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WHEN ASKED what contributed most to his NBA career, Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” In fact, according to ESPN, Michael Jordan is number six on the list of basketball players who have missed the most shots in their NBA careers — but no one remembers how many shots you missed. Just like basketball, sales is a numbers game. Sure, every salesperson prefers to focus on fewer calls that have a higher quality, but no matter your skill and experience, the path to sales success is paved with rejection. Sales guru Dale Carnegie said it best: “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” If you’re feeling discouraged, there are five strategies you can use to embrace sales rejection, leveraging those rejections to help you reach your targets. Strategy No. 1: Separate your personal identity from your sales role. Emotionally disconnect from the outcome. When a prospect declines your offer, you have to believe down to your very core that the prospect isn’t rejecting you; he is simply rejecting the product or service you’re selling. If you take it personally, you may start feeling reluctant to make sales calls, which could cause a dip in your productivity. Remember, selling isn’t really about getting someone to say, “yes.” It’s simply about getting an informed prospect to make a decision. Strategy No. 2: Disqualifying a prospect is as important as qualifying one. Your time is valuable, so you need to make sure you’re spending time with the right prospects. When you are talking with a prospect for the first time, he isn’t just evaluating you; you are evaluating whether or not he is a good fit for your company, too. Just because a prospect has dollars to spend doesn’t necessarily make him a good client. Strategy No. 3: Don’t put your prospect on a pedestal. Remember that while your prospect may have the money, you have the solution to his problem. Choosing to cultivate this mindset evens the playing field, giving you a clear vision of your prospect as a peer. You are both equals. You may both find it mutually beneficial to partner together — and then again, you may not. Secret No. 4: Recognize that higher rejection rates lead to more sales and higher earnings. Normalize rejection by setting benchmarks for yourself — how many calls it’s going to take you to close a sale. Then, embrace every “no.” Each one puts you one step closer to the coveted “yes.” Secret No. 5: When you are staring sales rejection in the face, it’s easy to put off picking up the phone for your next call until your mind is right and you’re comfortable again. If you wait until you’re comfortable, you may never pick up the phone again. You need to be a little uncomfortable to be successful in sales. Be productive, and your attitude will follow your lead. Consistency is the only thing that will help you become more comfortable. Having a sound sales process and well-differentiated product or service goes a long way, but with sales, half the battle is always in your head. If you can overcome your own barriers as easily as you overcome objections, the market will be yours for the taking.

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RedRover Sales & Marketing

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