A Strategy for Sales Rejection

Sales Strategies
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Some of the most excellent sales people and dialers succeed because they have little to no reaction to rejection. The feeling of disappointing someone, worrying that you’re wasting their time, getting dissatisfying feedback on your product — these make sales too painful for most people. If you are prone to distress at the anticipate of rejection, there are some strategies to handle those uncomfortable moments effectively.

Rejection Counter Measures

When you’re a CEO building a business, you are responsible for sales - at least initially! It is on you to take these emotional hits and deliver sales. Though it may be difficult to rid yourself of the sense of rejection entirely, some of these counter measures may help you alleviate it and improve your sales performance.

Recognize that it’s not a failing

A sense of rejection is natural and not a failing or something to suppress. It is a basic psychological trait natural to most people. While winning a sale of course alleviates the feeling of rejection, it will likely never go away completely — nor should it. Rejection is a natural emotion and often a useful signal for if you are selling correctly.

The real sales goal is ‘more times at bat’

A lot of sales is just a numbers game. Yes, we have to work smarter, but once you’ve optimized your strategy, it comes back to doing the work in a sufficiently high volume. To avoid becoming demoralized however, you must keep the sales activity consistent. Feeling rejected will impact your desire to build funnel, and so this must be addressed.

Rejection and Positivity are like a well of water

Each rejection draws from our emotional well — the flip side is that we can make deposits back into the well! One positive response can make up for a series of rejections. The trick is to “flood out” negative rejections with positive responses, keeping the emotional well filled up, and giving you more times at bat:
More Positive Responses → Can handle more rejection → Can handle more funnel activity → More times at bat

Getting more positive responses

Winning positive responses can be a bottleneck. Of course, in sales, we all want more positive responses! But here’s the trick: The positive response doesn’t have to be from a won sale. Any positive emotional response from people related to your sales effort is going to refill your well and allow you to put more effort back into sales. You can use this psychological fact to your advantage, and adjust the nature of your sales strategy accordingly.

100% Positive Activities

To build positive momentum in your sales process, it can be helpful to mix in strategies that mitigate rejection. All of these strategies are just finding ways to help people in a way related to your line of work:
  • Help the lead find a connection to a related service
  • Be a sounding board for questions or strategies within your domain
  • Follow up and build connection if they are someone you’d get to know for their own sake
  • Send materials that you truly believe would help them

For the long term

A sales person who is not vulnerable to rejection would be able to ask for the close on every sale and happily move on if they don’t get it. But for most, consultative selling, or selling-through-helping can help “keep the well filled up.” In the short run, the alpha sales person might have a higher conversion rate, but they are limited to just the deals they’re closing. However, once we’ve built up a strong network of people we have helped, they become champions of us and a potential source of referrals. It’s a win-win.

What to do next

Consider all of your leads, demos, and sales and ask yourself, “Did I leave them better off for taking my call even though they didn’t buy”? If the answer is no, consider why and whether that was okay. If you can’t find a solution for a particular lead, were they the right target? If you are taking a lot of rejection and have no way to help the people you talk to, it is a good sign that you are incorrectly or too broadly targeted.

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