Selling for Entrepreneurs

Overcoming Rejection in Sales

Written by Chukwuma Asala for Gaebler Ventures

The biggest challenge in sales is how take a rejection of what you are trying to sell and keep going. This article highlights the key elements of understanding and mastering this skill early in your sales career or business.

One of the biggest reasons most people are scared of sales or selling is the fear of being rejected.

Overcoming Rejection in Sales

It is mentally draining even for very experienced sales professionals and entrepreneurs. The most successful people in sales learn and master how to not let a rejection affect their next sales appointment. How does one become more mentally tough about taking a no?

Learning to Love NO

It is important to note that this is not a fear that is specific to sales. People in general do not like being rejected as we all have an inherent need to feel accepted by the people around us.

However, the first step in becoming proficient at sales is to understand that when people say no to the purchasing of a product or service you are trying to sell, they are not rejecting you as a person.

A no simply means no. It doesn't mean you are a bad person, it doesn't mean they don't like you and it certainly doesn't mean they will not buy your product at another time.

Their answer quite frankly has absolutely nothing to do with you and everything to do with what they are in need for at that point in time! It is time to move and get over yourself.

But how does one get comfortable in an environment where high volume numbers are the only way to succeed and so the ability to take rejection is part of the job description? If you are struggling with this or even if you are a veteran, here are some tips you can use to strengthen your ability to overcome rejection from a potential client.

Quantity over Quality

People new in sales always make the mistake of trying to be perfect before attempting to make a sale. Focus initially instead on going through more potential clients. Trust me, it is okay. This will get you used to accepting rejection and understanding that whether they say yes or no really is not under your control.

You can't control what their answer is, but you can control how many prospective clients you sit down with that week. Put the numbers in your favor and just ask enough people until someone gives you the answer you want.

Ask More Questions

Learn to ask more questions. There is always a reason why a person doesn't want to buy your product. Ask them to explain why they don't see the value in it. Enough answers to this question will give you some insight into what you can do to promote the product better. You will also uncover some misconceptions they might have had about the product and clarify for them the benefit they did not pick up on.

Asking them why they do not want what you are selling will also affirm for you that they really have nothing against you and just don't need your product. This should boost your confidence and put you in the right state of mind.

Emotionally Disconnect from the Outcome

Remember that rejection may not be written into your job description as an entrepreneur, but it is a big part of it. To be emotional about a job function is suicide and your attitude will be like a roller coaster with dips and valleys at unexpected times. Your attitude is all you have so protect it by reading positive mental attitude books and listening to motivational tapes or CDs.

This is very important as your attitude will go down if you do not maintain a steady flow of positive reinforcement. It is like a gas tank that needs to be refilled every time it is half full. You cannot afford to let it get close to being empty because it needs to be overflowing with enthusiasm for the tougher prospects who will want to be convinced rather than sold.

Think of positive as being a noun and not a verb. The more positive you have, the more positive you will give out and the more you will get back.

Embrace Failure

Understand that success and failure are Siamese twins. You must go through failure in order to be successful as the road to success is paved with failure.

Every person in history who has ever become great had to go through numerous rejections before being given a chance. Luckily for you, you will be no different.

If you can persist and get to the other side of failure, success is waiting for you.

Embrace every no as bringing you one stop closer to a yes. Focus on getting your failure rate higher and by default your success rate will increase based on the law of averages.

Remember to stay consistent. Dick Devos, CEO of Amway Global, stated that "One must develop relentless perseverance to be successful as a business owner. Relentless perseverance is consistency, but consistency under pressure."

It's a Numbers Game

So the bottom line is sales is a numbers game.

But here's a question for you: what isn't a numbers game?

People in the medical profession have to overbook their calendar to make sure they are guaranteed a certain number of patients. Colleges and Universities accept more students every year because they know a lesser number will graduate. Sports teams at any level, whether from high school to professional sports, always have a tryout session with a lot of players initially and then gradually make cuts to get the best of the best from the group.

You get the point?

Michael Jordan when asked what he thinks contributed the most to his NBA career stated that he has missed more shots than he has made, that is why he has made more memorable shots and no one bothers to highlight how many he's missed.

Increase your failure rate, get more people to say no to you and you will be amazed at the success waiting at the other side.

Chukwuma Asala is an international student from Nigeria who is studying to earn an MBA from the State University of New York in Albany. He has analyzed more than 20 industry case studies throughout his education thus far, and hopes to bring some of his business knowledge to

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Do you have a great tip on overcoming rejection in sales? Please contribute your wisdom to the community.

  • Lakeisha Pope posted on 9/21/2010
    Lakeisha Pope
    Rejection is a part of Life. No matter how we fall, we must learn to get back up and brush ourselves off and finally get back into the race. The level of success we achieve is truly in our hands. Noone can take our beliefs, values, or character away unless we give up. Learning to become who you say you are, is at hand.

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