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Rejection in Sales: 5 Tips to Help You Develop a Thick Skin

Rejection in sales can feel like a final knockout, but it is not. Wondering how to move on after a rejection? Here is how.

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Rejection in sales can feel like a final knockout, but it is not. Wondering how to move on after a rejection? Here is how.


One thing we can all agree on is that all problems have solutions, even when we do not like the answer. What looks like an endgame for you as a sales rep, can actually be a stepping stone to your progress. Imagine it’s a hot afternoon, and your former client has failed to meet the deadline and make the final payment. Your potential client is also closing that window of opportunity and just when you thought it was your turn to turn it all around, they do not seem convincing enough.

What next? Will you whine about it and give up? No. While handling sales can be hard at times, for you to succeed you need to develop a thick skin by applying some of these tips.


1. Do not take it personally

Instead of focusing on the rejection, remember, in sales one size does not fit all. If one customer loves your product or sales pitch, the next customer may not be as welcoming and it is okay. Also, it has nothing to do with you. Your dress code was just fine, even if you had done another presentation they might have still rejected you. Give yourself peace of mind. Sometimes your potential client is just having a bad day or just not in the mood to buy your service or product.


2. Keep track of your rejections

It is hard to look back at your failures, but using them as a stepping stone could be a golden opportunity. Instead, ask yourself these questions:


  • “Why did the previous client reject my offer?”

  • “Why are all clients in this area rejecting my product?”

  • “How many clients complained about the price of the product?”

Asking yourself these questions after a rejection will help you notice an influencing factor in your sales. Depending on why the customer rejects you, you can always find better ways to re-align your sales strategy to meet your customer needs. When you focus on the good side of the rejection, you will not faint when they come. 


3. Share to learn

Truth be told, you are not the first salesperson or the last. Those who came before you went through the same problems. When sharing your experiences with your peers, especially those that have been there for a while, they will give you better ways to approach different situations. This is better than keeping your rejections to yourself. A problem shared is a problem half-solved. 


4. Be realistic

Expecting rejection in sales will help you overcome your fears and also prepare for them. 

“Not all potential customers will love your product, and it is okay. When I step out to go into the field to sell, I know very well that some people will not buy. So it is not surprising to me.” - Irene, Sales Executive

Always weigh your outcomes for any sale, and the real outcome is either a yes-no. When you expect only yes-yes, you’ll need to prepare for heartbreak. 


5. It’s just a bad day, not a bad life

One rejection, two rejections, or even three rejections do not mean that your career is going badly. It just means that time has not been in your favour. Tomorrow will be much better. Never let a rejection in sales hit you so hard that you cannot get back up. Always remember that rejection is highly influenced by timing. A failed customer today might be a potential customer tomorrow. 

When you are faced with rejection in sales, keep in mind that you are simply one step closer to your final yes.

Also read: 5 things you did not know about a career in sales

Written by

Mercy Mukisa

Hey there, I'm Mercy Mukisa, a Senior HR Officer writing to you from the lively heart of Uganda. Writing is my way of contributing to the professional community, grounded in the belief that knowledge is the key to empowerment. In the dynamic field of HR, I'm not just a participant; I see it as a privilege to share the insights and experiences gathered along the way. It's not just about the job; it's a commitment to enhancing your professional journey. So, let's navigate through the pages of my articles together, aiming for a balanced and insightful exploration of empowerment and growth.

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