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Sales Rejection is Transferring Responsibility to Someone Else

Getting rejected in sales is a tough love crash course in realizing no one can reject you without your permission. When you feel rejected you are simply transferring responsibility to someone else or to something else. Sales people who experience the greatest amount of personal rejection and frustration have a very strong need for control.

Which comes first the chicken or the egg? Do you feel rejected first and then seek out an incident to confirm it? Or, do you feel rejected after an incident that caused you to feel that way? It is close to impossible to be rejected without rejection firmly being there before you were formally rejected. Sales people rarely attribute the real reasons for their rejections. The reality is we personalize rejection from our customer to escape our rejection of ourselves.

Unfortunately, you cannot have your cake and eat it also. The reason sales people do not want to stop taking negative things personally is because they certainly do not want to have to be consistent and stop taking positive things personally. Ironically, it is just as hard for most sales people to not take 100% responsibility for taking positive things personally as it is to take 100% responsibility for taking negative things personally. The reason being is to accept one you must accept the other.

No one ever struggles with taking personal responsibility for their big sales and their successes. But a lot of us struggle with taking personal responsibility for lost sales and failures. Again one cannot exist without the other.

The best way to come to terms with the fleeting emotions of positive thoughts and the fleeting emotions of negative thoughts is to accept equally and unemotionally both opposing emotions without further interpretation. Balance and impartiality is the key. Definitely easier said than done.

The ego thrives on rejection, frustration and loss because it strengthens the ego. Your ego cannot survive without negative drama. The ego is so counter-productive in its need to control and be satisfied that it even cherishes the attention of being rejected. Our egos are so domineering and needy that it wins even when you are winning. Win/lose the ego does not care. All it wants is drama and to be at the center of attention. That is how it survives and flourishes.

Sales people choose to personalize rejection over and over again because they fear if they do not the consequences would be even more dire. Any other alternative would be unpredictable and potentially threatening. Rejection and frustration does not come from the event of rejection itself, but rather from the self-judgment, the interpretation, and the act of beating oneself after the fact. We all are the sole actor and exclusive participant in our own feelings of rejection.

To take personal responsibility for one's rejection would require sales people to look at how they are choosing to reject themselves. They would have to be more self-reflective, and they fear what they might find. Whenever you look at yourself it can be very painful and personal. So often people choose to delay it and project it unconsciously on to others. Rejection is a game of hot potato. Rejection obviously is a result of some very conflicting wishes and needs. Deep stuff!

Rejection by itself is not good or bad. It only becomes negative when you judge it, repress it or flee from it. The worst thing we can do with a negative outcome in our sales engagement is to decide right away what it means and what are the implications. The more we analyze it, the more it will expand and potentially persist. Sales people usually do not fully experience rejection from customers. What they really experience is the resistance and personal annoyance they feel because of it. They rarely if ever fully experience the emotion of rejection because they are so busy trying to run from it.

Rejection really is a fleeting emotion if you stay with it. Just acknowledge it in a neutral manner. As long as you judge it, consider it good or bad, or justify it, you empower it. Analyzing rejection is the same as pushing our feelings away and denying them. The cost of denying rejection is much higher than the cost of acknowledging it. So it is the fear of rejection that is far more encompassing and heartfelt than rejection itself. The act of rejection itself is child's play compared to the afterthoughts and emotions.

We force ourselves to appear bulletproof, falsely optimistic, and overly enthusiastic because we are not strong enough to fully experience the negative emotions of rejection. So we push it aside and let it multiply over time, instead of nipping it in the bud from the get-go.

The number one reason for rejection is we take everything so damn personally. What if we took on a professionally detached posture at all our selling engagements; nothing to sell, nothing to prove, nothing to defend, expectation free and no vested interest in the outcome. We are simply a trusted advisor helping the customer to get to the bottom of their priorities and challenges. By taking on this position of strength, rejection would diminish tremendously. It is harder to experience rejection and frustration when you sell as if you have nothing to lose; no deal can break you and no deal can make you.

Richard Farrell is President of Tangent Knowledge Systems, a national sales development and training firm based in Chicago. He is the author of the upcoming book Selling has Nothing to do with Selling. He trains and speaks around the world and has authored many articles on his unique non-selling sales posture.

Phone: 773-404-7915
EMail: rfarrell@tangentknowledge.com
Web: http://www.tangentknowledge.com