A daily occurrence (repeatedly) for sellers.
We react to rejection in three ways generally:
- IGNORE – If you’ve been coached to “get a thicker skin,” this is likely what you do. You’ve steeled yourself to accept rejection as coming with the territory. The problem with this approach is that you’re learning nothing from the rejection and are making the same mistakes over and over again. You close when you have the “ideal” situation; a prospect that might have eventually just bought self-serve from your website.
- FIGHT – You’ve been thoroughly drilled in “objection handling” and “second effort.” Rejection is First Quarter and you’re playing till the whistle blows. Unless you WIN, you incinerate second chances. You must have a very large territory so you still have ground that hasn’t been burned.
- DREAD – Rejection hurts, and you take the line of least resistance to avoid it. “Safe” prospects, “safe” pitch, “soft” close. Like those who ignore rejection, unless the planets align perfectly, you fail to close. However, unlike the fighter, these prospects may still take your call another time because you didn’t piss them off. Unfortunately, they are unlikely to take you very seriously because of this timid approach.
Rejection is a mean, but effective teacher. But, in order to learn from rejection, you cannot ignore it, robotically fight it, nor live in dread of it and run the other way. You must embrace rejection and learn how to use it to learn from it.
Embracing rejection does not mean accepting it. No way, we’re in it to win it. But, if you don’t learn from rejection, it will continue, unabated, to kill your results. So, how do you deal with this thing you’ve been taught to ignore, fight or dread?
- ACCEPT IT – This is a fact of selling. People will object and will say no. It”s gonna happen. Accepting is different from ignoring because, as you will see, you must process the rejection.
- LISTEN TO IT – Don’t just hear it. Listen to what is being said and not being said.
- EMBRACE IT – Take in everything you’ve heard, not heard and put yourself in the prospect’s position to try to understand what may be behind the apparent “no.” You NEED to understand this thoroughly if you are going to be able to ask insightful questions to get the root of the issue. It may be a latent objection you have to draw out; or a lack of understanding or misconception about your product/service you need to clarify.
Failure to learn from rejection it is a tragedy which will hold back your professional development. It’s really a wasted opportunity.