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Mastering sales: Dealing with rejection

The reality is every successful person in sales has had to deal with some form of rejection. As such he or she has to go beyond the no’s and almost become impervious to shut doors while maintaining momentum. Furthermore, this is not only a business lesson, but a life-lesson. While rejection unfortunately remains a stumbling block for many entrepreneurs, there are various practical guidelines to help conquer the setbacks of rejection.

Do not take it personally

Don’t assume the worst and don’t take every unsuccessful sale or turndown as a personal reflection on you. Realistically, what you are selling may not be what they are looking for immediately or it may be an affordability issue. The point here is that there are a lot of factors involved when profiling the ideal clients. And you may only establish this once you get to know the prospect a little better.

With sales, every interaction you have with a client might turn into a yes or a no. When you have a successful sale, it’s a job well done. But when the sale doesn’t go through, you should have the mindset that you’ve pitched to the best of your ability – and they may very well return to you at a more appropriate time.

With this attitude in selling, you also won’t risk condemning yourself each time the pendulum doesn’t swing in your favour. Instead you’ll be able to move on with enthusiasm to the next potential lead.

Be persistent and persuasive

If you have opened the door to present your offering, you should maximise the opportunity for current and future sales. So without being too pushy, exercise persuasion and try every possible avenue to close the deal. They may not want this product, but another range may suite them better.

Mention forthcoming sales and contact them about promotions periodically. Many great sales people close big sales long after the initial contact, because they have been persistent and even allowed prior rejection to motivate them.

Try using sales apps

There are a host of great sales apps to help you sell anywhere and manage sales effectively, while saving you time. Another advantage of using these apps is increased responsiveness to customers. You can reach customers, and customers can reach you – practically anytime and anywhere.

These mobile-friendly applications basically offer sales organisations or departments a mobile sales tool kit with various resources such as up to the minute reports, contact management functions, marketing tools, information on competitors, and quotation and invoicing functionality.

Develop relationships and ask why

Do not dismiss potential clients after they have rejected you; it doesn’t necessarily mean they will never be your client. There are also normally signs that show before a client rejects you. Look out for these, but if possible, keep the conversation going and stay in touch with them. At the least, you will earn a brand ambassador or referee.

You also won’t be able to gain any valuable information unless you engage. There could be some small detail in your proposal that they simply misunderstood or didn’t like. You need to identify the deal-breakers and where it is in your power, make sufficient changes. Politely ask them why they didn’t go with your product.  You can use this information to help you in future sales calls. And, if it is something you can change easily, you could change their minds there and then.

The best sales people need to be aware that even the best of proposals can translate to either a yes or a no. The important thing is to not allow rejection to become a hindrance to the myriad of potential sales opportunities that are out there waiting to be closed. As a closing note, when hit with a disappointment – take a minute and just reflect on the best sales moment you’ve ever had. That should help shift your focus into the right zone – which is where you need to be to succeed in sales and business generally.

Proudly brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).

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