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Rejection is a State of Mind,
You Can Only Reject Yourself

Rejection tends to flourish in an environment where information and solutions run rampant.

Sales people frequently set themselves up for rejection when they're emotionally invested in positive outcomes. The idea of victory at all costs makes for a very frustrating sales career.

Rejection can be tempered and neutralized by being very discriminating as to when to time your information, with whom to do it with, under what conditions to release your expertise, taking 100% responsibility for your thoughts and feelings, and using your information as a tool of inquiry as opposed to using it as a tool to do information, carpet bombing.

The following are ideas and beliefs to have to help manage, minimize and neutralize rejection:

  1. Did you know that if you take 100% responsibility for your actions, feelings, emotions, responses and behavior it would be impossible to experience the harsh negative emotion of rejection? Obviously easier said than done. Bottom line; rejection is a choice. It's easier for most traditional sales people to choose rejection than responsibility.
  2. Rejection can be tempered when you come to realize that customers like you and connect with you, or dislike you and don't connect with you for the exact same reason; you remind them of themselves. As much as we would like to believe otherwise, rejection has very little to do with us and a lot to do with the rejector. At its simplest level rejection is very impersonal.
  3. All your customer's behavior, actions and responses toward you is totally self-centered. Again it's difficult to internalize rejection if you buy into this tenet. The reason sales people won't buy into this easily is because that means that all the customers that really like them, it says more about the customer than themselves. That can be tough on one's ego.
  4. Rejection festers and flourishes when sales people are emotionally invested in the outcome of the sale. The sales person who isn't emotionally invested in the outcome of the sale will consistently sell circles around sales people who are.
  5. Sales people waste their resources, energy and put their self-esteem at risk when they don't properly time their solutions. Timing is everything in sales. Poor timing of your solution will greatly enhance your chance of rejection. To contain rejection, time your solutions when customers are in a position to make decisions and are fully qualified. When you ignore this rule you are begging for trouble.
  6. Here it is. The magic pill to dramatically reduce rejection; make fewer offerings. Be very discerning, discriminating, biased and picky as to with whom and under what circumstances you will pursue a new opportunity. by doing so you will greatly increase your percentages of pursuing customers who are deemed "sellable."
  7. Persistence is one of the leading root causes of rejection. Runaway persistence too often is used as a sales strategy to compensate for substandard selling strategies. When misdirected, persistence underscores ones neediness and desperation. Technology (voicemail, caller ID, email) has compromised a lot of the traditional benefit of persistence; clients now control if and when you ever get hold of them. So be persistent then only with prospects who have a compelling reason to change (actionable problems, means, authority, favorable timing).
  8. When sales people have a high need for approval they project neediness and they set themselves up for and attract unnecessary rejection. Your posture and goal with customers should be; I'd like to see if there's a mutual basis to do business together. Simple! No fuss no muss.
  9. Conventional sales people start the sales engagement with the wrong intention. Their intention and posture is, I've never met a customer who didn't need or who couldn't benefit from my services. Really! Wrong intention if you want to create trust and ample flow of important information. This creates unrealistic expectations, undue pressure and is so old school. Have the attitude and posture that customers aren't qualified until proven otherwise. Selling so often is as much about buying (validating) as it is about selling.
  10. Many traditional sales people aren't willing to face the truth. You can run from the truth, but you can never hide. Once you're willing to face the truth early on you don't set yourself up for bad news in the 11th hour. The truth shall always set you free and reduce the sting and duration of rejection.
  11. Orthodox sales people are enthralled with the art of selling. However, selling by its very nature so often produces the exact opposite effect. Traditional selling is a sales model where rejection flourishes. As long as you sell from the position of needing to convince and persuade, instead of understanding who can be convinced and persuaded, rejection will follow you very closely.
  12. Sales people who don't allow their customers to share negative news will find that they will get "yes to death," get long drawn out "nos," or will often have customers "killing them with kindness." If you want to get less rejection, make "no" a more accessible answer.
  13. Sales people mismanage their information by leading with too much information early on and they lose control and leverage in the sales cycle. Bottom line; the more information you give out the higher the likelihood that you will experience the big runaround.
  14. Conventional sales people take failure and success way too personally. Winning is no more winning than losing is losing. Balance is the way to keep rejection at bay. Have the attitude that no deal can make you and no deal can break you.
  15. Too many sales people put too much faith in expecting customers to be predictable and conform to their own unique ideas and beliefs. If we could all have fewer fixed opinions, expectations and beliefs we'd have the flexibility of mind to accept what is, as opposed to always fighting and struggling with what could be or what should be.

Rejection is always around the corner when you don't have a systematic, disciplined sales process. When you have a stringent "stress test " or methodology that customers must reasonably fit into you greatly reduce your chances of nasty surprises.

One can't control rejection, but one can manage it and neutralize its effects. Rejection happens so frequently because sales people sell with their ego front and center. Once one learns to pace themselves in the sale and rely more heavily on information gathering, instead of information overloading, one will be able to make better business decisions as whom to pursue and whom to release, thus lowering their chances of rejection.

Richard Farrell is President of Tangent Knowledge Systems, a national sales development and training firm based in Chicago. He is the author of the upcoming book Selling has Nothing to do with Selling. He trains and speaks around the world and has authored many articles on his unique non-selling sales posture.

Phone: 773-404-7915
EMail: rfarrell@tangentknowledge.com
Web: http://www.tangentknowledge.com