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Rejection: A Chosen Response By Alvin Day


What is your natural reaction to rejection? Think of children, for many the answer is automatically negative, sulking, screaming, and crying. As adults, we temper ourselves enough to stop this kind of outward reaction but in many cases our inner reaction is not always much better.

Think back to your last particularly disappointing rejection to a sales presentation. Though you probably shook your prospect’s hand and paved the field for possible future opportunities, did any whining, complaining or even screaming go on inside your head? Most of us would answer yes.

Rejection can be a debilitating force that drains the precious energy sales professionals need to go from one sales call to the next. It can be a terrible thing to hear the word no after weeks of preparation and effort but what can be even worse is our chosen reaction to it. If you allow a rejection to fester on your mind, to invade your thoughts and lessen your spirit, you experience low productivity, poor results and limited rewards. You must control the reaction you have to rejection in order to succeed in the sales field.

Take the following example: Mona has just started her own small business, a catering company specializing in gourmet catering for corporate events. She chose this market because she felt she could actively seek business among the many corporations who hold events locally throughout the year. She has found the process of cold calling to be a difficult one.

After finally getting on the phone to a decision maker, Mona pitches her services going through the menu and low prices. After what she believes is a great presentation, she gets a very abrupt “not interested” followed by the click of a dial tone.

Mona’s inner dialogue sounds like this: How dare he slam the phone down on me? That is so rude. I would never do that, at least not to anyone I had any respect for. I guess to this guy, I was just another telemarketer calling and wasting his time. He doesn’t see me as a business person at all. I am the CEO of my company just like he is the CEO of his, but I wonder how many CEOs he hangs up on every day. I guess I just didn’t seem that important to him. How awful this is spending all day being treated like nothing on the phones. I don’t know if this business idea is even going to work out.

In the few minutes after receiving that harsh rejection from a complete stranger, Mona has gone from being a confident new business owner to doubting the importance or possibility of success for her company at all. She now wonders if she should even consider herself in the ranks of CEO.

She has taken the rejection from being just about her company to being something more personal. Seeing the rejection as a personal insult makes Mona wonder if she can go on for much longer with this business that she was previously so excited about.

Action step: write out on a 3×5 index card the question “who am I?” Answer this question with a list of positive attributes of which you are very proud. The next time you are in a difficult situation, read the list out loud to remind yourself of your greatest and most notable qualities.

I call this strategy Logical Separation. It is a powerful way to make a distinction between the rejection you must experience on a regular basis and your worth as a human being. We are bound to react when we hear the word no but we must learn to control that reaction.

To succeed in this field you must be able to approach each new sales situation with confidence, determination and great energy. When you learn to control the way you react to rejection, you will diminish its ability to wreak havoc on your sales career.
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Alvin Day is a Sales Training and Personal Empowerment coach who has helped many sales professionals reach and exceed their goals. You can learn more about Alvin Day’s “Ultimate Sales Manual of Persuasion, Influence & Rewards” at TheUltimateSalesManual.com.

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