Does the fear of rejection prevent you from getting more sales?
Does the thought of facing another ‘No’ cripple you into inaction?
Are you tired of being afraid of rejection?
I’m too familiar with this chronic and debilitating feeling that had rendered me ineffective in sales in the past. The fear of rejection is one of the top issues faced by sales people everywhere. It is a recurring theme in my coaching conversations with clients in sales – especially those who are relatively new.
In my evolving journey, I’ve read and experimented many approaches to deal with rejection. I’ve found many that were incongruent with me, they didn’t work or just didn’t seem right for me. But there were some that made sense and were congruent with me.
Here are 7 of them:
1) You can ask anyone for anything if you make it OK for them to say ‘No’
I learnt this key from Michael Neill. When you give yourself the permission to be OK no matter what your prospect feel and say, you’ll be alright.
The key is not in forcing or making yourself feel OK, or in faking it, but in giving yourself permission. The more comfortable you are with accepting ‘No’, knowing that you’ll be OK, then you’d have the courage to ask anyone for anything.
I don’t deny that rejection may seems to hurt. The key is in giving yourself the space and time to return to OK, and move on.
How do you know you’ll be OK? Let’s see Key #2.
2) Your self-worth is never dependent on their ‘Yes’
It may seem criticism and rejection can affect your self-worth, but they don’t. Your value as a person is innate, irregardless of how many ‘No’ you receive. Your worthiness is never in jeopardy.
Your identity is not about the number of approvals you get. Your innate value doesn’t change with how many ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Just like the value of a ten-dollar bill doesn’t diminish if you crumple it, spit at it, or trample it under your foot. Because its value is innate.
Likewise, who you really are, your innate value is entirely unaffected by criticism and rejection. Your may feel otherwise because of your insecure thinking. We’ll get to your ‘thoughts’ in a while.
For now, ask yourself these questions:
What does it mean if you know criticism and rejection cannot affect you?
What would you do if you know your worthiness, value and well-being are never at risk?
3) ‘No’ is not the opposite of ‘Yes’
Arianna Huffington said, “Failure is not the opposite of success. It is part of success.”
Similarly in sales, ‘No’ is not the opposite of ‘Yes’ – it is just part of the process of getting to ‘Yes’. It allows the opportunity for both parties to look deeper and ask better questions. It totally shifts the meaning of ‘No’.
‘No’ would also gives you useful feedback and information that you may otherwise miss to progress forward.
If you make that mental shift, you wouldn’t dread the ‘Nos’. You would welcome them.
4) ‘No’ is not the problem. It is what you attach to ‘No’ which is the problem
‘No’ only becomes a problem when you attach insecure thoughts and invest much emotional weight onto it. That pulls you down and freezes you into inaction. Things become much more difficult than they are.
For example, I often hear from my coachees that the thought of making a sales call becomes weighty, not the action itself. The act of making the call is simple and takes only a short time. But the struggle in the mind consumes a large amount of time and energy.
That leads to Key #5.
5) Don’t take your thoughts too seriously. Take Action
If we are awakened to the fact that we live in the feeling of our thinking, we know that the root of the problem lies in the misunderstanding of where our experience comes from.
You only feel a certain way because of your thoughts in the moment, not the task that you’re supposed to take or its outcome.
The longest path is the distance between your two ears. When you free your mind, you’re free to do whatever it takes to get what you want.
If you treat taking action more seriously than all the unnecessary thoughts you struggle with, you’ll progress forward.
The cure for the fear of rejection is taking action. After all, thinking (fearing, worrying) don’t move you forward – taking the next step does.
6) Build relationships, not the numbers
What if you see your business as not about how many sales you close, but how many relationships you open?
They say, in sales it’s the numbers’ game. That is certainly one way of looking at it.
Another way of seeing, which many find more enriching, is about the relationships you make. Not surprisingly, many of the top successful sales stars often talk about the importance of building relationships. The possibilities are far reaching, beyond what you can see in the shorter range.
You can make your business about serving and giving value upfront. Astonish your prospects by making them feel the time invested to meet you is
more than well spent.
Instead of just hearing what you have to offer, they actually experience a taste of what is it like to be doing business with you, and what their future would look like if they have your product/service.
The worst case scenario is you don’t get the sales (at least not immediately) but you build a relationship that means something for both parties. The best case is you gain the relationship and the sales.
7) Fear of rejection when selling? Don’t sell!
I often hear this from my coaching clients, “I hate selling!” or other variances along that line. I could see all the non-verbal signals that inform me that they don’t like where the conversation is heading.
I would usually dig deeper and ask, “That’s interesting. Help me to understand. Can you tell me more?”
Many people attach the idea of selling with manipulating words to get money from the prospects’ pocket into theirs. And that feels incongruent with their values.
“Ok, let’s not talk about selling for a while.” I would sometimes say.
“Let’s talk about your strengths. What are you good at? What are you passionate at doing?”
There’s one coaching conversation where the response was, “I love to teach!” and I could see the aliveness coming back in his eyes.
To that I would ask, “What did you feel when you said that?”
And later in the conversation, I would go along this line, “Well, instead of “selling”, how can you make your business about “educating” people the need/benefits for <his product/service/message>?
And the conversation would usually continue toward a more empowering direction.
So, instead of “selling” (if you dread that idea), how can you make your business about serving/helping/sharing/educating people?
What’s the mission of your company and product/service? The more the mission compels you, the more you would get the message out there.
The Big Picture
At the end of the day, when you make it OK for people to say ‘No’, when you don’t attach unnecessary weights on ‘No’, when you know your value and well-being is never at risk, you’ll be alright.
When you recognize your insecure thoughts for what they are, they have no power over you. When you realize that those undesirable emotions come from those thinking and not the circumstances, you’ll be OK with any outcome.
Not everyone is naturally good in selling, but everyone is good in something. Find out what your strengths and passions are. Remember the mission. Build your business message around that.
Do these keys resonate with you? In any case, I invite you to share your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.
Many CJ followers also read an earlier related post: Overcoming Fear (Get Out Of The Future)