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Legend Development Services, Inc. | Hauppauge, NY

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Not every prospect you contact will want to talk to you. Not all of those who do talk to you will be interested enough to grant you an appointment. Not all of those who grant you an appointment will buy from you. Rejection.

There's no getting around it, rejection is part of the selling experience. And there's nothing you can do to change that.

However, though you may never completely eliminate your fear of rejection, you can certainly learn to deal with it and minimize its negative effects.


Put it in perspective. Rejection lasts only a moment, and then it's over. Let it go! Dwelling on the disappointing experience serves no purpose other than to dampen your enthusiasm for meeting the next challenge. If a cold call uncovered a prospect that was interested in your service and was eager to meet with you, you would probably be enthusiastic about making your next cold call. Should you be any less enthusiastic about making a subsequent call if the prospect had no interest? Of course not. There is no causal relationship between the two events.

Examine your self-talk. Are you telling yourself something like, "Nobody will listen to me" or "I'll never be any good at this"? Blaming yourself for someone else's thoughts and actions -- their lack of interest or inability to see the value in what you have to offer, for example -- is counterproductive. Take a step back and analyze the situation from an objective position. Then, reframe your self-talk to something more positive. After an unsuccessful attempt to stimulate a prospect's interest, for instance, the negative thought that "prospecting is a waste of time" can be easily restated as "I'm glad I didn't start the sales process with someone who would ultimately prove to be unqualified to become a customer".

Analyze your actions. Rejection may be unpleasant, but that doesn't mean you can't learn something from it. Sometimes, the rejection you're experiencing is an indicator of your need to change your approach. Making sure you are thoroughly prepared and knowledgeable when calling on prospects and customers reduces the chances of being rejected.

Finally, understand your own emotional needs. David Sandler warned against using selling as an activity for getting your emotional needs met. You are much more susceptible to the fear of rejection if, subconsciously, you want to your prospect or customer's psychological approval more than their business. You must recognize that your self-esteem is not tied to your sales performance. It's not tied to the number of appointments you schedule or the number of sales you close. You'll have some good days; you'll have some not-so-good days. Regardless, at the end of the day, your self-esteem can still be intact.

Rejection is simply part of the sales game. Sometimes you have good experiences, sometimes you don't. It's not the experience that's important. It's how you think about it and how you react to it that determines if rejection holds you back, or pushes you onward toward success.

-- by Jeff Nay


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