8 years ago
April 13, 2016

How to Handle Sales Rejection

A positive attitude can help overcome a sales rejection through viewing it as an opportunity to sell better.

Rhys Metler

Conventional sales wisdom has it that a sales person must drive through many “no’s” to get to a “yes,” but when considering how to handle sales rejection the better point of view to take might be how to turn those “no’s” into “yes”. By taking a more positive line on sales rejection, you can help yourself overcome the anxiety that can stall your sales numbers. Try the following exercises to support your positive attitude so that you can get to a mindset where you can overcome sales rejection through viewing it as an opportunity to sell better.

Look at Your Accomplishments When Sales Rejection Threatens Your Outlook

People tend to give the most recent events in their lives the greatest influence over their short-term perceptions. If sales rejection has been a recent trial, you may be at risk of losing sight of your past accomplishments and your future goals. You are in control of how sales rejection impacts you, and if you do not want the specter of rejection anxiety to cast a shadow on your sales numbers you should take steps to remember your positive accomplishments.

  • Think about recent contracts you were able to leverage, and what you did right to get to that point.
  • Keep a file of accolades from prospects, clients, peers, managers, and anyone else who sends you positive feedback so that you have something to refer to to get you over sales rejection.
  • Turn your focus to what needs to change as you move forward to keep yourself on track for your long term career aspirations.

Freeze Out Sales Rejection by Arranging Your Day around Preventing It

The times that you choose to undertake your sales activities can have a measurable impact on your ability to handle and overcome sales rejection. Just consider how positive you feel when you are able to end the day with a scheduled contract signing, as opposed to the feelings you might have when you end the day with a series of unanswered or negative answer sales calls. Put yourself in the driver’s seat over sales rejection by looking at how you schedule your time.

  • Schedule activities that traditionally have higher rates of sales rejection between more positive experiences such as follow-ups with strong relationships.
  • After a successful presentation or close, make the positive boost in energy work for you by making a few cold calls.
  • Use the last minutes of your day to wrap up positive tasks, so that a sales rejection just before you close the day does not set the tone for the next morning.

Know that Short Term Setbacks from Sales Rejection Are Just Part of the Picture

It may feel as though sales rejection is somehow filtering through the air when you encounter a series of negative responses, especially when a temporary negative trend impacts your goals for the day or even for the whole week. Do not set yourself back by projecting that negative trend any further than the last call. If you tried your best and are working to improve your tactics for handling sales rejection, your next call can be the one that says yes. Remember:

  • A large part of sales is in attitude, and if you make a call expecting to be rejected, you may be encouraging a negative response without realizing it.
  • Your short term goals support your long term goals, but are not the whole picture; one less-than-outstanding day does not need to devastate your month.
  • Sometimes external events really do lead to a series of rejections when a whole industry is impacted; consider what is happening so that you can adjust to overcome sales rejection.

Your career in sales is what you make it, and your ability to handle sales rejection in a positive light is one of the foundation stones of your career. Never let sales rejection slow you down; stay affirmative and in control by viewing it as another opportunity for improvement.

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.