Tuesday, May 18, 2021

How to handle rejection

You are probably being asked to make more sales calls and you are having a problem.  Here's why:

More calls = more rejection.
Before I give you my technique for handling rejection let me share with you a comment I received some time ago when I published the following information in a magazine article.
"I just read your article, Handling Rejection - Understand Why. Wow! I started my new business a couple of months ago. I refined my business plan, got leads, did a direct mailing, then I was frozen at the follow up call. I didn't have cold calling, or follow up call experience. Your article describes exactly how I feel and it has given me the confidence to act like I now have the right to place that call. Thank you for writing it. I really enjoyed it. And you probably made me lots of money because now I'm going to make my calls."
The reason the comment is so important is to let you know that you are not alone.  Everybody in sales gets that FEELING.  You know the one I'm talking about.  If you don't it's only because you haven't been in sales long enough to make your first call.  You are still under the delusion that everyone wants to see you and buy from you.

Here is the biggest reason you don't make the call in the first place:
You are worried about what they will think of you if you are unable to answer a tough question they might ask, or overcome an objection? 
Here's a secret - they don't think about you.
Most people spend 98% of their time thinking about themselves.  In the 2% of time left over there is not much room to squeeze you in.
It has always been amazing to me how some people can let negative thoughts or comments occupy so much space in their mind.  Some people let these thoughts freeze their activities and kill their career in sales.  Every thought you carry around and dwell on should be paying rent for taking up space in your mind!

I am always impressed with people who have conquered their fear of rejection.  I am much more impressed with them then I am the people who happen to stumble onto a big sale.  I am always looking for them because I am so eager to learn how they do it.
Here's an example and a good lesson in rejection.

My wife and I were in the kitchen and noticed two young gentlemen with white shirts and black ties approaching our front door.   My wife said YOU get the door. 
I really enjoy talking with people so I greeted the visitors eager to ask them some questions.  The two young men were of a certain religious faith on a mission.  During the conversation I asked them how many doors they had to knock on before someone invited them in.   They said on a good day ONE OUT OF FIFTY will talk to us!  Think of it - FORTY NINE PEOPLE TURNED THEM DOWN BEFORE ONE WOULD TALK TO THEM.  I asked them how they handled the 49 who rejected them and here is what they told me: "We pray for them!"
Now there's a plan!  Instead of letting them upset you why not just say to yourself - "That dummy has such a closed mind he won't even listen to me and with that kind of an attitude his business will probably go belly up because of his lack of interest in anything new!  Since I don't see his name on the bail-out list I'd better send up a prayer for him because he is going to need more help then I can possibly give him anyway!!"
What just happened?  YOU rejected HIM!
If your closing ratio for opening new customers is 1 out of every 10 here is what you have to do:  Line up 10 calls with the idea that 9 will tell you to get lost!   Nine of them are going to try to humiliate you.  Nine of them are going to try and make you fail.
It's really a good thing for us in sales that there are a lot of dumb bunnies out there anyway. 
Because they help the sales profession from becoming overcrowded.  Let the other professions lock themselves in an office from 8 to 5 and quiver every time the boss walks by.  Let the willy-nilly wimps take care of all those mundane activities.  Let the timid nonassertive people who wake up every day in fear of their job hope and pray there is someone out there who knows how to CREATE BUSINESS.  WHO KNOWS THAT BEING REJECTED IS PART OF THE GAME.
It takes "GUTS" to be in sales.
I looked the word "guts" up in the thesaurus - here's what came back - courage, dauntlessness, heart, mettle, moxie, pluck, resolution, spirit, backbone, grit, intestinal fortitude, nerve, spunk!  Put THAT list next to the phone or on the dash board because THAT DESCRIBES YOU!
When somebody rejects you just say this:
"Two words for you buddy - thank you!"  You are simply that much closer to finding a REAL customer.
The bigger the stakes, the bigger the chance for rejection.  If you were playing in the Super Bowl and your team lost because YOU fumbled the ball, THAT would be the ultimate rejection.  How many millions of people would be rejecting you?  Without taking that risk of rejection you lose before you even start.  You will never be in the Super Bowl of Sales.

Nobody likes rejection.  It's natural to feel some disappointment when you hear someone say "no."

The issue is how you deal with that rejection.    When you hear no it means you are doing your job.

The issue of rejection is not what the prospect or customer thinks of you, but what you think of yourself.  Another important part of dealing with rejection is understanding why they rejected you.

Here is what I mean.

The reason may have to do with timing - at this particular moment in time, as you are making your sales call, they may be perfectly happy with their current vendor. They may have just had a fight with their spouse and you happen to be the first one they talk to. They may have not had anything to eat all day and it is affecting their mood.  They may have just been turned down for a promotion - or a loan - or a new job. They may have just had to fire one of their employees.  All these things have nothing to do with you.

You have to train your mind to respond to rejection with enthusiasm.

I sold insurance many years ago and part of the training program was to go into a small office and make 10 cold phone calls.   The phone was wired with speakers so the rest of the trainees could sit in the adjoining room and listen to the conversations.  After you made your phone calls you would be critiqued by your colleagues.  That was easy.  The hard part is when you are by yourself sitting in your car waiting for your appointment time, or when you are sitting alone at your desk in your home office and have to make the call.  THAT is when is strikes.

A friend told me about a company where he applied for a job.  The company sold something OTHER than vacuum cleaners.  They sold computers.  Yet, as part of his job qualification program he had to sit in a room with a telephone and phone book, call 100 people at random and try to get an appointment to do a vacuum cleaner demonstration.  Over half of the applicants would quit before they made it to 50 calls.

This fear of rejection could be costing you a lot of money if you are not making calls because of it.

How do you overcome this fear of approaching someone?  Here's what you have to do even if you don't feel like it - you have to ask.

The bottom line of selling is to ask for your customer's or prospect's business.  Don't be afraid to do just that.  Don't be embarrassed to ask for what you want.  Don't fear rejection.  Don't worry about making the customer angry.  Don't be immobilized by your own timidity.  Don't have negative thoughts that will set you up for failure.

Instead say to yourself...  "I love what I do - I love to sell.  I am in the right place at the right time.  I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by making the call and asking for the business."

Selling is really simple.  Selling is asking enough people to buy your products and services.  Selling is weeding out all the ones that don't "get it."  All you have to do is ask enough people to buy your products and services and SOMEONE WILL BUY!  If you don't make the request the customer is already ahead - you've made things easy for them!   You've eliminated the possibility that they might actually say yes.

Don't let fear of rejection keep you from making the call.  Approach each prospect with the idea that you are qualifying THEM. Do they qualify to buy from ME?  Do they have the means to pay for what I'm selling?   Are they smart enough to realize the value of what I am offering?  Are they worth the investment of my valuable time?  Is there enough business on the table for me to spend time and money to get my share?

When calling on a new prospect those are the questions you want answered.  When you make a prospect call or a cold call, there is always a certain amount of hesitation because the pressure is on YOU to make a presentation.  Forget about making a presentation.  Go in with the attitude that you are QUALIFYING THEM.  If they don't measure up THEY are the poor souls that miss out!  They are the ones that lose.

Read this next sentence carefully.  To reduce call hesitation when calling on a prospect, make the call with the idea that you are qualifying the prospect and you can reject THEM if they don't measure up.

Now you have the power.  You have the power of rejection.  You don't like to be rejected.  So why give anyone the power to reject you?  You are simply making the call to INVESTIGATE.  You are there to get the FACTS ABOUT THEM.  What you have to sell may be way beyond their understanding. It may be way over their head. To find out, you have to make the call and do the interview.

There is a certain fear you feel when trying to sell something to a stranger.  But now you are not trying to sell on that initial contact.

You are eliminating unqualified prospects.

Of course, if you make the call and find that they are qualified and eager to do business with you - take the order.  But don't let fear of rejection keep you from walking through the door and looking them in the eye.

Don't let fear of rejection keep you from picking up the phone and making the call.  You - your products - your services - are the answer to their prayers.

Are they good enough to do business with YOU!