In sales, you’ve reached a point where you either power through the negative feelings associated with rejection, you accept that you will have lower numbers because you let it impact you, or you’ve developed strategies and tactics to overcome the sense of rejection and its influence on your success. The reality of rejection is pervasive in society and permeates most of society’s taboos. We suffer in silence to demonstrate strength and we prevent ourselves from taking action at the risk that action doubles down our workload and our lack of success. The life of analysis paralysis can be overcome with a system. I hope that you’ve developed strategies, and this has built into a system for your success.
The reason that a system is primary is it gives us a buildable litmus test to put pressure on the micro aspects of our encounters, rather than seeing the entirety of the macro as a failure. A piece of litmus will turn blue in an alkaline solution and red in an acidic solution. Rather than wondering about the pH balance, we can measure it. The same way, if we fail in a sales call may wonder why we are bad at sales. But, if we have a system, we know where we failed in the process and then can wonder why we failed at X, Y, or Z step in the process.
A system protects your identity when it comes to both successes and rejections and I’ve diluted aspects of our system down to seven steps that you can follow to overcome and avoid sales rejection. You deserve success and you control it. Look at your current behaviors and see if there are any places where you can subsume pieces of these suggestions into what you currently do to supplement and support your attitude, avoid rejection, and engender a supporting belief structure that acknowledges you are deserving and capable of success.
1. Know Your Ratios and Follow Your Cookbook
In sales rejection is inevitable. There are simply people who may not be interested in your product or may not be currently ready to invest; you know this, but you should not be discouraged if you how much rejection you can expect before you find success.
Your cookbook should articulate how many calls are required to set an appointment and how many appointments it takes to close a sale. If you don’t know what your cookbook looks like reach out—I have built a template of a cookbook that articulates what you can expect. If you can expect it, you can inspect it, and get closer to a scientific process where you are debriefing and analyzing the data of your behavior rather than hoping you find success and letting the lack of found success influence how you feel.
If you communicate with individuals in your industry and build out a comprehensive view of what you can expect with regard to failures and successes in your industry, then you will help create an immunity to the expected rejection that you will face in that same role.
2. Set a mixture of short and long-term goals.
Goal setting changes the frame of mind and anticipates struggle in the future. Goals are difficult to achieve, and they require a mixture of self-reflection and determination to create consistent behaviors which drive toward success. Goals beyond your business life can create a stability which builds perseverance into your daily routines.
The trouble is this: you can’t make more than you think you’re worth. Too often we don’t focus on goal setting on our personal and business and this allows our mind to compound the rejections we face and build principal interest which directly correlates with a drop-in revenue. We charge ourselves interest for allowing rejection to influence us and it comes off of our revenue.
By setting goals we can work on our self-worth, protect ourselves from rejection by focusing on the bigger picture, and create a perpetuating cycle of intention, execution, and a return on that investment.
3. Don’t take ownership of how other people feel—take ownership of how you feel.
Too often people take rejection personally. I am a victim of this. I can hear a no and go back 15 years to discover the core of my failures; our mindset toward rejection is a self-fulfilling prophecy that will always charge the accrued investment. It is a flaw in cognitive thought that we have an easier time remembering rejection and embarrassment while forgetting the consistency and success that we’ve made for ourselves.
There are two pieces to this. First, you are not responsible for how someone’s day is going. We can strategically work around some of these things, call around 4 when people are antsy to leave their office, avoid calling before lunch where people have a routine established, etc. But, you cannot know that you should not call someone while they are in the throws of despair, frustration, or anger.
There’s no notification system that gives you that insight. When it happens, and you are rejected, don’t try and take personally what had nothing to do with you. We know the randomness of life—the real troubles blindside you and there is no helping it. When it happens to others, don’t take responsibility, and when it happens to you, keep an open perspective on the reality of challenge.
The second piece of advice here, nobody should be allowed to live rent-free in your head. Your mind is a workaholic. Mine is a worryaholic. Too often I allow people who are distanced from my day-to-day to occupy space in my mental and cognitive processes and influence how I feel based on a perceived understanding of how they feel. Do I know how they really feel? No. You are responsible for the channel in your mind and should take ownership to turn off the pieces of self-doubt associated with others and look at every rejection as an opportunity to learn something about yourself and your system.
4. Build a routine.
In The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera posits that happiness is a longing for repetition. There is truth to this: too often at the end of the year we wonder where the time went for our intentions and ambitions, when we were simply playing out routines that we had designed for ourselves and found comfortable.
But, time is linear, and it loops through the course of a year rather than walks in a straight line. We are more comfortable when we build routines and routines bring happiness because they are associated and built out of repetitive activities that provide comfort and consistency.
Because of this, a routine is a way to stay motivated. By having objectives for the day in your cookbook and then building those habits around predetermined times you can fight against the rejection of calls, overcome your anxiety around making calls, and challenge yourself against the routine that you have established in order to bolster productivity and efficiency.
5. Keep the conversation going, and build a relationship.
Remember, a prospects money is as good today as it will be in a year. Don’t go out of your way to burn bridges, instead build your position as a trusted advisor. If a prospect rejects you, do not in turn reject them. Continue the conversation and build rapport with the individual while demonstrating your capacity as an authority in your field.
This will allow you to build credibility about yourself and your industry, and when the time comes that someone is looking for an expert, you will be available as a resource. If you actively use your social networks to illustrate your competency in your industry, then you will be top of mind as an expert to go to when questions arise related to your field. Build relationships to establish the foundation required for a work engagement and let unqualified prospects and prospects who reject you exist in a passive pipeline where you strategically work to demonstrate your competency in the field.
6. Be transparent with others in your role.
If you’re facing a fair amount of rejection, chances are there are individuals who have your same role in your organization who are also facing rejection. It is critical to understand that you are not alone. The problem with thinking we are special is it carries the implicit, “Why me?” hands to the sky as problems arise. The truth is we all face difficulties and life is not a competition, but a collaborative experience. It’s critical to avoid hermitages and instead look to build bridges and communicate with other individuals in our role and field to normalize what is happening to us.
7. Acknowledge your accomplishments
Track your behaviors and track your accomplishments. This will allow you to have an easier access to your accomplishments and achievements at the end of the day when you commence with your journaling. Doing this creates a routine which works to recognize and involve process. Would you feel better if every day you wrote down three things you did well that day? Yes, you would.
Validate your successes and focus on the sales that you won. If you face rejection, understand why it took place and debrief where the process fell apart. The same must be true for success. It is not by chance that we find success, but a mixture between perspiration and opportunity. If we build out our behaviors then we create the process to perspire and if we go above and beyond, everyday we will open another potential chance to engage with opportunity in a way that will reaffirm our success.
You are a self-fulfilling prophecy and you can function on a daily dosage of hope or you can take control and prioritize the goals you wish to achieve and the life you want to live. Do not let the head trash of rejection diminish your ability to be and see yourself as great.
You are amazing. You are resilient and strong and despite all odds you continue to fight, improve, and succeed. If you to know how the process could be easier reach out to me or download the free report below on how the Sandler Coaching model could help you.