Rejection is part of sales. Your offer isn’t right for every prospect. Some of the prospects your offer is right for don’t choose you even when you have done everything right. And then there’s prospecting and cold calling.
The fear of rejection, in it’s worst form, manifests itself as call reluctance. The salesperson sits paralyzed staring at the phone. Or worse still, the salesperson, consumed by the dread, falls for the “never make cold calls” nonsense that the snake-oil charlatans on the Internet peddle. Instead of making calls, they sit on the Internet and meticulously research every lead. Salespeople that can’t cold call end up with skinny children. If you are reading this blog post and you recognize yourself in this paragraph, this post isn’t for you. Your fear of rejection is unhealthy.
This is for the courageous group of sales professionals who either conquered their call reluctance or who never had it. Although rejection is part of sales, you need to maintain a healthy fear of rejection. The fear you need to maintain isn’t the kind of fear from which our hapless peers in the above paragraph suffer. This healthy fear you need to maintain is the fear of being rejected for not having done enough.
- Were you rejected because you didn’t do enough research about the company and their business to deserve an audience?
- Were you rejected because you didn’t work hard enough to understand their business challenges or issues to present the right solution?
- Were you rejected because you didn’t get the right people involved in the sales process early enough?
- Were you rejected because you were not creative enough in the process to advance the sale when it fell out of your normal sales process?
In sales, especially complex business-to-business sales, the stakes are high. Never leave the battlefield with any of your weapons unfired.
- Were you rejected because you didn’t bring all of our company’s resources together to ensure that you couldn’t be rejected?
If you can answer no to the above questions (and the dozens of others that will come to mind as you read this), then you need never fear rejection. But if you answer yes to any of these questions (or one of your own), maintain a healthy fear of rejection. Then take whatever action in necessary to make the fear go away.