourself on the value you deliver. Here are some “mind game” strategies you might consider;

1.)   Develop the attitude that when a customer says “no”, they’re the loser, not you. Assuming you have put together a proposal in your prospect’s best interest, and purchasing your proposal will increase their sales, they’re the loser, not you. Pity the advertiser, not yourself, especially if their competitor ends up buying your idea.

2.)   Remember, you had nothing when you made the presentation, so you don’t lose anything when your prospect says “no”. You lived without that sale before and can live without that sale when your proposal is turned down. (That attitude also takes the pressure off you and helps you make a more relaxed and engaging presentation.)

3.)   To a degree, selling is simply a matter of math; more presentations equal more sales. Calculate your closing ratio, then get excited about each “no” as it’s one step closer to a yes, based on your closing ratio. For example, if your record indicates you’ve closed one in ten, you can get pretty excited on your ninth rejection in the knowledge that in all probability your next presentation will be a hit.

4.)   Take responsibility for “no”. No busy decision maker has agreed to sit still for a full presentation if they have no interest in what you are offering. Therefore, retrace your steps to determine where you did not meet or beat their expectations and use what you discover to arrange another presentation. The best salespeople learn from their mistakes.

5.)    Structure your presentations so your prospect is not saying “no” to you or your stations. Structure it so the “no” is only for that particular presentation or idea, thereby leaving the door open for another opportunity. 

6.)   Change your mission and definition of success. You have no absolute control over whether your prospect says yes or no. You do have complete control over the thought, strategy, and quality that goes into your presentation. Knowing you’ve made each presentation the best that it can be makes you feel like every presentation is a success, regardless of the outcome.

In sales, rejection happens. While we always want to remain positive, preparing ourselves for possible rejection will go a long way toward softening the blow. Using one or more of the six strategies will do just that.

Always remember, a “NO” puts you one step closer to a “YES”!