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.