19 Ways to Conquer Fear of Rejection in Sales
Working in sales is tough, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Here are 19 ways to overcome your fear of rejection when making pitches.
There’s no denying that working in sales is a tough job. It can be quite stressful to face the daily responsibility of generating, qualifying and selling to leads effectively. And while it is basic human nature to fear rejection, even the best sales pros hear the word “no” on a regular basis.
However, when you overcome these anxieties, sales can also be one of the most rewarding, lucrative and fulfilling career paths to follow. So, here are 19 ways to conquer your fear of rejection as a salesperson.
1. Be Prepared
Let’s start with the basics. Whether you’re making sales calls or putting on a presentation, one great way to reduce your rejection anxiety is to be prepared. That’s because being well-prepared makes you more confident that things will go well (and also increases the likelihood that they actually will).
Think about it this way: when you were in grade school, which mornings did you feel the most nervous? Were you uneasy on the days when you showed up to school with all of your homework finished and ready to be turned in? No. But you were probably pretty rattled on those mornings when you hadn’t done your homework, and instead needed to come up with an excuse as to why you couldn’t submit it.
Just like in school, preparing ahead of time for sales interactions can both increase your confidence and reduce the odds of a negative outcome.
2. Create Compelling Sales Presentations
If your job entails putting on sales presentations, make them as compelling as possible. Doing so will improve your ability to close sales, thereby decreasing the threat of rejections (as well as your anxiety surrounding them).
This also goes back to being prepared. A well-done sales presentation will make you feel ready to make a great pitch. You will be armed with the information you need to showcase why someone should buy your product / service, and will also be able to answer any questions that arise.
A good sales presentation should:
- Engage and inform prospects.
- Speak to the needs of your target audience.
- Answer questions and address potential concerns.
- Clearly lay out the features and benefits of your product / service.
- Contain eye-catching, relevant visuals.
- Be succinct, yet informative.
3. Follow Set Sales Processes
Another way to feel more confident when approaching any sales pitch is to implement and follow set processes. This could involve things like writing out a script to follow on your sales calls, or having specific responses that you use when a prospect says “no” or “I’ll get back to you.”
Lots of sales pros also utilize tools such as workflow emails to nurture prospects at every step of the customer journey. For instance, if you work for a software company, you can set up emails that automatically go out to users on each day of their 7-day free trial.
In this instance, your Day 1 email could contain helpful hints, answers to FAQs and the offer to call you if they have any questions. And later emails might provide information that is relevant to someone who has used your software for a few days, while also inviting prospects to subscribe to the full version before their trial ends.
Following processes such as these will certainly increase your chances of actually closing more sales, but it will also help you feel less fearful of rejection because you will know that you’re putting forth the best effort possible.
4. Get to Know Your Prospects
One of the most important steps in mitigating your fear of rejection and improving your abilities as a salesperson is to get to know your prospects. After all, how can you address a potential customer’s wants and needs if you don’t know what they are?
Learning everything you can about your audience will enable you to craft pitches that truly speak to how your product can benefit them. This strategy will also boost your confidence by helping you achieve all of the previously mentioned steps more effectively. You will feel more prepared, craft more relevant pitches and be able to implement more targeted sales processes.
5. Understand Your Product
In addition to knowing your prospects, you also need to gain and maintain a comprehensive understanding of the product you’re selling.
This is a really big one. A huge part of the fear of rejection in sales comes from nervousness about prospects asking questions. But by getting to know your audience and being fully educated on your product, you can be ready for any queries a potential customer throws your way.
If you’re selling software, for example, you need to know everything there is to know about how to navigate it. Ask your employer to set up a demo account for you if possible so you can go in and practice every task that a customer might want to perform. Here at Replyco, our Director of Customer Satisfaction, Alex, even uses his account to create amazing instructional videos for our customers.
Understanding the product(s) you sell also allows you to craft better sales pitches in general. When you know all the ins and outs of what your company offers, you will be more able to make purchase suggestions that entice prospects to buy.
6. Recognize the Value of What You’re Selling
And once you understand your product, you need to assess and recognize its value. This is another crucial component of conquering your fear of rejection in sales.
When you realize that you’re offering something of significant benefit to your prospects, you will stop feeling apologetic or hesitant about trying to get people to buy your products. Learn to look at sales pitches as a way of giving prospects the chance to get something great. Approach your interactions with this outlook, maintain a friendly demeanor and clearly lay out the features / benefits of your wares, and you will see a dramatic increase in sales (along with a decrease in your fear or anxiety).
7. Sell Quality Goods
In order to recognize the value of your products or services, you need to sell goods that actually have value. That means that you shouldn’t take a sales job hyping products that you don’t truly believe in.
We know that the job market is tough right now, but if you are responsible for selling products that you don’t think are of value to your prospects, you will most certainly feel anxious before and during every pitch. That doesn’t mean that you should only take sales jobs for companies with the most premium products on the market. But you should, at minimum, be able to list more benefits than downsides of any product you sell.
8. Network with Other Sales Pros
Conquer your fear of rejection in sales by getting to know other professionals in your industry. By networking with other salespeople, you can learn more about how to succeed and boost your own confidence.
A good network of sales pros can clue you in on their tips for making more conversions, as well as any tricks they use for overcoming sales anxieties. And like with any other field, interacting with other people in your industry will naturally help you become better at what you do. You will be immersed in your field, and will keep a finger on the pulse of any new developments, strategies or happenings that are relevant to your work.
Just a few ways to build up a network of contacts include attending industry events (in person or virtually), utilizing LinkedIn and joining associations that exist specifically for helping professionals like yourself connect.
9. Seek Out Education & Inspiration
On the same note as networking, improve your sales approach and confidence by seeking out education and inspiration wherever you can find it.
This might include watching webinars that offer sales or industry tips, listening to podcasts, reading articles / guides or perusing public sales presentations to see what others are doing to succeed. There are even books on the very topic of overcoming your fear of rejection in sales.
10. Stay Positive
Keep your fear of rejection low by going into every sales pitch with a positive attitude. Not only will this improve the nature of your interactions, it can also position you to make more sales.
Prior to beginning a call or presentation, think to yourself, “This is going to go well. I am prepared. My products are great. The pitch is ready, and I’m offering amazing value to my prospect.” Be ready for any questions or objections with a friendly-yet-knowledgeable response, and you will feel much more eager to make those sales calls.
11. Enjoy Each Interaction
On the same note, learn to enjoy each interaction. You can’t always know what the outcome of a sales call is going to be, but you can make every conversation pleasant.
For this approach, and to be a salesperson in general, it helps to be a “people person.” If you genuinely enjoy talking to people, you will have much less anxiety and fear surrounding making sales pitches.
12. Build Relationships
And while we’re on the subject of staying positive and enjoying each interaction, you should also learn to look at sales conversations as the opportunity to build relationships.
This outlook is helpful in many ways when it comes to being a sales pro. For example, even if you don’t make the sale to this particular prospect, by having a great conversation with them and building a rapport, you might inspire them to recommend your products to someone else. Or, they might come back to you later when they’re ready to buy. Furthermore, depending on what you sell, they could even invite you to put on a webinar or presentation for their entire company — thus opening the door for lots of sales.
13. Believe in Yourself
One of the top strategies for overcoming a fear of rejection in sales is to simply believe in yourself.
Go back to the other steps in this guide. As long as you’ve prepared well for your pitch, crafted a good presentation, implemented sound sales processes and gotten to know your audience and products, you’re ready to be a great salesperson! Trust in your own abilities and have faith in your skills. That kind of confidence will go a long way toward helping you close sales and conquer hesitation.
14. Keep Looking Forward
Not every sales pitch is going to go well, and that’s okay. It’s just part of the job. But if you dwell on each negative outcome and bring that energy into your next call, you will wind up with a whole string of “no” responses.
Instead, shake off any bad experiences and move on to the next interaction with a positive attitude and the belief that things are going to turn around.
15. Set Achievable Sales Goals
A surefire way to derail your efforts in sales is to set unrealistic goals. If you create goals that you can’t reach, you will just become more and more disheartened when falling short.
Be sure to set achievable goals for yourself. Then, once you’re attaining them on a regular basis, you can up your quotas and continue to challenge yourself to reach new heights.
16. Sell on Quality, Not Price
A big mistake that lots of sales professionals make is to sell on price. While it is important to let prospects know that you’re offering them affordability, it is much more crucial to showcase the quality of your products.
Studies have shown that customers base a significant portion of their purchase decisions on product quality (as well as customer service). Focus your sales efforts on communicating the benefits of your products as they relate to your prospects’ needs and wants.
17. Give Yourself a Break
There’s no way around it, working in sales is tough! Keep your morale high by giving yourself a break.
Cutting yourself a break can involve everything from accepting the fact that “no” is a part of the sales game to taking actual breaks from work during the day when your stress levels are getting too high.
That last part is particularly important. By taking a break at certain points throughout a long day, you can return to work feeling refreshed and more capable of making great sales pitches.
18. Accept Rejection as a Part of Sales
We’ve mentioned this already, but a critical component of conquering your fear is to accept that rejection is a natural part of working in sales.
Rather than fearing and dreading rejection, learn to see it as a learning tool. What did your last several rejections have in common? Are you frequently hearing “no” at a specific part of your sales pitch? Or are the prospects that are declining all saying “no” for the same reasons? Use this information to revamp your approach so you can set yourself up for future success.
19. Communicate Effectively
Finally, if you want to be a great salesperson, you need to communicate effectively. From sales calls to email interactions, it is important to convey knowledge, helpfulness and a friendly attitude.
Any successful sales pro will tell you that selling also involves customer service. That’s because prospects are sure to ask you the same kinds of questions that they would ask a customer service representative. So you need to be armed with the information and conversational demeanor necessary to answer questions and address concerns.
You should also be prepared to respond quickly to any messages you receive. After all, delayed responses could result in lost sales. If you’re a multi-channel eCommerce seller, this is where Replyco helpdesk software comes into play. We enable sellers to centralize all of their messaging into one easy-to-use inbox. And our comprehensive dashboard, smart auto-responders, live chat widget and more can help you ensure that no messages ever fall through the cracks.