Rejection? Unfortunately, it’s part of life, especially in sales. So why is dealing with rejection in sales so important? It doesn’t matter what you want to achieve in life — you’re going to face rejection along the way. What’s more, it’s completely normal. That said, it still hurts a lot, right?
- Rejection damages our self-esteem and encourages us to blame ourselves.
- Rejection can also temporarily lower our IQ levels.
- Worst of all, rejection induces anxiety, sadness, depression, and jealousy!
However, it’s not all bad. Rejection is actually a fundamental part of personal development and growth. Many of the world’s greatest success stories start with continual rejection. But most importantly, these people never gave up! Here are 6 inspirational examples:
1 – Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford, a Hollywood legend whose movies have grossed $9.3 billion worldwide, had to overcome more than a decade of rejection before becoming successful. Famously, a leading movie executive told Harrison that he didn’t have what it takes to become a movie star. It was a brutal rejection, yet Harrison proved to be completely wrong.
2 – Arnold Schwarzenegger
One of the world’s most famous people, Arnold Schwarzenegger, faced constant rejection throughout his incredibly successful life. When he decided to pursue acting, movie executives told him he sounded ‘too German’ to become a movie star. Of course, he didn’t listen — and it’s fair to see the movie executives didn’t foresee the famous ‘I’ll be back’ line becoming world-famous.
3 – Oprah Winfrey
Today, Oprah Winfrey is one of the world’s most accomplished media personalities and a billionaire. Early in her career, many naysayers told her she was ‘unfit for TV’. However, she kept pursuing her dreams and became one of the most prominent TV personalities in the U.S. as well as globally, being played in over 100 nations worldwide.
4 – Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg is one of the world’s richest men with a net worth of $59 billion. Michael was enjoying a successful career as an investment banker when the company decided to let him go. So instead, he used his severance cheque to create Bloomberg, a financial services media company that made him enormously wealthy, and eventually the Mayor of New York City.
5 – Colonel Harland Sanders
Most of us love KFC. It’s become one of the world’s biggest fast-food chains. However, when Colonel Harland Sanders — the company’s founder — sent his recipe to restaurants, they rejected it over 1000 times. Yes, that’s 1000 times. But, of course, he never gave up and took the rejection on the chin. The rest is history, as they say.
6 – The Beatles
The Beatles are simply the world’s most influential band ever. The majestic songwriting combination of John Lennon and Paul McCartney left a dent in the universe and sold over 420 million records. However, a record company rejected them at an audition because guitar music wasn’t the future. Perhaps they should have listened and quit playing the guitar, eh?
Rejection isn’t always a bad thing, it could mean you’re starting to knock on the door of success and growing as an individual.
The world’s greatest salespeople always find ways to overcome rejection and sell more products when dealing with rejection in sales. They don’t let rejection dampen their spirits. Instead, they use it as fuel on the fire. The constant rejection you’ll likely face in sales will prepare you for life.
- You’ll probably face rejection at some job interviews
- You may face rejection in relationships
- You’ll definitely encounter rejection in the business world
- If you start a new business, you’re going to face endless rejection and doubters
These are just a few examples of where you’ll face rejection in life. But it’s fair to say that the list could be endless.
1 – Rejection will help you define your target audience and save time
One of the biggest mistakes salespeople and companies make is wasting time trying to sell to customers that shouldn’t be in their target audience. Rejection — albeit continual rejection — will leave clues, and companies must listen to those clues.
If your product or service does have a target audience, you might not always find it at first. You’ll possibly target the wrong customers at first, and that’s totally okay. However, it’s not okay to continue wasting time selling a product or service to the wrong target market. Rejection should help you identify whether you’re selling to the right people very quickly indeed.
2 – You’ll improve your overall sales skills
Rejection will help you improve your sales skills. Sales is an art that takes months, if not years, of practice to truly master. Therefore, you should use rejection as proof that you need to grow. You should seek guidance and mentor from salespeople who know how to overcome objections. Here are some statistics on how many salespeople quit when they first face rejection:
- 44 percent of salespeople quit after the first no
- 22 percent of salespeople don’t follow up after two rejections
- 14 percent of salespeople don’t continue after three rejections
- 12 percent of salespeople stop following up after the fourth rejection
A staggering 92 percent of sales reps will quit after the fifth follow-up. However, 8 percent of reps that continue get 80 percent of all the sales. The moral of the story — there are benefits of continuously following up and overcoming rejection when you’re a salesperson. Rejection should push you to better your skills at dealing with rejection in sales.
What’s more, you’ll quickly learn what works and what doesn’t work. You might be using the wrong product pitches to customers or businesses. Alternatively, you might be using poor language when communicating with the customer. Are you targeting the wrong leads, using the wrong outreach tactics, or pitching your product too aggressively?
Perhaps you’re using close-ended questions instead of open-ended questions? Rejection will leave clues about your sales skills. As a result, you shouldn’t feel disappointed — you should use this as an opportunity to pivot towards your greatness. If you’re dealing with rejection in sales — keep going.
3 – You’ll build a more positive mindset
Having a positive mindset is one of the most important things in life. But, unfortunately, the reality of life prevents many people from keeping a firm positive mindset. Yet, research has found that a positive mindset can boost your immune system, reduce levels of anxiety, and increase overall happiness.
Is it possible to succeed in a sales career without a positive mindset? It’s highly, highly unlikely. When you face constant rejection daily, you’re going to feel those negative voices creeping in. These voices may include:
- Am I good enough at sales?
- Is my product or service good enough?
- Should I give up and call it a day?
Nevertheless, an excellent sales coach will teach you to ignore these negative voices. Instead, working in sales will encourage you to practice positive visualization and the law of attraction.
It’ll prompt you to stay mentally robust during challenging days. Most importantly, it’ll make you understand the importance of a strong mindset and how that will help you succeed in general life. Life is tough, and your thoughts have to be tougher. There isn’t a better path than a sales career if you want to learn the importance of a constant positive mindset.
4 – You’ll begin to know your purpose
Working in sales will encourage you to understand your purpose and why you’re pursuing a sales career in the first place. For example, you could be working in various other careers that don’t require you to sell products. These include customer service, operations, HR, or finance.
A sales career can be formidable, and there’s no getting away from that. You’re working in a high-pressure environment, and you’ll need to perform every day. In contrast, customer service roles — although challenging at times — generally have less pressure than sales roles. That’s why you don’t see customer service workers with immense commission structures.
Are you working in sales because of the worldwide career opportunities, the endless financial opportunities, or making a difference in the world? Are you motivated by paying for your kid’s college education or making your family proud?
Understanding ‘your why’ — which Simon Sinek made a famous concept — is imperative in sales. A sales career can give you a sense of personal growth and development like no other career can. You’re going to face awful days, but the dreadful days will make you grow. You’ll build a genuine sense of self-awareness, and self-awareness is crucial if you want to find success in life.
There are also various studies that suggest having a sense of purpose in life can lead to:
- Fewer heart attacks
- Better sleep
- Lower risk of dementia
Additionally, a study in the Journal of Research and Personality found that those who have a greater sense of purpose make more money than those that don’t.
5 – It will help you appreciate landing the sale
There’s nothing sweeter than landing that all-important sale after facing continuous rejection over and over again. It really is a beautiful, gratifying, and powerful feeling. That said, you’ll learn the importance of never giving up. At the beginning of the article, we showed you numerous incredible success stories from people that refused to listen to the doubters.
Their success didn’t come overnight, and your sales success probably won’t come overnight either. But it’ll teach you the valuable lesson of staying robust during hard times and how you’ll finally get the result if you keep going. Moreover, when you get the result — it will feel truly incredible after dealing with rejection in sales. Then, you feel more motivated to achieve sales in the future and become an overall better salesperson.
The best way to handle rejection
Handling rejection shouldn’t be complicated. If you follow these three things, you’ll become great at dealing with rejection in sales.
- Acceptance – Firstly, don’t take rejection personally because that’s bad for your mental health and will likely give you anxiety. Instead, learn to accept the rejection. Tell yourself that it’s okay, and reaffirm that you’re good enough and that you can do this!
- Understanding – Secondly, try to understand why you’re facing rejection. Is it because of your pitch, your sales skills, or because you’re targeting the wrong customer? Remember, use rejection to improve, and don’t take it personally.
- Perseverance – As we’ve proven earlier, the most successful salespeople are those who continue after the fifth follow-up. We also showed you how successful people faced the doubters before their success. You need to learn, adapt, and persevere. Most importantly, you can do this!
Learn how to make rejection work for you with Uvaro
Dealing with rejection in sales doesn’t have to be complicated. We can help you learn to program your mindset to turn rejection into positivity. A tech sales career can give you superb financial rewards, flexibility, and global opportunities. And if you’re looking to make a career change, we’ve got you covered.
If you are interested in joining the tech world, Uvaro offers unique courses that can educate you with all the important soft skills you need to excel to the top, fast.
Contact us to find out more about a future in tech sales. And if you’re confident enough – just apply now!