Every “No” in sales is like a bullet. It can sting. It can lay you out for days. It can even kill.
Or… if you have the right mental armor, it can bounce right off you.
But you can’t dodge these bullets. They will hit you.
In fact, if you’re doing things right, you’ll get hit every day with the bullets of rejection.
So what? It’s sales!
Today you will learn the mental hacks necessary to make sure you don’t become another casualty of the sales war (it is war out there after all).
You’ll learn how to not bleed out on the battlefield, and instead use rejection as a motivating force to push through and pick up the phones another day.
In fact, by the end of this article, you’ll be EXCITED to hear “No” on the phones. It feels good to be bulletproof.
Let’s jump right in.
First Things First
A “No” today is a “Yes” tomorrow. Remember that.
The truth is, decision makers have bad days. Sometimes they’re not in the mood to take your call. Sometimes they’ll even yell into the phone (on very rare occasions).
A “No” typically means “not right now,” or “I’m actually busy prepping for a meeting,” or “the board is hounding me for this report,” etc. So just give them a call tomorrow.
You see, you have to assume positive intent. Adopt that mindset and you’re already ahead of 95% of sales people who take every “No” as a personal attack on their character.
But sometimes… a “No” really does mean “No.” Not now. Not ever. And that’s ok too.
Here’s what to do to bulletproof your sales game and ensure you continue onward and upward after rejection.
RELATED: When to Stop Following Up in Sales
5 Ways to Bulletproof Your Sales Game
1. Rejection is data. Welcome the data.
There’s a reason behind every “No.” And this is data that can be tracked and measured. Then, using this data, you can get smart and find new ways to resonate with the C-suite. So make sure to take mental notes (and written notes!) as to why the prospect said no.
Are you seeing trends or recurring themes? Now put it in a spreadsheet. Using this data, you might actually find that you’re going after the wrong demographic, the wrong role, the wrong sized company, etc. etc. Just remember, every “No” is data that you can leverage for future success. Use it!
2. Evaluate where you have room for growth… and GROW
Look, your sales game isn’t water-tight. There are holes you need to patch. Don’t worry, this goes for ALL salespeople. Although you aren’t perfect, you can strive for perfection, and this means digging deep and getting real with yourself. I highly recommend recording your cold calls and other sales calls. Listen to it back and you’ll be amazed at what you find. Maybe you go in for the close too soon? Stammering over your words? Speaking too fast? Not listening enough? Monotone voice? etc. etc.
Now if you want to really level-up, share your call recordings with a trusted sales mentor. This could be your sales manager or someone completely outside of your company and industry. And finally, identify the top three things you can improve and put together a game plan to shore up your weaknesses. Work on these consistently over a few weeks and you’ll be 50% better in no time at all. But you have to humble yourself and become a lifelong student of sales.
3. Remember your strengths
That’s right, you also have strengths and a certain level of brilliance that got you to where you are today. You must have positive self-talk around these and remember them often. Seriously, list out the top five and write them down or print it out. Now look at it every day. This will help to reinforce your mind when faced with rejection.
After all, your biggest enemy is actually YOU. As humans we have the tendency to self-sabotage and wallow in our own self-doubt. But the truth is, you ARE cut out for this. So you just have to remind yourself of this truth throughout the day. Consistently have positive self-talk and rejection will deflect right off your armor. Bullets can’t pierce a mind made of steel.
4. Move forward with enthusiasm
After rejection, your instinct will be to slump in your chair and question your life choices. So do this immediately after a bad sales call or when a prospect tells you “No.” Stand up from your chair and do 10 jumping jacks. Now lift your chin, square out your shoulders, and put your hands on your hips. This is a power pose, and it can change your physiology. Who cares what you look like doing this. Sales is life or death.
Now take massive action. Pick up the phone and resolve to make 20 calls in a rapid-fire cold calling session. Boom! Just like that, you dodged another bullet. You see, your physical body is inextricably linked to your mindset, motivation, and performance. When you move your body, you move your mind in a positive direction. And when you positively move your mind, you positively move your sales numbers up the chart.
5. Fall in love with delayed gratification
This final point is so important that it deserves a whole article on its own. (Look for that coming soon!). For now, just know that delayed gratification is the secret to getting healthy or wealthy in life. It’s not always fun to put your nose to the grindstone and work, work, work. But this is how legends are made. Christiano Ronaldo, Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Taylor Swift. Name pretty much any successful person, and it’s hard work and delayed gratification that got them to where they are.
You must fall in love with delayed gratification in sales. Understand that your consistent daily hard work will feel like a grind at times, but it all adds up to a future success that you can’t even fathom today. So turn off Netflix, block social apps on your phone, and cut out all other distractions. Put in the work, and today’s “No’s” will turn into tomorrow’s “Yes’s”. Like a farmer sowing seeds in the ground, you are sowing seeds that will bloom and flourish for years, decades, and even generations to come.
The reason why 60% of salespeople are afraid of the phones (yes, literally afraid to make calls) is because they fear rejection. Rejection stings if you don’t reframe it in your mind as a necessary waypoint on the way to success. You simply can’t succeed without hearing “No.” And today’s “No” is tomorrow’s “Yes” if you adopt a winning mindset and winning habits.
So remember, every “No” is data that you can collect and leverage for future “Yes’s.” From there, find out where you’re falling short on your calls and where you can improve (and actually follow through with a game plan to improve!). Then, remember your strengths! You have them, and it’s time to recall these daily with positive self talk. Also, immediately after rejection move forward with enthusiasm. That is, hack your physiology by moving your body. When you move your body, you move your mind. When you move your mind, you move your deals! And finally, delay gratification so that you can focus on the needle-moving sales activities in front of you. You know what they are.
Time to get to WORK. Your success will arrive in due time. Trust me on this.
Until next time…