BY CARL LANDAU

No thank you. Nope. Not now. Not today. No way. Does any salesperson ever enjoy hearing those words?

The three things you can’t avoid in life are taxes, death and rejection…… if you’re in sales, that is. It’s part of the sales

game, and if you don’t develop a strategy on how to deal with all the rejections, you’re not going to win the game.

Let’s face it—the odds are stacked against you. In baseball, the very best hitters get a hit once in three home plate appearances. That player would go to the Baseball Hall of Fame with a .333 batting average! If an sales

person makes one sale in 10 attempts to a new prospect, they would certainly be inducted into the Sales Hall of Fame as well. (Not sure where that Hall of Fame is–but I’d loveto visit.) So how do you deal with all that rejection?

Here are five helpful tips that work for me:

  1. Acknowledge the odds are stacked against you

Be realistic that not all new prospects are going to do business with you. Basically, give yourself a break and celebrate your victories.

  1. Which leads to… remind yourself of your victories

I used to decorate my whole office with all my big contracts. It was fun to do and the visual was a constant reminder how successful I was. Ad sales people often hang onto the defeats. Don’t do that! Keep it positive always.

  1. You’ve got to have a tough ego

When new prospects are turning you down, that does NOT mean you’re a bad person or a bad sales person. I look at it this way: The prospect just made a very poor business decision. And here I was going to find a way to help them figure out the right business decision!

  1. Don’t take yourself too seriously Thank god we’re not brain surgeons. We’re just selling a product or service, after all. This perspective gives me confidence to be assertive in going after sales. The worse thing that can happen is… the potential prospect says “No.” While there is the pain of rejection, it’s definitely not a life and death situation so just go for it! The hardest part is in the starting…! Once you get a bit of momentum, your perspective will change.
  1. Group therapy works!

Every day at about 4 PM, I used to meet with my sales team and we’d go over the calls for the day. We’d pretty much talk about all the idiots that turned us down, what we could do better and generally start laughing. We also did a lot of one up manship with our stories—who had the worst prospect call of the day, etc. Sharing your trials and tribulations with your sales team can really boost your spirits and your confidence We’d also help each other with creative ideas that could work and often the next day I’d call back the prospect with a new idea and turn the account around. Try group therapy with your sales team, it really works!

Sales is the highest form of business activity. You’re basically selling a product or service that your audience is interested in. It’s not easy. But you’re the key person at your organization. You’re the one bringing in the money! Yes, rejection is part of the job. But don’t let it take over what you do. Deal with rejection in a positive way. You can do it!

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