July 2009


I was totally unprepared for the physical effects of cold calling.

If you’re even slightly like me, stress is a trigger, that makes me eat.   Don’t get me wrong. I don’t munch away whilst on my calls, but if I’m on a call for a long time, and I begin to lose focus, I get stressed, and think about food. Years ago, I’ll admit it, I was a smoker, and although that demon is long gone, that same Tasmanian devil now propels me to the kitchen. When I began in the B2B lead generating business, I was unaware of what can happen if someone says 1) “sign me up,” or 2) “not interested.” And, it’s always one or the other. What’d I do? I headed straight for the fridge. Bear in mind, I work from my home office – so my all access pass had me at my stainless steel top-of-the-line, French-door Goddess of the Goodies –  A LOT! Whatever was there, as long as it was bite-sized, I’d grab it. Believe me, it took me quite a while to realize that it mattered not what I reached for – See’s chocolates, pieces of cheese, or pieces of raw veggies. I was either feeling happy that I had succeeded at my mission or crummy because I (not really) was turned down. One day, there I was, staring into the light of the fridge, reaching for something I had no desire to eat, that I realized that I’d gone and developed a Jones. At first, I said to myself that at least I was not the person who kept a bottle in my desk drawer to take a nip every now and then. Nor was I like the gentlemen from Mad Men and their office cocktail de-stressers. But the munchies, for me — exactly the same – a crutch. You know what they say? Recognizing that there is a problem is half the battle. I embraced my new habit by acknowledging it. Oprah or my shrink – (maybe both) had given me permission to do this, and I started to smoke again. JUST KIDDING!

That’s it. Just watch for these triggers, and remember to go for the carrots.

by Sheryl Tuttle

Everyone faces rejection at various points in their life, but if you are in sales, and particularly if you make cold calls, then you face rejection more than many. It’s a tough job, and not everyone is cut out to do it. Even top producers in sales hear “no thanks” and “not interested” on a regular basis. It’s simply the nature of the job. When calling prospects, you have to weed through those that don’t have interest to get to and find the prospects that do have interest.

Learning to deal with rejection is paramount to a career in sales. It’s important that a rejection doesn’t render you useless, and that the fear of future rejection doesn’t stop you in your tracks.

Here are some important tips to help you properly handle and overcome rejection.

  1. Be polite and thank the prospect for their time. Never get angry at the prospect. While it is unlikely they will be a customer now, nobody has a crystal ball into the future. You could change jobs, they could change jobs, and your paths could cross again. Never burn bridges.
  2. Remember you are not alone. Everyone in sales has experienced rejection, and will experience it again as long as they continue in sales.
  3. Don’t take it personal. The prospect isn’t rejecting you personally, it’s what you are offering or proposing they are rejecting. You’re still just fine!
  4. For every “no” you hear, you are that much closer to the next “yes.”
  5. Get over it – and quickly! Pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and get on with your next call.
  6. Focus on your overall goals and don’t dwell on the individual rejection.
  7. Keep a positive attitude and a smile in your voice.
  8. Look at the rejection as an opportunity to improve yourself. What caused the prospect to decline interest? Would more open-ended questions have better engaged the prospect?
  9. Don’t give up.

They say salespeople must be thick-skinned and insensitive, but I disagree. You simply need to practice these skills, have confidence, and not let a rejection affect your self-worth.

How do you handle rejection? Do you have some tips you can share? Please let us know in the comments.