3 years ago
January 5, 2015

3 Keys for Dealing with Rejection in Sales

Dealing with rejection is a necessary skill in sales, as even top performing sales people still hear rejections and objections on a regular basis.

Rhys Metler

Dealing with rejection is a necessary skill in sales, as even top performing sales people still hear rejections and objections on a regular basis. The difference between top sales and average sales may depend as much upon a sales person’s approaches to dealing with rejection as skills and experience. These keys for dealing with rejection in sales can help you learn how to overcome rejection and deal with its influences without viewing it as a setback.

Dealing with Rejection: Don’t Take It Personally, But Take Accountability

Rejection in sales is not made on a personal basis, and when dealing with rejection it is important to remember that a prospect or client who is saying no is not saying no to you; he or she is saying no to the deal you are offering. However, at the same time what you do when rejection is on the horizon or after rejection has occurred can change the outcome of a potential sale. Dealing with rejection can become easier once you realize that you can change the direction of a sale and overcome that objection by determining what the prospect’s sticking points are. Practice dealing with rejection by:

  • Analyzing and reminding yourself that you are in control of the sale
  • Constantly looking for ways that you can control the sale and do things differently to achieve better results
  • Trying different angles when you initial approach does not work; it may be that your prospect is only rejecting part of the deal, and not the entire opportunity

Dealing with Rejection: Accept that ‘No’ Happens and Move On

In some cases, no matter what you do will change a prospect’s mindset or readiness to buy. These are the prospects with whom you will find that rejection is the final answer. Dealing with rejection in these circumstances requires that you accept the fact that sometimes ‘no’ is not an opportunity to continue selling while still remembering the tip for dealing with rejection above, that it is not personal! Follow these tips for dealing with rejection when ‘no’ really is the final word:

  • Ask why it is that the prospect is not open to moving forward with a deal at this time, so that you have a better basis for analyzing your sales process.
  • Be rational about why the rejection occurred, so that you can deepen your understanding of how similar prospects are likely to react in the future.
  • Don’t let the rejection stymie your sales; get back into the game immediately by following up on another lead.

Dealing with Rejection: View It as an Opportunity to Do Better

Sales is a game of constant improvement, and this is no different when dealing with rejection than it is in improving closing numbers or other metrics; in fact, dealing with rejection can often be the basis for improving in these other areas! Use your efforts towards dealing with rejection to fuel your drive to do better by:

  • Tracking your sales rejections to see how you are performing against industry averages and against your past numbers. If your sales rejections are gradually declining over time, you are on the right track and can take confidence that your tactics for dealing with rejection are working.
  • Learning how to leave the door open after rejection. If you ‘close’ a rejection right, the prospect may remember you when he or she does become interested in what you are offering.
  • Maintaining a positive attitude when dealing with rejection so that the urge to give in to negative feelings does not impact your other sales activities.

Dealing with rejection is an integral part of sales, no matter which brackets your quotas fall into. Learn how to deal with rejection gracefully and effectively to start building your own foundation for doing better in sales.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.