Dealing With Rejection In Sales

One thing I notice within the office amongst new sales people is the inability to accept rejection.

You can employ the most enthusiastic hot prospect the world has ever seen, but there’s something about that word “No” that manages to take the wind of the even the largest of sails.

How Do You Handle Rejection?

I have once been asked what to do when rejection hits, how I handle it.

I learned to accept rejection in sales at a young age (16) when I was selling PC’s in one of the local stores. You could spend a good 20 minutes pushing the ‘features and benefits’ and throwing all your cards down offering the customer a deal that was surely to good to refuse. Then, come crunch time the line “I’ll think about it…” or “I’m going to see what the other store has to offer…”

At first, I saw this as a complete failure on my part. Surely, if I has done my job properly they would’ve given me the cash there and then?

What I came to realise was that no matter how much effort you put in, and no matter how well your product solves your customers problem, sometimes it’s just not meant to be.

Instead of letting it get me down, I took the positives from it – For example, I noted how the customer reacted when I was talking about the product. I noted what I did right. I focused on the good things.

To often people spend too long on thinking over what they did wrong, when sometimes, they may not have done anything wrong at all.

Handling Rejection Advice

Anyway, enough of my babble… How about a few pointers on how to face up to the rejection and come out the other side positively.

  • Your prospects are not rejecting YOU!
    They are simply rejecting your proposal as something isn’t quite right. This doesn’t mean they will always reject. Don’t wipe them off your list, in future your product/service might just fit the bill perfectly and they’ll come begging for a deal!
  • It’s easier to say No than Yes.
    If you catch your prospect at the wrong time – maybe during a busy period, or just before a big meeting – it it very easy for them just say dismiss your call with a “No”. If they were to say yes it would mean they’d have to think about your offer, they would have to take time do to say Yes.
    Calls with an instant dismissal are inevitable. Don’t take it personally, just re-schedule the call for a better time and try again.
  • Work out your money.
    It’s a strange tactic, but just work out the commission you get from your next “Yes”. Now work out how many “No” calls you made before your “Yes” call.
    You’ll then be able to work out how many $$ you made per call. Every time you dial a number – even in the “No” calls – you still make money!
  • All the greats have been rejected.
    Look at any great business person, any talented sales person. Look across the office, that guy say over closing all the deals, earning the big money. You’ve all got something in common…
    Everybody, sometime in their career is faced with rejection. What makes the difference is how you handle it. Persistence is one of the best qualities anybody can posses, especially in a sales environment!

There’s a few tips to help you with your next rejection call.

One final thing I would like to add is for you to remember, a No is not permanent. There will be a time when that No turns to a Yes. Just keep your head together, and wait for the call.

We’d love to hear from you if you have any of your own ways of dealing with rejection in a sales environment.


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1 Comment For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Kadi says:

    I believe that a daily doze of positive attitude though humor and laughing is essential to keep a sales person sane. For example, I just found a real ego booster and and mood hyper called The No Calculator (, which shows how tough we are in handling NO’s.


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