Published On: Tuesday, 08 August 2017

Sales Tactics: You'll Never Eliminate Rejection

Sales Tactics: You'll Never Eliminate Rejection

- John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, an authorized Sandler Training Licensee. He can be reached at, toll free at 866.645.2047 or visit

SALES - There’s no getting around it… rejection is part of the selling experience.

Not every prospect you contact will want to talk to you. Not all of those who do talk to you will have enough interest in your product or service to grant you an appointment. Not all of those who do grant you an appointment will buy from you.

There’s nothing you can do about it.

While you can’t eliminate experiencing rejection, you can learn to deal with it. And, you can learn to overcome your fear of it. But first, you must identify what it is that you’re afraid of. Is it failure?

Everybody fails at something…at many things. Failure is simply part of the human experience.

And, success rarely comes without accompanying failures. Often, the greater the success, the greater the number of failures encountered along the way. Record-setting homerun hitters, for example, also have their share of strikeouts. Super Bowl Champion quarterbacks throw more incompleted passes than completed ones. Grammy winning songwriters write numerous songs before one hits the charts, much less makes it into the top 10. In almost any endeavor, including professional sales, failure is just another stepping stone on the path to success.  

You may never completely eliminate your fear of rejection, but, you can certainly learn to deal with it and minimize its negative effects.


Put it in perspective. Rejection lasts but a moment, and then it’s over. Let it go! Dwelling on the disappointing experience serves no purpose other than to dampen your enthusiasm for meeting the next challenge.

If a cold call uncovered a prospect who was interested in your service and was eager to meet with you, you would likely be enthusiastic about making your next cold call. Should you be any less enthusiastic about making a subsequent call if the prospect had no interest? Of course not. There is no causal relationship between the two events. Each new challenge is just that…a new challenge.

Examine your self-talk. What do you tell yourself when you experience rejection? Are you telling yourself something like, “Nobody will listen to me” or “I’ll never be any good at this”? Blaming yourself for someone else’s thoughts and actions—lack of interest or inability to see the value in what you have to offer, for example—is counterproductive.

Before you start “talking to yourself,” take a step back and analyze the situation from an objective position. Then, reframe your self-talk to something more positive. After an unsuccessful attempt to stimulate a prospect’s interest, for instance, rather than telling yourself, “Prospecting is a waste of time,” tell yourself, “I’m glad I didn’t waste my time with someone who isn’t qualified to become a customer.”

Analyze your actions. Rejection may be unpleasant, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from it. Sometimes, the rejection you’re experiencing is a warning sign…an indicator of your need to change your approach, perhaps.

Make sure that you are thoroughly prepared when you call on prospects and customers. Being thoroughly knowledgeable about how your product or service addresses their challenges, needs, and goals will reduce the chances of being rejected.

Understand your needs. David Sandler warned against using “selling” as an activity for getting your emotional needs met. You are much more susceptible to the fear of rejection if the objective of your interaction with your prospects and customers is to obtain their approval rather than their business.

You must recognize that your self-esteem is not tied to your sales performance. It’s not tied to the number of appointments you schedule or the number of sales you close. You’ll have some good days; you’ll have some not-so-good days. Regardless, at the end of the day, your self-esteem is still intact.

Rejection is simply part of the sales game. Sometimes you have good experiences, sometimes you don’t. It’s not the experience that’s important. It’s how you think about it and how you react to it that determines if rejection holds you back or pushes you toward success.