7 years ago
February 21, 2017

5 Lessons Learned About Sales Rejection

Here are five lessons you should try to take away from a sales rejection.

Rhys Metler

When it comes to learning experiences, a sales rejection can be just as powerful as a closed deal. Learning from mistakes is one of your principle means of self-improvement. To learn from a sales rejection, it must be viewed objectively, and without unnecessary emotional attachment. Too many salespeople treat a sales rejection as a personal attack, even when the reasons involved have nothing to do with them personally. Here are five lessons you should try to take away from a sales rejection.

One Rejection Does not Make a Pattern

It’s human nature to focus more attention on our shortcomings than on our strengths. For some salespeople, a single sales rejection can seem like an indictment of their entire career. You need to look at a sales rejection in the light of your other accomplishments. Even if you lose a major account, chances are the rest of your sales more than make up for it. If you let a single rejection shatter your confidence and deflate your ego, future sales will be that much more difficult. Treat a single rejection as what it is-an outlier in an otherwise successful career.

Of Course, if There is a Pattern

What if it’s more than one sales rejection? What if you’re suddenly in a downward spiral and can’t seem to get out? Again, you have to look at the numbers objectively. Every salesperson will have slumps-it’s a fact of the business. Now, look at the sales you’re losing-do they have anything in common other than you? Examine your sales process and see if anything has changed that could explain the slump. Are you distracted? Are you getting enough rest? Has there been a change in the resources you use or the team you work with? Hundreds of things have to go right to make a sale-only one has to go wrong to lose it. Check all of the details, and make corrections where necessary.

A Learning Experience

Every sales rejection offers you a chance to improve your sales process. Even if the sale was lost through no fault of your own, there are still lessons to take from it. One of the most valuable lessons is learning to manage your expectations. There are no “sure things” in sales, and you have to approach every sale with the understanding that failure is always an option. Another lesson is remaining gracious in the face of rejection. Just because a client walks out on one sales doesn’t mean they won’t walk back in later. If you come across as needy, arrogant, or rude following a rejection, you can bet that you won’t get a shot at future sales with the same client.

Time for Self-Reflection

Following a successful sale, everyone has that “on top of the world” feeling. After a sales rejection, the opposite feeling can creep in. Instead of wallowing in misery, use it as a catalyst for self-reflection. Objectively review the things you do well, and honestly assess the things you could do better. Look for actionable ways you can improve in both areas. Sitting around daydreaming about getting better won’t help you. Write down some concrete steps that you can take that will improve your overall process. Not only will it take your mind off the sales rejection, it will give you positive actions to help you move forward.

There is Only One Way to Fail

Giving up is truly the only way to fail at something. As long as you keep trying, and keep trying to improve, your career can’t be considered a failure. Obstacles only become roadblocks if you stop trying to get over, around, under, or through them. Treat a sales rejection like any other obstacle, and find your way past it. As long as you keep putting in your best effort, and keep working to be a better salesperson, you can’t truly fail at what you’re doing.

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.