I was recently asked this during one of my AMA (Ask-Me-Anything) sessions, and for this, I’ll take it in the business sales context.
And the simple answer is, “Next?”
No, no, it’s not to avoid the question. It’s “Next prospect, please?”
In sales, there is a 10-3-1 rule of thumb. When you sit with 10 prospects, the averages are that you’re probably not going to close 9 of them during that sit-down. How does one deal with the psyche from a rejection?
1. Get over it
It is human to feel down. To deny that frustration isn’t healthy. But you should not let it linger for too long. Get over it. Scale also plays a part. The property agent that gets rejected on a $1m sale may be kicking up sand a little longer than when she loses a $1000 rental deal.
2. Thicken the pipeline
If you comprehend the 10-3-1 benchmark but still feel lousy with each rejection, then you need an action plan to thicken the prospecting pipeline. Work with marketing people to identify ways to fill your calendar for your industry. Get it to 100-30-10.
3. Learn, unlearn, relearn
This covers many areas. Is your sales closing technique up to par? Are you prospecting to the correct people? Are the right people brought to your table? Are you saying the wrong things, or not sharing in the way they understand?
4. Connect to follow up
My marketing brain regularly reminds me not to let a non-sale go. Always leave an option to have a follow-up appointment, or in the final parting, ask them to be on your newsletter.
5. Seek help
If you ARE losing sleep over this, and frequently so, my recommendation is seek professional help in the form of a therapist or counsellor. Otherwise, pull together a group of peers, or join a mastermind group, or a business network. You will discover that you are not alone. The community effect will foster cross-sharing and learning.
So, how to handle rejection? Next please…