8 years ago
June 13, 2016

3 Steps to Dealing with Rejection in Sales

Rejection is inevitable in the industry. But how you deal with rejection in sales is critical to your success. Keep reading to learn more.

Rhys Metler

Even the most persuasive, successful, and charming sales person will still face rejection in sales on a regular basis. It’s an inevitability in business and one that you must learn how to deal with if you’re going to make it in the industry.

Being able to effectively handle rejection and deal with its effects will set you apart from mediocre sales people who will wallow in self-doubt and give up when they hear the word “no.”

1. Don’t Take It Personally

Seasoned sales people understand that rejection is just part of being in sales. It isn’t personal. It isn’t a reflection of their skills, experience, or capabilities. Some prospects just won’t be able to buy due to the price, the timeline, or for any other reason. They aren’t rejecting you, they’re rejecting the deal that you are offering. There is a big difference there. Understanding this will make dealing with rejection in sales that much easier on your sanity.

2. Understand the Difference between an Objection and a Rejection

There is a big difference between a buyer having an objection and a buyer rejecting the deal altogether. If you don’t see the difference, you could end up losing out on major sales opportunities because you gave up too fast.

If the buyer has an objection, you have a chance at changing the direction of the deal once you hear it. You have a chance at overcoming the objection. Instead of giving up at the first sign of resistance, you can look for innovative ways to take back the control of the sale to achieve different results and to find different angles to approach buyers if your initial method did not work. You can find out what’s behind the objection, start a dialogue for compromise and negotiation, and still close a deal—even if it wasn’t the one you came into the meeting expecting to get.

On the other hand, though, if you’re hearing a big fat “NO” make sure you listen and move on. Many times, you will not be able to change a prospect’s mind, no matter how much you try. This is when you have a flat-out rejection—a final answer. Recognizing it can help you save a lot of time from continuing to pursue a lead that’s never going to buy.

However, if “no” is the final answer, you can still use it as an opportunity to ask for feedback in order to analyze and adjust your sales process for better results with different prospects in the future.

3. View It as an Opportunity

Even if you’re in the sales game for 30 years, there’s always going to be something new to learn and something you can improve upon. It is not a stagnant industry. Consider rejection in sales as an opportunity for professional improvement and you’ll be able to see it in a much better light.

Track your rejections to see how you are performing against your past numbers, your colleagues, and the industry in general. If they’re declining over time or still better than average, then you can feel confident that your tactics for dealing with rejection in sales are working and that you shouldn’t get so down on yourself. Use feedback from your rejections to improve your sales process.

In addition, learn how to “close” rejections properly. Keep a positive attitude, keep the relationship intact, and you might just get a call one day when that failed prospect does become interested in what you’re selling.

No one likes feeling rejected. But when you use these three steps for dealing with rejection in sales, you’ll be able to ensure that your feelings don’t turn into self-doubt and lost confidence and start impacting your other opportunities or responsibilities.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ 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 daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.