Whether you are an experienced salesperson or just beginning, the most threatening element in the sales situation is often the looming fear of being rejected.
Part of your success clearly depends on your style of selling, but perhaps more important is how you handle the day-to-day rejection you encounter. It can take many prospecting calls to secure a new customer.
Ross Perot was quoted in a U.S. News and World Report article as saying it took him 68 sales calls before he made his first successful sale for EDS back in 1962. How you deal with the failure or rejection may say more for your success than any selling techniques you learn.
Many salespeople leave the profession each year because of their inability to cope with the sense of rejection they experience.
True, they feel disappointment if they fail to close, but successful salespeople focus in on the sense of accomplishment they feel when they do close a sale.
To keep from being overwhelmed by the disappointment, accept the fact that rejection exists, see it for what it really is, and never make the mistake of allowing it to serve as a measure of your own self-worth.
The critical question is, how much rejection can you experience before even you begin to take it personally.
Walt Disney went broke seven times and had a nervous breakdown before he got Disneyland off the ground. Thomas Edison failed many thousands of times in his attempts to invent the electric light bulb. When a reporter asked him how it felt to be a failure, he replied, “You don’t understand, I’ve never failed once. I have just found several thousand ways not to make an electric light bulb.”
You cannot afford to indulge in self-pity. Don’t allow anyone else to make you feel inferior. Here are six positive solutions for living and dealing with your own feelings of rejection:
• Remind yourself of the difference between self-worth and performance. Never equate your worth as a human being with your success or failure as a salesperson.
• Engage in positive self-talk. Separate your ego from the sale. The prospect is not attacking you personally. Say to yourself, “This prospect doesn’t really know me; the refusal to buy cannot have anything to do with me as a person.” If you do not take the rejection personally, then you are not upset. You might even laugh about it. Rejection of your offering is a fact of life in sales.
• Do not automatically assume that you are the problem. The prospect may be an intimidating, self-serving individual with some deep personal problems that cause the behavior you see. The prospect may just be having a bad day or may be like that all the time.
• Generate additional prospecting activity. Then when some people reject your product/ service, simply look in your prospect file at the 200 Class ‘‘A’ prospects on whom you can still call. The more prospects you have, the better you feel.
• Positively anticipate rejection and it will not overwhelm you. Expect, but don’t create it. Think in advance what your response to rejection will be. Remember the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”
• Consider the possibility that not buying is a rational decision because of underlying reasons such as bad timing, shared decision making, or budget constraints that prevent purchase. The prospect does not always feel comfortable revealing these reasons