Learning How to Fail Like a Champion

Handling Rejection in Sales

Rejection in sales is a fact of life but rather than letting it get you down you can approach rejection like a champion and find great success!

On today’s show discover:

  • … 5 strategies for handling rejection;
  • … how to use rejection to improve;
  • … how to fail, like a champion.

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There are a lot of different skills to master in sales and one that many overlook is developing the skill to handle rejection. There are strategies and skills you can develop that can help you take rejection in stride and even begin to use it to your advantage.

Five Strategies for Handling Rejection

1 Separate your ego from your sales performance

It’s important to separate yourself from rejection and understand it’s not about you.. Don’t take it personally, rejection can mean many things but your close rate does not equal your self worth. For more on how to turn a no into a yes check out Episode 54

2 Maintain positive self talk

A lot of times the biggest obstacle you need to overcome is sitting right between your ears in your own head. Rather than engaging in negative self-talk like “I’m no good, because I didn’t close that guy”.  It’s possible to re-frame the conversation to put yourself in a more constructive and positive place. For example: “I’m a great salesperson, so what could I do differently in a situation like that to effect a more positive outcome next time?”

Stay Busy

Stay BusyWhen you keep a busy schedule with more opportunities for sales and customer interaction you won’t have time to dwell on rejection. So pack your calendar, arrange your schedule so you’re working when the customers are calling, stay active and keep moving.

4 Expect Rejection

Expect that rejection will happen. It’s easier to down-play it in your mind when you expect it. Now, you should still go into every sales interaction confidently assuming the customer is going to buy.  But going into your day expecting a healthy amount of rejection is realistic and can help you keep the right frame of mind for success.

5 View Every Rejection as an Opportunity to Improve

Despite hitting 714 home runs during his career, Babe Ruth also held the record for strikeouts at 1330. He once said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” which is a fantastic way to look at rejection in sales. Every customer who says “no” brings you that much closer to the next one who will say “yes”.

Examples of Success Despite Rejection

Elvis Presley

Did you know that after a performance at the Grand Ole Opry, Elvis Presley  was told by the concert hall manager he was better off returning to Memphis and driving trucks? Elvis didn’t take the advice choosing instead to continue working on his career. Seems like he did ok in the end.

Marilyn Monroe

How about this one…When Marilyn Monroe was trying to start her career, modeling agencies told her she should consider becoming a secretary. Good thing she didn’t listen to them.

Albert Einstein

On June 6th 1907 Albert Einstein received the following rejection letter:

Dear Mr. Einstein,

Your application for the Doctorate has not been successful at this time and as such you are not eligible for the position of Associate Professor.
While you posed an interesting theory in your article, we feel that your conclusions about the nature of light and the fundamental connection between space and time are somewhat radical. Overall, we find your assumptions to be more artistic that actual physics. 


If any of these great people had let rejection bring them down they would not have gone on to such greatness. Don’t allow the rejection you face in sales to stop you from the success you deserve.


  • Separate your ego from your sales performance
  • Maintain positive self talk
  • Stay Busy
  • Expect Rejection
  • View Every Rejection as an Opportunity to Improve

Today’s One Two Punch

Accept Rejection to Realize Success


35 Famous People Who Were Painfully Rejected Before Making It Big

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