How to Handle Rejection in Sales: My Top Sales Rejection Tips

How to Handle Rejection in Sales: My Top Sales Rejection Tips

I'll be real with you: Outbound sales activities (think cold calling and emailing) are some of the toughest things you'll do as a professional seller—especially these days. Sales rejection is an unavoidable part of the game.

Incorporating the right outbound sales tools can help soften the impact of rejection and enhance your approach to these challenging tasks.

These tasks have only gotten harder in the last couple of years, and anybody who's tried them has faced rejection. It's part of the sales process, no matter which industry you're selling in. But rejection, even when you know it's coming—still isn't fun for most of us.

That's why you need to have a proven process to fall back on when the ‘no's’ pile up.

Today, I'm sharing five strategies that salespeople can use to handle rejection, while maintaining a healthy headspace. Then I'll share four more strategies that will help get you through late-stage rejection, which we all know hurts the most. Let's dive right in.

5 Strategies to Help You Handle Rejection in Sales

If you're a sales rep, rejection is a fact of life.

The only way to close deals at a consistent clip is to contact a high volume of prospects. But the more prospects you contact, the more ‘no's’ you'll get. It's inevitable.

Fortunately, these five sales tips will help you handle rejection effectively. Who knows? They might even help you refine your approach so that you experience less rejection in the future.

1. Stay Positive and Persistent

First, do your best to maintain a positive outlook.

As Mark Colgan, a B2B Sales Consultant at Yellow O, says, "I always keep the mindset that there will be more deals coming or there'll be more meetings that I'll be able to book."

But honestly, you need more than a sunny disposition. You need to take on a persistent attitude as well. Doing so will help you push through when times get tough.

Remember: If you break down after every failed sales call, you'll never reach your goals.

2. Use Time Blocking to Stay Consistent

In my opinion, every salesperson should use this strategy.

If you're unfamiliar with the term, time blocking is a time management technique that encourages professionals to divide their time into different blocks, in which they focus on a single task. This allows said professionals to remove distractions and reach peak productivity.

You could, for example, block out the 9 AM to 11 AM hours, Monday through Friday, to concentrate on your outreach efforts. During that time, you don't update CRM records or attend sales meetings. You only make cold calls, send cold emails, etc.

Vaibhav Kakkar, the CEO of Digital Web Solutions, agrees with this approach. He says, "Time blocking is an excellent way to increase efficiency. It allows you to better prioritize tasks, then dedicate specific blocks of time to complete them without interruptions."

What's the first thing you do when you receive a sales rejection? If you're like me, you want to crawl into a cave. There are no caves in my office, so I end up scrolling through social media sites like Instagram and LinkedIn, just looking for a distraction. This is a waste of time.

Once you commit to time blocking, you'll become more consistent with your outreach efforts. You won't be able to wallow in failure. You'll just keep working until your time is up.

How to Handle Rejection in Sales - Use Time Blocking.

3. Analyze Your Wins and Refine Your Approach

If you make enough calls and send enough emails, you'll eventually get a yes.

Congratulations! Pop open a bottle of champagne and celebrate. You just accomplished something important. Don't get too crazy, though. You still have work to do.

Take a look at your sales process. Did you do things differently this time? Maybe you targeted a different kind of lead. Or changed your messaging. Or maybe you spent more time promoting the benefits of your company's products rather than its various features.

Pro tip: It's super easy to track your sales activities in Close. The platform basically does it for you. All you have to do next is analyze the results of each sales interaction.

According to Derek Flanzraich, CEO and Founder of Ness, you can implement this tip in reverse, too. "It is easy to get down on yourself when experiencing a sales rejection, but a more positive way to approach this occurrence is focusing on how well you executed the process." In other words, analyze your failed sales attempts to seek improvement.

You might realize that your skills are lacking in some way. If that's the case, don't hesitate to invest in sales training. The right course might be all that stands between you and success.

4. Actively Seek Feedback

I'll admit, this one is a little tricky.

Nobody likes to dwell on their mistakes. But if you want to be an effective salesperson, you have to seek out constructive criticism. It's the only way to hone your abilities.

Gaurav Nagani, CEO of Desku Inc, is all in on this sales tip. He says, "One of the best ways to improve your sales skills is to seek feedback from others. Ask other members of your sales team, your sales manager, or even your prospects for feedback on your approach. This will help you identify areas where you can improve your sales pitch."

Feedback from prospects can be the most valuable. To get it, follow-up with a potential client who rejected you. Ask them why they said no. Just make it clear that you're trying to improve your approach to sales. You're not trying to reel them back in and make a sale.

5. Know When to Take a Break

What do you do when the ‘no's’ keep coming, like an avalanche of despair?

Consider taking a break. Step out of the office for a while. Go exercise. Take a nap if that's your thing. Do an activity you enjoy so that you can re-enter a healthy brain space.

Just don't stay out of the game for too long. Tony Angeleri, the VP of Business Development for Lone Wolf Paintball, says this could, "Play tricks with your self-confidence, leave you demotivated, and allow time for self-doubt to creep in."

If you neglect your next sales opportunity, you might develop a fear of rejection. At the very least, you'll waste time you could have spent contacting additional prospects.

Dealing with Late-Stage Sales Rejection: 4 Tips to Help

Sales rejection is never fun. But it really hurts when it happens in the late stages of a deal. All of that hard work down the drain—with absolutely nothing to show for it. Man, that sucks!

I'll be honest, the sales tips below won't take away the sting you'll feel when a deal goes south. But they will help you persevere through the pain of rejection and come back stronger.

1. Stay Calm and Professional

I understand the impulse, but freaking out won’t help you reach your sales goals.

A calm and professional demeanor, on the other hand, will help you preserve the relationship you've built with this prospect. As such, they might buy from you in the future. Or send a referral to your business instead. Or change companies, then reproach you about a deal.

Now, you can be calm and professional and still ask your prospect why they had a change of heart. In fact, you definitely should do this, as it will give you valuable information.

Did you offend the prospect in any way? Is there something about your product or service that left your prospect wanting more? When you know the answers to these questions, you can refine your sales process so that you lose fewer late-stage deals in the future.

2. Understand the Reason Behind Their Change of Heart

I touched on this in the tip above. But it's really important, so let’s dive a bit deeper.

If possible, find out why your deal went south. Talk to your prospect. Ask them open-ended questions to make sure they give you meaningful answers. As Kris Lippi, a Licensed Real Estate Broker for ISoldMyHouse.Com, told me, "This helps me learn if there’s anything that went wrong, if I have something to improve, or if they need to know more information."

Digging into your ‘no's’ may also give you the opportunity to address objections. Maybe your prospect killed a deal because they misunderstood something about your product or service. If that's the case, don't be afraid to set the record straight, as it might save the sale.

3. Address Their Concerns in a Video Message

Speaking of objections, one of the best ways to address them is via video message.

Ask your sales manager if you can invest company funds into a tool like Loom or Vidyard or something similar. Then, shoot a video of yourself talking about your prospect's concerns.

Why is this important? Many of your prospects won't want to talk to you on the phone after they've said no to your sales pitch. They'll feel bad and awkward about the whole solution. The last thing they'll want to do is engage with you in real time.

Video messages are more personal than emails, text messages, and even voicemails. As such, you'll probably get a better response.

Just make sure that your video is short and sweet—like one or two minutes, if possible. Also, address your prospect's objections with professionalism. Let them know that you respect their decision, but you wanted to let them know that you came up with a solution to XYZ.

Trust me, if you add video messaging to your sales strategy, you'll close more deals.

4. Genuinely Embrace the "No"

You won't close every prospect you engage with.

That's okay, as long as you reframe the rejections you experience and view them as learning opportunities. That's what Halimah Omogiafo, the Founder and CEO of Koody, does. He says, "Each rejection is a chance to develop your skills. Each no is a step closer to yes."

Diana Stepanova, the Operations Director at Monitask, agrees. In her words, "Accepting that rejection is a natural part of sales allows you to view it as an opportunity for growth rather than a failure. Realize that each rejection brings you closer to a successful deal."

Every sales experience, good or bad, gives you the chance to learn a valuable lesson. As long as you take advantage of those opportunities, rejection will never get the better of you.

How to Handle Rejection in Sales - Embrace the NO

Overcome Your Sales Rejection Feels and Live to Sell Another Day

Nobody likes rejection, but for sales professionals, it's part of the job.

Fortunately there are things you can do to handle the rejection you face in healthy ways. Some of the tips I shared in this article will even help you minimize rejection and boost sales.

Want to know what else will help you boost sales? A killer CRM like Close. Sign up for a free 14-day trial to see if it's the right tool for you and/or your sales team.