How to handle a sales rejection like a pro

Rejection sucks.

But it’s a part of life and you have to be able to deal with it and move on without it affecting everything you do afterwards.

It can be difficult to disassociate yourself from a no from a customer but keeping your emotions in check is critical to handling a sales rejection.

Don’t take it personally

Just because a prospect said no doesn’t mean they didn’t like you or it was all your fault. Maybe it wasn’t the right time or your product just wasn’t a good fit for them which means a no early on is great because you’re not wasting your time on a dead lead.

If anything you should be wanting to move onto greener pastures and maybe review how you’re qualifying leads if it’s a recurring problem, check out NEAT selling to see how to qualify leads based on their requirements.

Always ask why the prospect said no

If they’ve said no that doesn’t mean the conversation has to end. You should always ask why they don’t want to go with your offering. If you don’t ask you don’t get and the information gleaned could be huge.

It could be that they like the product but there’s just one piece missing, and if enough people keep mentioning that in their rejections then it’s pretty obvious you need to get that extra feature into your offering.

But if you never asked you’d never learn that in the first place. We do this at RealtimeCRM all the time with our signups, we send them a little questionnaire to find out why prospects decided not to go with us.

We segment our feedback into the three groups with the one that we’re really interested in being the somewhat disappointed group who liked us but something was missing, it’s a great way to figure out from our potential customers what they want, and if enough people keep mentioning the same feature they wished RealtimeCRM had, it makes our product development roadmap a lot easier.

Talk over sales rejections with your teammates

Before meetings with prospects and customers we game plan as a team what we think will happen, what we think they want and try to have a plan going in.

We do the same thing afterwards whether we win or lose so we learn from what we did well and where we didn’t do so well. This allows your team to learn from mistakes and talking it over takes the tension out and you can vent your frustrations with a sympathetic audience which will make you feel better.

You want to be able to clear your head at the end of the day and not bottling up your feelings by talking it out is really useful in getting a clear head.

Be persistent

You lose 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.

The pareto principle indicates that in sales 80 percent of your sales will come from just 20 percent of your customers.

Which is why you shouldn’t give up and you should expect to run into a few no’s before you run into the really valuable customers who say yes.

Over time we’ve seen the same pattern when we were bootstrapping RealtimeCRM by doing bespoke software development, it was a few whales that kept the lights on and allowed us to make our awesome product.

Here’s an example of persistence, so Graham Stephan whose a really great youtuber, check out his channel if you’re interested in personal finance and investing. He was 19 years old and making his way in real estate.

He’d drive 45mins each way into Beverly Hills to set up open house viewings, he would get people show up but not much would come of it. He then came up with the idea of opening up an hour before and shutting down an hour after the usual open house viewing times and he’d keep doing it like clockwork.

Months go by and he’d talk to anyone and then one day someone walks through the door and bought a $3.65 million house and Graham got a $40,000 commission at 19.

He also got more and more referrals from his customers and the people he met at house viewings so that he ended up with a net worth over 1 million in his 20s.

If you give up you’ll never win.

A no today might not mean a no tomorrow

Just because a prospect says no today doesn’t mean they’ll say no tomorrow. Things change, they could have more budget at a later date.

In order to figure this out you need to know what your prospect’s and your BATNA are. BATNA stands for best alternative to a negotiated agreemen (no deal option) refers to the most advantageous alternative course of action a party can take if negotiations fail and an agreement cannot be reached. Basically, what is the next best option on the table for each party and that helps determine each side’s negotiation power and therefore their strategy.

Check out how we used BATNA to delay negotiations and turn a no into a yes later on that resulted in thousands of dollars of recurring revenue every month for us.

Experience will make sales rejections easier to deal with

When you first hit the gym it’s nerve wracking, you don’t want to embarrass yourself and you don’t know how to use the equipment.

A year down the road if you’ve kept up with it going to the gym will not create the same anxiety because you’re used to it.

Over time you’re going to get prospects telling you no, the first few rejections will hit your emotions harder but over time they’ll be like water off of a duck’s back. With time and experience it dulls the effect of regular occurrences.

Even the best sales people get rejected, if you’re new and starting out it feels like a huge failure when you get a no but trust me over time you’ll move on looking for another prospect to get the yes.

That’s the great thing about time and experience, it puts things into perspective, the problem is getting there and not giving up beforehand.

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