They say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I’m pretty sure no one who ever heard that felt any better afterward. Let’s talk rejection. If you’ve been in sales long enough, you’ll see rejection.
Rejection can make your heart race, your palms sweat, and your body go into fight or flight mode. Because the fear we experience today affects our body like the fear of being eaten did a long time ago. Humans traveled in tribes long ago to avoid being eaten by predators. Occasionally someone was cast out from the tribe and left to fend for themselves. They didn’t last long.
So you see, the fear of rejection is pretty old and still very real in our minds, even though we no longer worry about being eaten alive.
Rejection is personal
When we experience rejection, the emotions we feel can range from humiliation to anger. We are either angry with ourselves or with the denier. Neither of these feelings are productive and leave us in a bad mood, which sometimes sets the tone for that day or longer. Some of us take rejection to heart and believe that we are not good enough. These feelings can last a lifetime. I had a student who was rejected by a girl in fifth grade and that fear traveled into adulthood scaring him of the rejection that comes with sales. There’s a way to overcome that fear, if that sounds familiar.
Rejection is a one-way form of communication
When we communicate effectively, we share information. Rejection is a partial exchange, or at least that’s what it feels like to the rejected. The seller asks, and the buyer says no—sometimes in not-so-subtle ways. The way buyers decline an offer says a lot about the person in general. That is not you; it is them.
dismiss with a laugh; It helps with rejection
When we are rejected, our brain releases an opioid that is similar to the release we have when we experience physical pain. We also experience this chemical release when we laugh. When we find humor in the situation and allow ourselves to laugh; We get a double dose of feel-good endorphins that ease the pain of rejection.
It’s a numbers game
Recently, leaders in the sales training community have been arguing about whether selling is a numbers game. Selling is definitely a numbers game, the more nos you get, the higher the chance of hearing a yes. You’ll also become better at the art of persuasion, learning what worked when you heard “yes,” and learning what’s really valuable to your buyer. When you learn what works, write it down. I coach salespeople and encourage them to keep a sales journal. A simple notebook you leave in your car will work. If you don’t know what worked, how will you ever create a repeatable, sustainable path to success?
You were rejected and now you’re running for your life! This is the best time to ask why. You will learn a lot about your sales process, your buyers and more. What do you have to lose? You have already been rejected. The best part is that sometimes rejection is an automatic defense mechanism in the buyer’s mind. When you ask why they don’t even know why, which makes them think and talk to you – and sometimes they end up saying yes! I swear I’ve seen this happen more than once when a seller had the nerve to ask why.
What’s your backup question?
Have you ever thought about what you could ask for that could be less authoritative? Think of alternative options that the buyer might find valuable. When you offer choices, it creates an opportunity to say no to that, but say yes to that. Try it and see how often you get a backup plan to succeed. Some examples of a great backup request include recommendations, making a more cost-effective choice, or reconsidering the purchase decision in the future. If you ask why the buyer declined, you’ll know which option is right for your backup plan.
People are friendlier than you think
Can people be idiots? You bet! However, the majority of people are very friendly. When you’ve been rejected, you’ll find that the rejecter doesn’t like rejecting you any more than you like, being rejected slingshots and darts of rejection aren’t nearly as bad as you made them out to be. The best part; Nothing will come out of the bush to eat you! I promise.
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