Direct sales can be an incredibly rewarding career… at least, until the first door gets slammed in your face. How do you overcome rejection in sales?
Nobody likes being rejected. It doesn’t leave us with the warm fuzzies. Oftentimes, sales reps fall short because they are discouraged by the rejections they experience.
And here’s the bad news: you’ll never escape them. With great training, you can reduce the ratio of rejections and build a better close rate, but you’ll never stop them entirely. In direct sales, rejection is an occupational hazard.
So how does a direct sales rep avoid rejection burn-out? It’s important to understand and manage rejection in order to have a healthy, balanced approach to a career in direct sales.
How do the best do it? There are 3 ways that successful direct sales reps process rejections in their sales process.
Way To Overcome Rejection #1: “Know Your Why”
Here at Solcomm, we’re big fans of Simon Sinek’s book “Know Your Why.” In it, he talks about understanding not just what you do professionally, but also why you chose to do it in the first place. It’s an enlightening concept that helps companies and individuals understand the values and motivations that lead them to do what they do. (Check out his TED Talk. It’s pretty empowering.)
It’s not a complicated concept, but it’s a great way to keep your perspective when you’re faced with rejection.
When you take your focus away from the what of the moment, (your pitch being rejected by a prospective customer,) and turn it to the why, (you want to provide for your family, buy a house, pay off loans, etc,) it automatically puts the rejection into perspective.
Now instead of having a short-term view of the rejection as an insurmountable dead-end, you see it for what it is: a speed bump on the road to success.
Knowing your why gives you the motivation to power through success, to stay focused, and to prove to yourself and others that a momentary setback doesn’t keep you from striving after your bigger purpose.
Speaking of those momentary setbacks:
Way To Overcome Rejection #2: Understand The Numbers
When it comes to sales, nobody bats 1000. (Heck, when it comes to baseball, nobody bats 1000.)
Everybody has a failure rate. And that’s okay. Not every product is right for every customer.
That means that you are going to be rejected. When you come to understand and come to grips with that, it allows you to focus on a more productive challenge: how to understand your numbers and play the law of averages.
To an extent, sales is a numbers game. The goal of improving your sales with continual follow-up training is to keep improving your close rate. To get that ratio to a place where you can dependably predict that out of every X pitches you make, you’ll close Y% of them.
Let’s say you’ve been working on your process and can reliably close ¼ of the presentations you make. You’re getting more rejections than not. Does that mean you’re bound to failure?
Nope. It means you can be smart and reverse engineer your goals.
If you close 1 out of every 4, as in the example above, that means you need to take your goal, multiply it by 4, and deliver that many presentations. That way, if your close rate is dependable, you are almost guaranteed to hit your numbers. (And have the opportunity to exceed them!)
With that in mind, a rejection isn’t really a no. It’s just the presentation that gets you one step closer to a ‘yes.’
Way To Overcome Rejection #3: Keep Improving Your Process
Here’s a crucial part of overcoming rejection without feeling the burnout: keep getting better at what you do.
That may sound flippant, but we aren’t talking about results or goals here. We’re talking about learning the do’s and don’ts of your industry. We’re talking about honing your process.
There’s a lesson that most of us learned from “Schoolhouse Rock”… Knowledge Is Power. That applies to your career in direct sales, as well. And rejections are a great way to gain more knowledge about what you’re doing and how to get better at it.
Every ‘No’ helps you learn. And the best direct sales reps never stop learning.
If you’ve got a particularly high ratio of rejections, you’ve actually been given a great opportunity to re-examine your process. Are you having a hard time breaking the ice? Is there a flaw in your presentation? A crucial question you didn’t know the answer to? Is your presentation geared to a different demographic or audience than who you’re actually presenting to?
If you have 10 no’s in a row, you can analyze those no’s and figure out how to turn those no’s into yeses.
Remember: Rejection Isn’t Forever
In order to really take advantage of those 3 success secrets, it’s important to remember something crucial:
When a customer says no, they aren’t saying no to you.
The product may legitimately be a bad fit for the customer right now. And even if the rejection feels personal, (and hey, some of them do,) it could be something as simple as you caught the prospect on a bad day. Or maybe they had some bad experience with a direct sales rep in the past.
Regardless, if you take the rejection personally, you’re missing a huge opportunity for a win.
You can still win through a rejection. Your prospect may not choose to buy, but you may still be able to help them with a problem or educate them on an issue. You can walk away from a rejection leaving a positive view of yourself and your company with the prospect. And that can lay the foundation for a future win.
Because a rejection isn’t forever.
With the right attitude, and the right training, you can overcome any rejection and become a great success in the field of direct sales.
If you’re interested in taking the world of Telecom Direct sales by storm, consider working for Solcomm. If you’re looking for uncapped earning potential, amazing opportunities for advancement, and top-notch sales training, we’ve got you covered. Apply now!