Helping Your Sales Team Deal With Rejection

Putting Sales Rejection into Perspective

Raise your hand if you hate rejection. Whether it’s from a lover, a credit card company, or a sales prospect, rejection bites. It’s hard to hear “no,” and it’s especially hard to hear “no” all day long. But rejection is a fact of life if you’re in sales, so dealing with it well can make the difference between success and misery.

If you manage a sales team, you've probably had to deal with the fallout of dejected sales representatives who've been rejected one two many times. Too much rejection without the tools to manage it can bring down morale quickly. Fortunately, you don’t just have to your sales team to paste on a grin when they feel like the whole world is slamming its doors on them. There are concrete things you can do to help them put rejection in perspective.

Know Your Stats

There are few (if any) sales jobs where yesses are more common than nos. In fact, hearing “NO” is usually much more common than hearing “YES.” But it’s useful to know the exact ratio. Do you know the average closing ratio for your team, or other teams in your company or industry? Do your sales representatives know it? If the average closing ratio is 30%, and they’re getting twice as many nos as yesses, then they’re doing awesome.

Sales is always a numbers game. Your sales reps will hear a certain number of nos before they get to “YES.” Just remind them that each “NO” is getting them closer to their next “YES.”

Don't Take it Personally

Yes, this is easier said than done. It can feel very personal to be rejected. Remind your team that their sales prospects are not really rejecting them personally. They just don’t want to buy what your reps are selling right now. You can help them rebuild self-esteem and get positive interactions to balance the negative ones by making your sales meetings a positive, uplifting experience. Encourage friendships and a friendly competition. Make sure when you give feedback, even if it's constructive criticism, that you are kind and respectful. Your sales representatives are most likely getting more than enough negativity from their sales prospects.

Although most potential customers are polite when they say no, your sales team should be prepared to deal with the occasional rude or unfriendly prospect. On a bad day, remind a discouraged sales representative that the prospect who yelled at her and said never to come back doesn’t really hate her personally. He doesn’t even know her. He’s just having a bad day and lashing out at whomever is in the vicinity.

It's also important to help your team develop the habit of treating all their prospects professionally. That way they'll be a good ambassador for your brand even with the most trying of sales prospects.

Keep a Sense of Humor

Let’s face it—sometimes all you can do is either laugh or cry. When that happens, pick laughing every time. Teach your sales representatives to look for the humor in everyday situations. Life is actually pretty funny if you think about it. Set the example, and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself if you make a mistake or do something foolish. Humor can also break the ice and help your reps get to “YES.” Everyone likes to talk to someone who’s funny.

A sense of humor will liven up your sales training meetings. Consider having everyone share the funniest thing that happened to them last week. If not much humorous is happening in your area, consider starting a practical joke war, bringing in a karaoke machine, or playing a funny youtube video to start your meeting.

Take a Moment

Do you teach your sales team the importance of doing a mid-day attitude check? It’s important for them to be aware of their own state of mind take charge of their own attitude. If they’ve heard “NO” so many times that their day is a drag and they’re just slogging through it, it’s definitely time to take a moment to readjust their attitude.

It's your job to teach them some coping skills. Tell them to repeat their favorite success mantra. Do five jumping jacks. Take a deep yoga breath and let it out slowly. Or call you for a pep talk. Then they should take out their itinerary for the day and re-focus on their goals.

Focus on What You CAN Control

One of the key skills you should teach your sales representatives is to control the controllables. They can’t control how many people say “NO” to them, but they can control how many doors they knock. And if they knock enough doors, someone will eventually say “YES.”

Similarly, they can’t control the attitude of their sales prospects. But they can control their own attitude. And a positive attitude can be surprisingly contagious. The attitude you model to your sales team will be the attitude they take with them out into the field, so make sure to set the example of a positive attitude in your sales meetings and other interactions with them.

Here at Netpique sales outsourcing, we have a proven sales training model and sales culture that results in tight-knit, high performing sales teams that represent our clients' brands with a high level of professionalism, and perform to expectations week after week, month after month, year after year. If you need help with training, recruiting, or managing your sales force, we'd be happy to sit down with you and talk about how Netpique's sales outsourcing experts might be able to meet your needs. Contact us for a free consultation.