Everyone hates rejection. Especially people who must sell for a living. However, there is one thing that’s worse than the rejection itself: the fear of being rejected.
Rejection is just an event that’s quickly over. But the fear of rejection... ah!... that can last a lifetime.
It’s this fear of rejection is true the bane of sales success. If rejections scare you, you'll find it difficult, or even impossible to do whatever it takes to make your company successful. You’ll avoid calling on customer, you’ll balk at hard bargaining, you’ll hesitate to close. To misquote one of my favorite books: “Fear is the sale-killer.” (Bragging rights to whomever can identify the book in a comment.)
In my experience, the best way to deal with the fear of rejection is to remove the sting of the rejection in the first place. Here’s how:
STEP #1: Realize that most rejections aren’t real.
Suppose you make a cold call and the prospect hangs up on you. While that's feel like "rejection", the truth is that the prospect's reaction has nothing to do with you. You had no way of knowing that the prospect was busy and that the prospect thinks it's OK to hang up on unfamiliar callers.
Maybe if you said something different or called at a different time, you might have gotten a different reaction, but that's just a story you're making up in your own mind. If you had called at a different time, the prospect might just as easily have added a expletive before hanging up.
Most “rejections” don’t have anything to do you with personally. Anybody else taking the same action that you did, at the same time, would have gotten the exact same reaction. The "rejection" is simply a hallucination that your emotions have created to "explain" the event.
STEP #2: Understand the source of the “sting”
According to Art Mortell, author of excellent book The Courage to Fail, there are three situations that make rejection sting:
Your job is to identify the specific circumstances that are causing the “sting”... then we can begin work on neutralizing it.
STEP #3: Map the parameters of your fear
Take out your iPad (or yellow pad, if you prefer) and write down the answer the following three questions:
Take the time to honestly answer, because you’re now pinpointing the exact limits of the fear that’s crippling your sales success.
STEP #4: Change the beliefs that create your fear
If you look deeply enough, for each of these thresholds, you are holding onto a unspoken belief (about life, business, people, etc.) that is creating the fear. Examples:
To remove the sting of rejection, you need to explicitly and consciously replace those limiting beliefs with better beliefs that create confidence rather than fear. Examples:
It's really that simple. Reframing the “source” of the fear expunges the fear, thereby extracting its sting. Here’s what Art Mortell once told me about dealing positively with rejection.
"Five words. DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Things happen. Customers have lousy days. The economy goes down. It rains. It snows. Sometimes it snows on you. It's up to you to decide whether or not those events are an excuse for failure. In the end, only four things are under your control: your beliefs, your attitude, your emotions and your actions. If you take care of them, good results are inevitable."