Rejection of any kind is not great. And unfortunately for salespeople, rejection is part of the sales game.
But through time and experience, the sting of rejection begins to hurt a lot less. That’s why the real professionals are able to handle rejection very well and, even better, bounce back from it quickly. Rejection has never stopped them from having a long, successful career in sales.
How do they do it? Well, it takes a huge amount of will and self-awareness. Here are 7 things the pros do and know about rejection.
7 Ways the Pros Handle Rejection
1. They set their ego aside.
The rejection is not a personal attack. So don’t let your ego take a hit when you get rejected. Separate how you’re feeling about the loss from how you feel about yourself. The rejection does not say anything about your self-worth. You are not the sale.
Setting aside your ego also allows you to look at the situation with a more open, coherent mind—and helps you prepare for your next step(s).
2. They know that it’s a downside to the process—and they prepare for it.
No one likes being rejected, but don’t dwell on it. Don’t be overwhelmed or sidetracked. And in the event of a rejection, be prepared for what to do next, specifically your response.
Sometimes a no can mean “not right now.” Oftentimes, it also signals a negotiation: for example, their no could mean “no at that price.” If you are prepared for these instances, you can reframe the conversation and start a negotiation to change that no to a yes.
3. They acknowledge the rationale behind the rejection.
Do not take the rejection against your client. While it hurts to be rejected, there can be a very compelling and justifiable reason behind it. And a matured, professional salesperson acknowledges that.
By acknowledging it, you are also creating an opportunity to address the reason your proposal was rejected in the first place. If they are rejecting because a competitor submitted a better offer in terms of pricing, you can still overturn the decision by strategizing on a new offer that meets or exceeds the competitor’s.
The pros view rejection as a challenge, and you should too.
4. They create multiple opportunities for a win.
What’s one setback when you have many other opportunities for a win? You’ll barely have the time to mourn the loss because you will be moving on to the next prospect.
You can create multiple opportunities by establishing a routine. Have a daily checklist and stick to it. Set up your short-term and long-term goals. Set up a sales cadence and follow through. The routine and productivity also serve as a distraction, and pretty soon the loss is forgotten.
Re-direct all your energy toward these possible yeses and forget the nos.
5. They keep their eyes on the prize.
Don’t let the upset take your eyes off the goal and mission. Consider it a slight hitch so try to maintain the momentum you’ve started.
And by goal or mission, we don’t mean the sale. The sale is only a step towards the goal. What is your end goal? It could be a much-deserved vacation, a car, a downpayment for a new home, etc. It is up to you, but make sure you identify your goal or mission. Besides, we do know that it’s much easier to feel motivated when you’re working towards a prize.
6. They engage in positive self-talk.
Even after the sting of a rejection, don’t feel defeated. Do not begin the self-pity party by engaging in negative self-talk. Do not let your emotions bully you into believing that you need some dressing down.
More than ever, you should engage in affirmative, encouraging self-talk. Tell yourself that there are other individuals and groups who need and want your product/service and soon you will be meeting with these people. (And by the way, this is true,)
Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.
7. They turn it into an opportunity to be better.
When you receive news of a rejection, do this: Ask them why. Yes, don’t be afraid or shy to ask: "What is it about my proposal you are saying no to?" And whatever the reason is, use it as an opportunity to learn something.
If it’s something you said wrong, work on improving your communication skills. If they found the proposal “lacking,” go over your presentation and proposal to see where you could have done better.
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