The Sales Rejection Myth

Every year companies spend tens of thousands of dollars on training their sales teams in areas like prospecting, questioning and closing more sales/deals. While this type of training is clearly valuable, it fails to address a key factor impacting sales performance. That is, the ability of the salesperson to manage the rejection they face on a daily basis.

Almost half (44%) of salespeople give up after their first ‘no’ and a further 22% give up after facing 2 rejections from the same client. [1] Resilience and tenacity are essential skills for any sales person, given that about 63% of new clients/customers who request information probably won’t actually buy anything for at least three months. [1]

As a good proportion of initial sales calls/meetings end in ‘No’ – setbacks are a part of any sales process. Most salespeople, however, are never taught how to deal with the impact of hearing ‘no’, and as a result their effectiveness and productivity are diminished and the likelihood of future success reduced.

Boosting sales performance is often driven by focusing on strategy, improving CRM software, and refining sales techniques. When salespeople feel stressed about rejection, supplying them with more sales training usually produces little improvement, wastes company resources and can often compounds the state of self-doubt they are already feeling.

The solution is building resilience through increasing exposure.

Jia Jiang, who was paralysed by the fear of rejection, adopted an unorthodox approach to building his confidence. For 100 days he would actively seek out activities that would result in rejection, such as, asking a stranger to borrow $100 to requesting a “burger refill” at a restaurant, etc. Jiang’s aim was to desensitise himself to the pain of rejection. Not only did this experiment build his confidence to work outside of his comfort zone, but he also discovered that simply asking for what you want can open up possibilities where you expect to find dead ends. Watch Jia Jiang’s TED talk here:

Your immunity is strengthened by regularly exposing your body to pathogens so it can build resistance to them. Professional guitarists develop callouses on their fingertips from countless of practice so that they can produce flawless performances. Boxers get better by spending time ‘in the ring’ training, becoming familiar with what it feels like to be hit so that it doesn’t surprise them when they compete.

Salespeople need regular exposure to the experience of rejection so that it shifts from being an experience that is soul destroying to an experience that doesn’t phase them or hinder their motivation.


Pipeliner CRM arms salespeople to deal with rejection. Download a free trial now.

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