If there is one thing true it is this – no one likes to deal with personal rejection. Those of us who are or have been professional, long time sales representatives, business development managers, and sales evangelists have typically learned the secret to success:
You don’t take rejection personally.
Even athletes miss some balls – sometimes lots of balls – or they miss the net and the game is lost.
What do great, professional athletes do?
They shake it off, and start fresh for the next game. They play harder. They work with a coach to correct their swing or their throw, or their shot.
What they don’t do is get down on themselves. They can’t afford to.
Just like you can’t if you are a professional seller.
Companies everywhere have sales professionals – some new and some not-so-new who are having to deal with rejection today – and they will deal with it next week or the week after. If you are interacting with enough people, organizations, teams, boards, and deals, they will not all go your way.
Learn from them. Dissect lost deals to learn where you could have presented in a different way, or gained visibility sooner through a different marketing process.
Study your favorite great athlete (in any sport), scientist, or inventor. It takes a lot of learning to get to the point where you win most of your deals, and the ones you don’t win ultimately you realize were probably not a good fit for you or your company.
Just don’t take them personally – assuming you weren’t brash, or over-confident, or full of ego, or you misrepresented your offering. Once you know your offer is a valid one - one you are proud to represent, that helps companies or individuals with more value than the dollar investment, simply unhook yourself from the outcome when you talk to potential buyers. Focus less on you and more on them and this moves the rejection to a powerless place. If they say “no” it is to your offer – not to you. Know that:
- the timing might be wrong
- they have other more pressing issues
- they don’t understand the value you are explaining
- they don’t actually “see” the value as you do.
- or they really don’t plan to make this purchase through you (the definite no)
So “no” sometimes means “not now” or “I’m not ready to decide” in business transactions. Do you know what your buyer’s “no” means?
Lori Richardson writes, speaks, and trains on sales topics for B2B mid-market technology front-line sales teams. Why not sign up for our twice-monthly newsletter,Sales Tips in a Minute or the blog rss feed? We value your time and promise good stuff for you.